One of the great traditions that comes with the holiday season is the Advent calendar, with a new window containing a prize opened each day leading up to Christmas. For the Anaheim Ducks it's seemed that their calendar has given a new situation to overcome with every game, yet as the league takes a break they've found themselves the first team to reach the 50-point plateau. Seeing the near constant state of flux the lineup has been in since the preseason has made the consistent play of Ryan Getzlaf all the more impressive. So as the players enjoy the next few days with their families, lets reflect on the sweet like chocolate play the captain has anchored the Ducks with in the month of December.
Since taking over the captaincy for the 2010-11 campaign, Getzlaf has lead the team in scoring the past two seasons and currently leads the team with 39 points on 12 goals and a team-high 27 assists. His performance ranks fifth in the league in points behind Jakub Voracek (46), Tyler Seguin (42), Claude Giroux and Evgeni Malkin (41), while sitting tied for third in assists with Sidney Crosby behind both Voracek's 32 and Giroux's 30 helpers. No player in the league has been better since November 29, when Getzlaf put up a goal and two assists in the failed comeback at San Jose. Over the span of 12 games in 26 days Getzlaf's 20 points on six goals and 14 assists are tops, six points better than the next best producers (Voracek and Giroux) and seven points more than the next closest (Nicklas Backstrom, Patrick Kane, and Phil Kessel). What's more, eight of those games have come without Corey Perry, yet Getzlaf's 13 points on four goals and nine assists since the stretch without Perry began on December 7 are also best in the league.
The symbiosis between 'The Twins' has been a major part of the success the Ducks have had since both made their debuts with the franchise in 2005-06. In the 634 games the two have been in the lineup for Anaheim they've combined for 446 goals and 699 assists, averaging nearly two points per game (1.806) between them. To get an idea just how impressive what Getzlaf has done over the last eight games, lets look at how the two have produced when both are in the lineup in the regular season, as well as in games when one of the two is not dressed:
|Getzlaf w/ Perry||634||184||424||608|
|Per Game Production w/ Perry||---||.290||.669||.959|
|Getzlaf w/o Perry||34||11||28||39|
|Per Game Production w/o Perry||---||.324||.824||1.147|
|Getzlaf Career Per Game Production||668||.292||.677||.969|
|Perry w/ Getzlaf||634||262||275||537|
|Per Game Production w/ Getzlaf||---||.413||.434||.847|
|Perry w/o Getzlaf||46||15||17||32|
|Per Game Production w/o Getzlaf||---||.326||.370||.696|
What jumps out immediately is the jump in production Getzlaf has with Perry out of the lineup, as well as the decrease that Perry experiences without Getzlaf. It makes sense considering the playmaking-centric game of Getzlaf, who is more adept at not only creating his own offense but for teammates as well. This isn't meant as a knock against Perry, but to help illustrate just how impressive what Getzlaf has done over this 12-game span. Lets examine it by comparing his actual production against expected production based on the established career numbers above:
|Expected Production (Career Per Game)||12||3.5||8.1||11.6|
|Percentage Above Expected||---||71.43%||72.84%||72.41%|
|Actual Production w/ Perry||4||2||5||7|
|Expected Production w/ Perry||4||1.2||2.7||3.8|
|Percentage Above Expected||---||66.67%||85.19%||84.21%|
|Actual Production w/o Perry||8||4||9||13|
|Expected Production w/o Perry||8||2.6||6.6||9.2|
|Percentage Above Expected||---||53.85%||36.36%||41.30%|
The only other year that Getzlaf had to contend with more than 10 games without Perry in the lineup came back during 07-08, and that only counts if one includes the first three games of the playoff series against Dallas. It speaks volumes that during a season with not only the most total but most consecutive regular season games without Perry, Getzlaf has upped his game to such a degree. There have been multiple other runs of dominant play over the course of his career; he put up six goals and 16 assists over a 15-game scoring streak from December 22, 2007 to January 23, 2008; during the 09-10 season there was an 11-game streak with two goals and 17 assists; last year Getzlaf had a career long 16-game scoring streak with 10 goals and 13 assists that was part of a 22 game stretch from October 25 to December 15 where he potted 13 goals and dished 17 assists. Considering how wracked by injuries the Ducks have been this year, Getzlaf couldn't have picked a better time to pile up the points.
So as hockey fans in Anaheim and all members of the Ducks Family spend time with their families, the good tidings and joy of the season are perfectly paired with the play of the boys in the orange, gold and black. From the three assist effort including setting up the OT winner at Winnipeg on December 7, to back-to-back game winning goals against Edmonton and Winnipeg at the start of the five-game Canadian road trip, to assisting on the game-tying and game-winning goals against San Jose on Monday, watching each game by the captain has been like opening an Advent calendar. The performance of Ryan Getzlaf has been a present that we've all been able to share.