Armed with their own version of the ‘dynamic duo’, the Anaheim Ducks have not had to rely on just Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry to achieve success during their current six game winning streak.
The Ducks have spread the wealth around, seeing eleven different forwards tally goals this year, with eight having scored at least two. The team leader in points isn’t even Getzlaf or Perry, or Teemu Selanne. That honor this early in the season goes to newcomer Mathieu Perreault, who has found instant success playing with Selanne, assisting on his second goal of the season.
When the team needed it the most, another player stepped up and delivered when it counted, as Nick Bonino scored his third goal of the season, tying the game with just over two minutes remaining in the third, and then opened up the scoring in the shootout with a beauty of a move.
Bonino, 25, has been longed looked at as a potential second line pivot behind Getzlaf but has no where come close to developing into that role, and has instead spent most of the time shuffling between the AHL and the third/fourth line of the NHL.
In his first 112 NHL games, Bonino has only scored 11 goals, good for an eight goal pace over a full 82-game season. Numbers that are more fitting for a fourth line role, exactly what he had been getting.
This season though has been different though, as with his goal against the Phoenix Coyotes, he sits two behind his season high of five. Three goals in seven games obviously puts him on a pace that he won’t likely reach, but even if he slows down to a pace that nets him 15-20, it would be a big step for the former sixth round pick.
With so much money tied up in Perry and Getzlaf, the Ducks will always need players like Bonino to come up like he did last night when the stars can’t.
Anthony Murphy is the Co-Editor at Pucks Of A Feather. You can follow him on Twitter, @AMurphyTFC.