Since beginning to write for this website, I've never held back my adoration for Ryan Getzlaf - much to the chagrin of some. I believe he's going to evolve into one of the most dominant players in the game. Yet, I'm not one to mince words when he does something stupid. With those facts in mind, it's only appropriate that I name myself Anaheim Calling's resident "Getzlafologist," one who is dedicated to the study of all things Getzlaf. Today, we take a physical anthropological look at the creature known as, The Ryan Getzlaf (by the way, I don't plan on taking any swings at his diminishing hairline).
The Ryan Getzlaf is native to Regina, Saskatchewan - a vast, barren, winter landscape in Canada. There isn't much to do in Regina, so it's natural that hockey players are its number one export (I'm assuming this is true, I was too lazy to Google it). By the way, my 9th grade geography teacher told us that no one lives in Saskatchewan, because it's unlivable like Siberia - I swear, it's the honest truth. For some reason, I believed her, and was later shocked to find out that was not true! Anyways, there have been reported sightings of the Getzlaf in Calgary, Cincinnati, and Portland, but it is widely known that Getzlaf makes his home in Anaheim - at least for the next three years.Getzlaf, also known as Getz or Getzy, is a massive beast at 6'4" when standing on his haunches. He is known to have a short temper when on the hunt. Adversaries have learned to agitate Getzy in order to get him to act out and be thrown in a cage for two to five minutes. This tactic can backfire, though. On occasion, one swift punch to the face and Ryan evolves into what some call "Hulk-mode." While he does not turn green and don cutoff shorts, he becomes an unstoppable offensive force. Still early in his NHL career, young Getzlaf has not learned to harness this power in order to utilize it on an every-hunt basis.
The Getzlaf has been heralded for having some of the most dangerous hands in the game. He is a predator in every sense of the word, but tends to set up his fellow hunters for the kill, rather than taking it for himself. This is best illustrated in his companionship with a certain hyena-like creature, The Corey Perry. Perry and Getzlaf are a packaged deal. Where Getzlaf sets up the beautiful kill, it is Perry's task to come in an strip the leftover meat from the carcass.
As shown above, Ryan is not a solitary creature. He is an Alpha Male amongst his pack. Many have hypothesized that it is too early for Getzlaf to assume the Alpha Male position given his lack of composure. It is too soon in the hunt to determine if this hypothesis is correct, but given his last two games, he has taken the on-ice initiative to lead by example. One thing that most have noted as Getlaf's flaw as an Alpha is that he continuously barks at the game wardens while on the hunt. Short of sticking a muzzle on the creature, observers will have to hope that he learns from the nearly extinct creatures of The Koivu and The Selanne on appropriate Alpha behavior.
Behavioral weaknesses aside, while on the hunt, Getzlaf has been shown to be somewhat lazy towards the end of a kill. He tires when left out for too long, which leads to lack of movement. This is disastrous, especially considering the amount of prey that gets away, only to be killed by the opposition. Some were willing to look past this behavior last hunting season, as Getzlaf suffered an ankle injury. He managed to hunt with a pack of Canadians but emerged less than fit to do so with his home pack. Now that he has had time to heal, repeating this sort of behavior is regarded as inexcusable.
Time will only tell if The Ryan Getzlaf continues his evolution into the superstar NHL hunter many expect him to be, or if he will end up on the endangered species list, like others before him.