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Tag: Ryan Getzlaf

Underestimating The Pace Of A Real Game

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

We all watched with our own eyes on Thursday night. Vegas’ 5-2 victory over Anaheim got off to a quick but hectic start. In the opening eight minutes of the 2021 season, the two teams totaled four early goals. We know what happened later in the game, but let’s focus on the first eight minutes of the game.

If you’re playing in a normal season, and we get up two nothing like that the building is rocking. We got to learn to continue to push, we kind of let our foot off the gas after going up two nothing. -Mark Stone

In the initial 2:13 of the 1st period it looked like Vegas had turned the game into a one-sided contest. Jonathan Marchessault and Tomas Nosek nabbed their first goals of the season, temporarily giving the feel of a normal Golden Knights drubbing of the Ducks. Minutes later things quickly changed.

With their backs against the wall, Anaheim battled back and scored two of their own. Like the Golden Knights, the Ducks netted two in a matter of minutes.

The first eight minutes were messy but that wasn’t a shock to the players or coaches involved.

With no preseason you have to evaluate your game. We had some breakdowns a little too much in front of our own net. Some mental breakdowns but we also battled back. We gave up two goals early and we were able to respond the way we wanted to. -Ryan Getzlaf, Ducks captain

After a long time off the ice and a short training camp, it was expected both teams would come out rusty. However, both offenses came out hot and surprised the defense and goaltenders right from the opening faceoff. According to Anaheim’s head coach Dallas Eakins, the early flow of the game was sort of a reality check.

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Ranking The Top Centers In The Pacific Division

This week the NHL Network ranked the league’s twenty best centers. Lady Byng trophy winner William Karlsson came in at 17th place, not bad for a guy who wasn’t rated in the top 100 last season. Connor McDavid, Anze Kopitar, Ryan Getzlaf and Leon Draisaitl were the other Pacific Division centers to make the NHL Network’s list.

So let’s have some fun and rank the top centers in the Pacific Division.

1. Connor McDavid: There’s not much to write. McDavid has 256 career points in 205 games, averaging 1.22 points per game. The Edmonton center has more points (208), goals created (77), assists per game (.84), and adjusted points (220) than any other player in the NHL since 2015-16. McDavid will continue to remain the top center in the division, and the league for many, many years.

2. Anze Kopitar: Again, this is another no-brainer. The Kings captain has averaged almost a point of game over his career, and put up his best (1.12) PPG average last season. After 12 NHL seasons, the Slovenian continues to get better. Kopitar ended the season with a career-high 92 points, and took home the Selke trophy. Also, he’s a faceoff wizard. Against Vegas in the postseason, Kopitar posted a 60.4% faceoff win percentage. Pretty impressive, considering the puck was in his zone most of the series.

(Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

3. William Karlsson: I battled myself trying to be as objective as possible and at the end of the day, ranking Karlsson third behind McDavid and Kopitar was the only right decision. Most of the players on this list have consistently produced for multiple seasons. However, the overall skill Karlsson showcased leads you to believe he’ll repeat his production from 2017-18.

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A Different Anaheim Ducks Team On The Schedule Tonight

The Golden Knights are coming out of Christmas break in first place in the Pacific Division and eight points ahead of tonight’s opponent, the Anaheim Ducks. Last time the two teams faced was on December 5th, when Vegas won in a shootout. After the loss, Anaheim players or coaches didn’t seem to be upset. In fact, that’s when Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle joked about the Golden Knights fortunate luck.

At the time, I sensed a satisfied head coach leaving the toughest arena in hockey with one point. Carlyle knew his team wasn’t complete and things could be different the next time they faced the Golden Knights. Since Captain Ryan Getzlaf returned on December 11th, the Ducks have earned nine points in seven games. Also, after trading for Adam Henrique, Anaheim has a point in nine of the twelve games he’s played in. Not to mention, Henrique executed this season’s most amazing goal.

Remember when this guy stoned six shootout attempts against the Ducks. Yeah, that was awesome. (Photo Credit: Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

When you add a center like Getzlaf back in the mix, the Ducks immediately become a playoff contender. The prototypical center is big, strong, plays all three zones, and has one of a kind ice vision. In limited action, Getzlaf leads the league with 1.08 assists per game. His career average over 13 seasons is 0.68 assists per game. To compare, David Perron leads Vegas with 0.71 assists per game.

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Fantasy Free Agency: Edition 1.0

If you read Hockey blogs (like this one, or this one, or even this one, or click this one so we get another hit), then you know already NHL players love Las Vegas.

Recently, Superstar Defenseman Erik Karlsson took to social media to show off his one of a kind spiked Christian Loubotins bought on The Strip.

Players love to travel and party in town during the NHL Awards week. Ducks Captain Ryan Getzlaf even took his wife and three kids and admitted he couldn’t wait to take the family on the High Roller. In fact, some NHL Players love Vegas too much… Ahem, Jarret Stoll.

With no income tax, nice weather and plenty to do, Las Vegas is perceived as a great place to lace up. What would you do if your only options were Las Vegas, Calgary or Columbus?

Some interesting names will be available via free agency in 2017. Some names are franchise players, but would they risk their career on a new franchise? And will The Creator go for a splash, or be content to build a team on smart money contracts and young talent?

Most of these questions can’t possibly be answered for another two seasons but for now let’s enjoy a fun game I’ll be playing once in while called; Fantasy Free Agency.

Behind door number 1!!!

Victor Hedman– TB Def: UFA 2017

Hedman is a monster 6’6 defenseman from Sweden who in no doubt is a franchise blueliner. The 24-year-old will have a hard time making it to free agency only assuming Tampa will try and lock him down before he hits his last year. If the Las Vegas franchise were to bid for Hedman, they would have to be willing to pay $9-10 million a year and for multiple years. (Keep in mind P.K. Subban and Shea Webers contracts were 8 and 14 years respectively.)

Like I said this is Fantasy Free Agency, and that’s why I opened up with Victor Hedman. He’s almost guaranteed to get a long extension and signing bonus from the Lightning.

But if some reason the Bolts let Hedman the Great go to free agency, look out. This will be a bidding frenzy and whatever team that’s lucky enough to sign him will have a strong blue line for years.

Hey, Victor,  how’s this look?


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