May 9, 2012
Getzlaf has last laugh against Swiss
By TERRY JONES, QMI AGENCY
HELSINKI, FINLAND - Captain Canada Ryan Getzlaf made new headlines here Wednesday.
He scored the winner against Switzerland at the world championship.
After dealing with controversy regarding published reports that he allegedly made threats to drunken Finns in a Helsinki nightclub, including threatening to "to knock everyone out in three minutes," Getzlaf knocked Switzerland out with, well, a tad more than three minutes remaining. His goal came at 8:02 of the third period.
Getzlaf was one of the least impressive Canadian players, especially in the first period, but he scored the big goal, one which gets your name in the headline.
"It was a weird game," said the Anaheim Ducks forward, who got into one practice before the start of the tournament and has been trying to find his legs after not making the playoffs.
"Obviously it was a big goal at a critcal time," said coach Brent Sutter. "We know he can get better. He's been fighting through adjustments finding his timing."
It was an adjustment others on the Canadian team had to make as well.
"When you put a group like this together, they are all offensive players on their own team. It was like Ebs and Hoppy in the first two games," Sutter said of Jordan Eberle and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. "They were trying to get too cute and make too many soft play with all this ice to work with over here. But it doesn't work that way. Look at the way Eberle played today. He chipped pucks out and chipped them in. He got involved in front of the net and got two goals."
Actually it was one. He banked the other in off linemate John Tavares skate.
The 3-2 win over the Swiss, 5-2 losers to Finland the night before, set up a battle for first place in the Helsinki group Friday.
The Swiss, which in the last four official meetings won in 2006 at the Olympics, ended up with the traditional result. Canada is now 24-1-2 against the alpine nation at the world championship.
As was the case in their two pre-tournament games, the Swiss came out skating and working hard and using the big ice for all it was worth, frustrating the Canadians at just about every turn.
A goal from Damien Brunner, the undrafted leading scorer of Switzerland's National League A, only 100 seconds into the game was followed by the kind of play that would put anybody to sleep.
Canada scored in the first minute of the second period when Eberle whacked away at a loose puck, batting it off the skate of Tavares during the goal-mouth scramble.
It was announced as Eberle's goal and even reported on the IIHF website that Eberle led Canada with a two-goal game.
"No, it went off J.T.'s skate," said Eberle ."Whacking away like that is what we need to do more of. I think I've got better as the tournament has gone along. That's what I want to do."
Eberle cleanly backhanded one home 41 seconds into the third period but Goran Bezina managed to get it back for the Swiss midway through the period. Getzlaf simply drilled one at Tobias Stephan and it somehow eluded the Swiss goalie for the winner.
"I had it coming up the ice all the way," said Getzlaf of the winner, which was assisted by goalie Cam Ward. "I was skating up the ice all the way. It was me and Jamie Benn, and I saw the guy come off the bench. He was suddenly in the picture, so I thought 'I've got to shoot now.'"