For the Anaheim Ducks, the 2011-12 season was one they would like to forget. An atrocious start doomed the team and as punishment Head Coach Randy Carlyle ended up in Toronto. There was plenty of blame to go around however; as Anaheim’s big guns didn’t play up to their capabilities. Ryan Getzlaf had an especially troubling campaign which was way below his normally high standards.
In his four seasons prior to 2011-12, Getzlaf had over a point a game and averaged 79 points per year. This season he played in every game and managed just 57 points. To put it in perspective he recorded 19 more points last year in 15 fewer games. With that significant of a drop off in production there surely must be several factors at play.
Getzlaf was a minus-11 for the year, and it was the first time in his career he finished as a minus player. While plus/minus as a stat has a lot to do with how well your team is performing, players themselves can clearly do things to affect their rating. So while the Ducks had a down year which no doubt contributed to Getzlaf’s minus rating, he didn’t do much to help his own cause in that area. Getzlaf had the second most giveaways in the NHL this season.
The Ducks’ struggles did not stop at Getzlaf. His line mates Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan had down years also. The big three for Anaheim play together the majority of the time.
Perry and Ryan’s goal totals took a big hit in 2011-12 and as a playmaking center that also hurt Getzlaf’s point totals greatly.
|29.91%||EV||15 GETZLAF,RYAN - 10 PERRY,COREY - 9 RYAN,BOBBY|
|12.69%||EV||15 GETZLAF,RYAN - 12 HAGMAN,NIKLAS - 10 PERRY,COREY|
|8.56%||EV||33 BLAKE,JASON - 15 GETZLAF,RYAN - 10 PERRY,COREY|
Perry’s numbers took a more substantial drop than Ryan’s, but together in 2010-11 you can see they combined for 84 goals and this year that number sunk to 68. When a set up man like Getzlaf is playing with two wingers that are having an uncharacteristically off year, that usually means a good recipe for a drop in assists.
Making things a little easier to swallow for Getzlaf owners was the fact that his PIM shot up by 40 this year compared to last. Having a potent scoring threat that can also produce PIM is invaluable in the fantasy hockey world. Getzlaf has been fairly consistent when it comes to PIM and his low numbers in that area last year can mainly be attributed to only playing in 67 games.
One off ice move could have had a negative impact on Getzlaf’s production as well. When Bruce Boudreau was hired to replace Carlyle on December 1st Getzlaf was on a seven game point streak. That was his best stretch of the season, but then earned just six points in his next 13 games.
Boudreau has modified his style of coaching, which has had an adverse effect on some of his player’s point totals. Once employing a free wheeling style of play, in 2010-11 Boudreau began playing a much tighter defensive system. Alexander Ovechkin is a good example as he saw his numbers drop nearly 25 points in his last full year under Boudreau and has yet to regain his touch.
Despite all of his struggles, Getzlaf has all the tools to have a bounce back campaign next season. He plays with two elite players that can put the puck in the net, the Ducks have a talented team that should rebound in 2012-13, and hopefully he will start to adjust to Boudreau’s system. As much as fantasy owners are hoping for his turnaround, Anaheim needs it even more.
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