Ryan Getzlaf’s Injury Incentivizes the Anaheim Ducks Depth Players


Feb 5, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Anaheim Ducks right winger Jakob Silfverberg (33) scores a goal past Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35) during the first period at Bridgestone Arena. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Ryan Getzlaf is, no doubt, the biggest part of the Anaheim Ducks’ team.  Hearing he would be out against the top team in the league, The Nashville Predators, felt like it could be a fatal blow to the Ducks who were starting a tough road trip.  So far, however, it’s had the opposite effect.  It’s allowed players who have otherwise been offensively negligible to step up and impact the game in significant ways.

Jakob Silfverberg stepped up in the game against Nashville by playing hard on the penalty kill.  Silfverberg was rewarded with an impressive shorthanded goal against Pekka Rinne.  Later in the game he redirected a shot past Rinne for a crushing four goal lead.

Rickard Rakell has had to step up and center the top line in the wake of Getzlaf’s absence.  Rakell is no Getzlaf, but as far as a replacement goes he’s been above average.  He’s shared a line with Perry and Bourque, and they’ve been dangerous.  Not Getzlaf-Perry dangerous, but dangerous.  Rakell’s assist on Beleskey’s goal was a thing of beauty, and very Getzlaf-ian.

Ryan Kesler has been having an okay season for the Ducks so far.  He’s come up big in a lot of games and has been offensively ineffective in others.  In the last two games, however, Kesler has three points and was a +3.  Kesler’s powerplay goal in the first period against Washington was the best goal we’ve seen from him since the start of the new year.

The Washington game was also the best game we’ve seen from Ilya Bryzgalov since he’s been with the Ducks this season.  Bryz was focused and made a few highlight reel saves that allowed the Ducks to stay in the game.  Shootout aside, Bryzgalov kept the team in the game through all three periods and helped the team get away with a point.

The Ducks always say that when a player leaves the lineup it creates an opportunity for other players to step up and fill the void left by the injured player.  No one player can replace Ryan Getzlaf, but a team stepping up in his absence can help them get by.