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Getzlaf Eager to Get Back

The standout center missed significant conditioning time over the summer with a sports hernia injury

Monday, 09.14.2009 / 4:39 PM PT / Features
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Getzlaf Eager to Get Back
By Matt Vevoda

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Going under the knife for sports hernia surgery in late July made for one of the more trying offseasons yet for Ryan Getzlaf as a Duck.

Correcting an injury that flared up during summer workouts, the procedure (performed in Philadelphia by Dr. William Meyers, who has also worked with Jean-Sebastien Giguere and Todd Marchant on similar injuries) caused the 25-year-old center to miss out on time he normally earmarks for conditioning himself for the upcoming season.

“It’s tough when you lost a pretty important month of August,” Getzlaf said. “It was just a big downer. When (the injury) is in your core, it’s not I like I could just do legs or just do arms. I couldn’t do anything. Everything you do involves your core.”

"I was pretty excited to get back here, get after things and get back into the routing of playing, coming to the rink and being around the guys," Getzlaf said.
The start of training camp has Anaheim’s leading scorer the past two seasons back to his jovial self, as it’s signaled his return to the ice. Getzlaf has not been partaking in scrimmages through the first two days of team workouts at The Rinks – Anaheim Ice, but he has been skating with his teammates in other activities. Thus far, things are progressing in the right direction.

“I was pretty excited to get back here, get after things and get back into the routine of playing, coming to the rink and being around the guys,” said Getzlaf, who finished sixth in the NHL with 91 points last season and was selected to his second All-Star Game. “I felt good after yesterday’s skate. Today, I’m feeling more and more comfortable with my stride and takeoffs.”

Having Getzlaf at full strength come the start of the 2009-10 regular season will certainly be critical for the Ducks, especially if they have designs on utilizing an attack of three scoring lines, which the deepened scoring punch on the Ducks has provided as a possibility. 

For the majority of the last four seasons under the watchful eye of head coach Randy Carlyle, the Ducks have used a checking line to combat opposing team’s top lines. But things may be a bit different in the upcoming campaign.

"It's a new role for our team to play line one against line one," Getzlaf said. "Any player will tell you that they want to play against the best players in the league."
Anaheim’s No. 1 line of Getzaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan developed late last season into a viable option against other team’s top lines, particularly in the Western Conference Quarterfinals against San Jose. That combined with the additions of new weapons in center Saku Koivu and winger Joffrey Lupul could see a different Ducks attack on the horizon.

“I think that we haven’t really looked upon anything other than trying to create three offensive lines,” said Carlyle, who has guided the Ducks to a team-record four straight playoff berths. “Historically, we’ve played a checking line. With the emergence of Getzlaf, Perry and last year Bobby Ryan, we felt that we could play those guys up against anybody’s so-called No.1 line in the league. That is a stepping stone. Are they going to be able to do it this year? We’re going to wait and see. But we think they’re capable of doing that.”

If that new philosophy sticks, Getzlaf would welcome the change. “It’s a new challenge for us every night and it’s great,” he said. “It’s a new role for our team to play line one against line one. Toward the end last year with injuries, it came time that we needed to play against those guys. It was a little different, but it was exciting. Any player will tell you that they want to play against the best players in the league.”

And that's exactly what opposing players do every time they go face to face with Getzlaf.




1 z - DAL 82 50 23 9 267 230 109
2 x - STL 82 49 24 9 224 201 107
3 x - CHI 82 47 26 9 235 209 103
4 y - ANA 82 46 25 11 218 192 103
5 x - LAK 82 48 28 6 225 195 102
6 x - SJS 82 46 30 6 241 210 98
7 x - NSH 82 41 27 14 228 215 96
8 x - MIN 82 38 33 11 216 206 87
9 COL 82 39 39 4 216 240 82
10 ARI 82 35 39 8 209 245 78
11 WPG 82 35 39 8 215 239 78
12 CGY 82 35 40 7 231 260 77
13 VAN 82 31 38 13 191 243 75
14 EDM 82 31 43 8 203 245 70


R. Getzlaf 77 13 50 14 63
C. Perry 82 34 28 2 62
R. Kesler 79 21 32 5 53
R. Rakell 72 20 23 -1 43
J. Silfverberg 82 20 19 8 39
S. Vatanen 71 9 29 8 38
A. Cogliano 82 9 23 2 32
H. Lindholm 80 10 18 7 28
C. Fowler 69 5 23 -8 28
C. Stewart 56 8 12 2 20
F. Andersen 22 9 7 .919 2.30
J. Gibson 21 13 4 .920 2.07

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