Anaheim could not deliver two quality efforts in a row, as they fell 2-1 to the Devils in a spotty performance where a hungry Jason Blake took 1/4 of Anaheim's 28 shots and produced its only goal.
Daniel, there were a bounty of disappointing performers tonight, but who disappointed you the most?
Someone needs to put out an APB for the Anaheim captain, because he wasn't at the game tonight. It's hard to get mad at a player who's had a goal and 4 assists in his last for games, including tonight. Still, as the new captain, I expect a stronger performance from Getzlaf in his own barn. He wasn't fighting through checks, he wasn't moving his feet and he didn't make any plays of note. There were a few good shifts, but that's not enough. Inconsistency has always been a problem, but he's not a prospect anymore. I'm a firm believer that your best player doesn't have to be your captain. But, I do believe that the captain should be the guy who brings it every night. Getzlaf wasn't that guy tonight.
I'm not saying other guys don't need to contribute, but I'm saying that Getzlaf needs to set a stronger example. Considering our D is practically in shambles, it will be impossible to win a lot of low scoring games. Losing those games isn't a problem. What is a problem is that the offense goes from deadly to invisible at the flip of a coin. I'm not sure why, but the Ducks just aren't a very good team. Wins have to be scraped out, fought for and earned. Part of that involves turning in a quality effort every night. That has to begin and end with Getzlaf. I understand the Hulk can't be at every game, but I'll settle for a Bruce Banner with a mean streak.
I see you've anticipated my Hulk response in your last sentence, but I won't be giving it. I know I've always pointed out that 18 general managers went another way in the 2003 Draft and 18 general managers were simultaneously right and wrong about Getzlaf, but what's beginning to stick out to me now is not the right/wrong part, but the 2003 Draft part.
That's not to say I expect him to change just because it's been seven years. He's just not a self starter, and maybe he never will be. But in the same way that I expect Jonas Hiller to find competence on nights when he doesn't have his best stuff, I expect a steady medium-setting on Getzlaf. He's only 25, he has time, but I would love to see some baby steps in that direction. Not everyone is born to be a captain, and not everyone is born to be a consistent performer. I think we should still see those traits as rare and special. However, Getzlaf is good enough to fake it on nights when he doesn't have it, and I would love to start seeing that every now and then, even if we're one, two or even five seasons from him perfecting it.