By: Matthew Garcia
Ryan Getzlaf, at the ripe age of 32 entered his 12th NHL season with a new bench boss, but a very familiar one at that as the Anaheim Ducks brought back Randy Carlyle. Carlyle was the coach who led the Ducks to their very first Stanley Cup Championship back in 2007 with Getzlaf who was just 22 at the time, now with Randy back behind the bench the Ducks would look to bring that magic back to Orange County.
Getzlaf would be another one of the Ducks to get off to a fast start in the 2016-2017 campaign as in just the second game of the season vs the Penguins he would notch two assists, the first one setting up defenseman Cam Fowler who would tie the game at one, and the second one coming in the middle frame as he would set up his “twin” Corey Perry to help put the Ducks to within one with a full period to go. Getzlaf would not have to wait long to notch his first goal of the season as it would come the very next night against the New York Islanders. The Ducks were trailing by a single goal late in the third period, Carlyle would pull goaltender John Gibson and put Getzlaf out on the ice as an extra attacker, and it would pay off as Sami Vatanen would find Getzlaf open along the left-wing boards, send a pass that would be one-timed home by the captain resulting in a tie game with just one minute left to play in regulation. Getzlaf who would appear in 74 games (missing eight due to injury) would notch a total of 15 goals and 48 assists. Goal scoring would not be the only thing that we see the captain partake in as the 6’4″ 221lb forward would dish out a total of 99 hits in the ’16-’17 season.
The captain would appear in all 17 games of the post-season while setting a goal-scoring record within the Anaheim franchise, and taking the first penalty shot of his career. It wouldn’t take very long for Getzlaf to get on the scoresheet in the opening round of the playoffs. 52 seconds to be exact, as a Ryan Kesler face-off win would set Getzlaf up for a rocket one-time shot from the point that would go off Flames defenseman Deryk Engelland and into the top of the net giving the Ducks a 1-0 lead. Later in the game, Getzlaf would lower the boom on Mark Giordano, and the fans would give their instant approval. In the series sweep against the Flames, Getzlaf would go on to notch three goals, and two assists for a total of five points. Next up, the Edmonton Oilers. This would be the most memorable series for both players and fans. Getzlaf would play a vital role in the Ducks’ seven-game series victory against Connor McDavid and the Oilers. Getzlaf would be the one to get the ball rolling for the Ducks again as he would take the puck to the top of the right face-off circle before ripping home a shot to give Anaheim a 1-0 lead just 37 seconds into the second period. It would not be enough though as the Oilers would go on to take game one and two of round two. Fast-forwarding to game five and an even series, (2-2) Getzlaf would be awarded his first career penalty shot. Unfortunately, he would miss the opportunity, leaving the game scoreless. As the second period horn sounded the Ducks trailed 3-0 and Getzlaf would put the team on his shoulder, kicking off a triumphant comeback as he would fire a rocket from the point past the glove of Talbot, putting the Ducks on the board with 3:16 left in regulation. As we enter double-overtime it would be Getzlaf who would set up Perry for the game-winning goal, completing the most miraculous comeback in NHL history as the Ducks became the only team in league history to rally from a three-goal deficit with less than four minutes left in regulation. With his goal in this game, Getzlaf would cement himself as the Ducks all-time leader in playoff goals scored with 37.
Watch the video below for the Ducks’ comeback on Katella!
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September 23rd, 2017