This week has been an emotional one for the Anaheim Ducks and their fans.
Last Sunday we saw the Ducks rally to beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 in overtime. It was the final game of the season, but the story was Teemu Selanne‘s farewell.
After the game Selanne circled the ice waving to the fans. The Avalanche team shook hands with Selanne and then he headed straight to Jean-Sebastien Giguere. Selanne grabbed Giguere and led him out to center ice to the delight of the packed house at Honda Center.
It was typical Selanne fashion sharing the spotlight and giving credit to someone else. In the post game interview he mentioned having a “special place” in his heart for Giguere. In 2007, Anaheim won the Stanley Cup with Giguere as the Ducks goalie.
Fast forward to Game 1 of the series with the Dallas Stars.
The Ducks carried the momentum early, building a 4-0 lead halfway through the game. The Stars would rally, but fell short losing 4-3.
Anaheim won Game 1, but the bigger story was Ryan Getzlaf taking a puck to the face with just over 16 seconds left in the game. Fans watched as Getzlaf skated off the ice straight to the locker room never to be seen again.
What was Getzlaf’s status going to be for Game 2? Did he have a broken jaw? No one was sure.
The following day the Ducks organization announced that Getzlaf had several stitches on his chin and no broken jaw. It was announced he would play in Game 2 and the entire Ducks fan base took a collective sigh.
Then Friday morning came and news broke that Paige Getzlaf gave birth to baby girl “Willa” just past midnight. Ryan Getzlaf was at the hospital most of the night icing his face while welcoming his daughter into the world. Immediately rumors were going around that Getzlaf might not play because of the long night he just had.
That was quickly dispelled.
It was again announced that Getzlaf would play in Friday’s game and the fan base took another deep sigh.
And man did Getzlaf play well in Game 2.
With the Ducks down 1-0 late in the first, Getzlaf on a great individual effort would tie the game.
Later in the third period Getzlaf would get an assist on Andrew Cogliano‘s short-handed goal. The goal would prove to be the game winner as the Ducks won in thrilling fashion 3-2.
Getzlaf proved he could where many hats in a span of a few days. From family man to scarred face warrior to team captain. Getzlaf is the leader of this Ducks team on many levels.
I hope Getzlaf leads the Ducks deep this post season especially if it is really Selanne’s last year.
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