Getzlaf: 'I don't want to go anywhere'

Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf during a stoppage in play against the Canucks in at the Honda Center in...

Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf during a stoppage in play against the Canucks in at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., Dec. 29, 2011. (MIKE BLAKE/Reuters)

ERIC FRANCIS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:31 PM ET

CALGARY - Bruce Boudreau has only been in Anaheim for six weeks, but it didn't take him long to spot what seems to be ailing Ryan Getzlaf.

"He obviously doesn't shoot enough," said the colourful Ducks head coach before breaking into a grin.

"I always just tell him, 'What did your dad say?' Because he's really the only person who counts when you're growing up. I keep telling him what my dad said if I wasn't scoring -- he'd always ask me how many shots I got on net. You get six or seven a game, and you're going to get your goals."

Mired in a scoring funk that mirrors the woes of his club, Getzlaf rolls his eyes when informed of his coach's sermon.

"Yeah, he's had that whole talk with me before," smiled the good-natured centre, enjoying the company of familiar faces at the Saddledome before Thursday's game.

"Everyone my whole life has told me to shoot, but my dad's kind of given up on that now. He's established I know the game better than he does. I try to shoot as much as I can and it's one of those things that can help you get out of a slump.

"But I have two pretty good linemates who can put the puck in the net, so I tend to look for them more and that's the way it is."

Reunited with reigning Hart Trophy winner Corey Perry to his left and Bobby Ryan to his right, few could blame the playmaker for opting to dish more often than not. However, with just seven goals and 20 helpers to his credit while sitting minus-17, the 6-foot-4 pivot has become one of the most popular targets for fans and media upset the Ducks have been all but eliminated from the playoff race.

Even GM Bob Murray seemed to have Getzlaf in mind when he suggested no one in his dressing room was untouchable outside of Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne, raising speculation one of the most sought-out commodities in hockey (big, young, powerful centres) was up for grabs.

"It was more of just a kick in the ass for me," said Getzlaf, 26, who spent four years with the WHL's Calgary Hitmen.

"Hopefully, we'll continue to improve this second half and we don't have to worry about those rumours again. (Anaheim) is exactly where I want to be. I don't want to go anywhere. The city has been unbelievable to me and my family. My wife is from there. It's definitely where we plan to lay our roots and stay there as long as we can.

"I know how this business goes, and Bob is under pressure and I wasn't doing him any favours. He's shown a lot of faith in me in the past and I'll try to repay him for that."

Given how precious a commodity the Olympic gold medalist is, many believe Murray's declaration was borne simply out of frustration, with an aim to light a fire under three guys who love living in California.

"I'm sure it had a little to do with that but I'm also sure if nothing happened, he probably would do it," said Getzlaf, whose 29th-place club took a three-game winning streak into last night's game against Calgary.

"I'm sure he was hoping it would do what it did. I haven't talked to him yet and I don't need to talk to him. In no way was I taking it personally. It's a results-based business and I know that. I want to be in Anahaeim, and I'm going to work to earn my spot."

And really, as Boudreau points out, that means ensuring Perry and Ryan fill the net more, not him.

"It's not that he's always been a great goal scorer anyway. We're all talking here like he's a 50-goal scorer and he's never come close to that," said Boudreau of a playmaker who has scored between 19 and 25 goals each of the last five years.

"I think he's got potential to be a 30-goal guy. We all know what his shot is like -- it's tremendous. But it's difficult when you've got a 50-goal scorer on your left wing (Perry) and a potential 40-goal scorer on your right. It's a little hard to be unselfish."

It's even harder when your coach and your dad are both in the rink stressing the same thing -- shooting -- as they did last night.

"Yes, the dad's are on this road trip," laughed Boudreau. "So the pressure's on."

eric.francis@sunmedia.ca

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- Eric Francis appears regularly as a panellist on CBC's Hockey Night in Canada.


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