The Anaheim Ducks, Hockey Canada, and fantasy GMs everywhere are hoping Ryan Getzlaf is going to have a career season, so what’s with the slow start?


In Yahoo leagues he owns an impressive 6th place O-ranking and is being drafted accordingly.  In fact, only two centres are being selected ahead of Getzlaf (a couple of guys who go by the names of Crosby and Malkin), so clearly poolies are expecting big things this year when its comes to the towering centre from Regina, Saskatchewan.


The problem is that, as of Wednesday the 28th of October, Getzlaf has scored exactly one goal and is ranked a very mediocore120th overall.


Many are attributing the performance to the off-season surgery Getzlaf underwent in order to repair a sports hernia.  As a result of the required recovery time, he missed most of the Ducks’ pre-season games (and the entire Canadian Olympic camp).


The rest of the Ducks aren’t helping out their top centre much, either.  Despite their strong finish and Shark-killing exploits of last spring, the Ducks are just 3-6-1 to start the season, and sit only one point above the basement in the Western Conference.  To make matters worse, just last night they earned the infamy of giving the league-worst Toronto Maple Leafs their first victory of the season.


Getzlaf’s usual linemates of Bobby Ryan and Corry Perry (who along with their imposing centre are supposed to make up one of the most dangerous lines in the entire league), have combined for only 15 points, and are an underwhelming minus-1 thus far. Not a disaster surely, but combined with Getzlaf’s point production, this means that this “best of the best” line in hockey is averaging a pedestrian 2.3 points per game.


It’s fair to say that things aren’t working out as planned in Orange County.  Experts (like Yahoo’s Matt Romig) are saying “hang in there”, but despite the recent upswing in point production, some people are wondering: will it be a season of mediocrity for Getzlaf?


Getzlaf’s Numbers


Let’s take a look at Getzlaf’s previous seasons in order to establish some perspective.



28 Oct Points

28 Oct Points/Game

28 Nov Points

28 Nov Points/Game

Season Points

Season Points/Game





































Interestingly, with the exception of the 2007-08 campaign, Getzlaf owns some pretty unspectacular numbers through his first 10 games or so when compared to his end-of-season results.  So he’s a slow starter.


Even more interestingly, with the exception of his rookie year, his points-per-game have dramatically improved within a month, and these late November statistics have consistently served as a much more accurate predictor of his end-of-season numbers.


Check out this quotation from this article describing week four of the NHL season,


“Frustrated Getzlaf fantasy owners were waiting patiently and wondering when Ryan [Getzlaf] would finally break out. Well, that break out happened last week [with Getzlaf] putting up 10 points (2 goals & 8 assists). As young players are prone to doing, Getzlaf might get on another cold streak. If he does that's when you will want to jump in and try to make a trade for him while his value is down.”


That article was describing last year’s week four. So Getzlaf fans have been down this road before.  And last year’s faithful were rewarded with his best season yet.


If You Remember Nothing Else, Remember This


  1. It’s hard to gauge the effect of the sports hernia and the resultant corrective surgery on Getzlaf’s season, but we do know that many players who miss big chunks of pre-seasons schedules experience slow starts as they find their game. Why would Getzlaf be any different?


  1. More importantly, there is a clear trend of Getzlaf experiencing slow starts relative to his final scoring statistics.


  1. Perhaps most importantly, he has historically shown his true colours by the end of November.


It’s worth remembering that anyone who owned (or was fortunate enough to acquire) Getzlaf by October 28th last year was rewarded with a five point night on the 29th.


So while he didn’t explain why, Romig was right.  Whether you are a fantasy GM, or in charge of selecting Canada’s Men’s Olympic hockey team, when it comes to Ryan Getzlaf, “hang in there” – you’ll know what you’re going to get within a month.


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Oilers rock 99 said:

Oilers rock 99
Awsome!! great Idea isolating on one guy and that info really helped me I almost traded him away I guess I'll wait for a while yet. how about doing one on a d-man next like green/phaneuf??
October 29, 2009
Votes: +0

david said:

... Great read. Yeah been hearing about the slow starts and pickups in the forums but great to see it all laid out like this. this is some great proof and makes me happier that i was somehow lucky enough to acguire him in 2 of my leagues this summer. I guess the hockey gods over the summer were smiling on me (not so much now but ohwell at one point in time).

So basically, i take away from this that I should be expecting a 5 point night from him tom night????smilies/grin.gif
October 28, 2009
Votes: +0

Jeremy said:

Love it Well said, I have Getzlaf in my pool and was a bit concerned, but after seeing his slow starts from the past, I'm just waiting for a big November. As of right now he wouldn't be on Team Canada but by December 31st when the decisions are made I'm sure he will be the 2nd line center right behind Crosby.
October 28, 2009 | url
Votes: +1

Christopher Lee said:

... fantastic article with stats and analysis to back it up. this is the way fantasy articles should be written, cheers.
October 28, 2009
Votes: +0

shook81 said:

... I think you can also attribute this lines slow start to the brutal play of Bobby Ryan (highlighted by his 8:1 giveaway/takeaway ratio)...he's been brutal out there and Carlyle insists on playing him with Perry & Getzlaf. The five periods (periods, not games) they stuck Lupul on the line they did this: 3 goals (3 Lupul), 4 assists (2 Perry, 2 Getzlaf), even +/-. Carlyle looks desperate and his club is as shoddy mess...
October 28, 2009
Votes: +0
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