Eric Francis of the Calgary Sun caught a glimpse into the Bruce Boudreau-Ryan Getzlaf relationship after asking Boudreau how Getzlaf can shake himself from his season-long slump.
“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 Dome before last night’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.”
Not to make mountains out of molehills here, but is that “I know the game better than he does” bit a thinly-veiled shot at Boudreau? Under normal circumstances you wouldn’t think so, but Anaheim isn’t exactly a hub of normal circumstance this year. The season’s been a disaster, there have been no signs of improvement under Boudreau (6-9-3) and GM Bob Murray put the entire team on trade notice, save Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu.
Speaking of trade talk, Getzlaf has been the subject of plenty and his numbers under Boudreau — 2G-8A-10PTS, minus-6 in 18 games — indicate he’s no better playing for the new coach than the old one (in fact, Getzlaf might be worse now.) This whole “dad says shoot more” situation wouldn’t be the first time Boudreau’s tried to kickstart Getzlaf, either.
By the way, the timing of this exchange couldn’t be more appropriate. The Ducks are on their annual dads road trip.