He’s on pace for one of the lowest point totals of his career, captaining what many consider to be the biggest disappointment in the league.
So yeah, Ryan Getzlaf knows there’s criticism.
And yeah, he hears it.
Criticism has been shot in Getzlaf’s direction this season, perhaps even more than in his subpar 11-goal, 57-point campaign in 2011-12. Former NHL general manager Craig Button, an analyst with TSN and the NHL Network, had him listed among his biggest flops of the early season.
Former NHL forward and prominent television analyst Ray Ferraro said Getzlaf “plays the most casual game of anyone in the NHL” and sharply criticized the late penalty he took in the Black Friday loss to Chicago during an interview with a Vancouver-based radio station late last month.
At the time, Getzlaf shrugged off Ferraro’s comments. But on Monday, the center said he’s not “invincible” and doesn’t ignore the harsh appraisals of his play.
Not helping Getzlaf’s reputation are incidents like this:
And as you’d expect from someone struggling so mightily, there’s just plain ol’ fashioned bad puck luck at play, too.
There are also other factors at hand.
Getzlaf turned 30 in May. He was diagnosed with a sports hernia during last year’s playoffs. That ailment wasn’t surgically repaired, and there were concerns about it when he underwent an appendectomy in late October.
It’s also hard to pin all of Anaheim’s struggles solely on Getlzaf. Ryan Kesler, for example, has had an equally uninspired campaign.
But at the end of the day, Getzlaf is the captain.
And when the captain has just one goal in 25 games, and that one goal came into an empty net against Carolina nearly a month ago, well, it’s easy to see why everybody’s pointing the finger.
“I’m just as mad at myself,” he told the Register. “If not worse than anybody else.”
The big question now, of course, is if Getzlaf can turn this thing around.
Anaheim currently sits dead last in the Western Conference, and on the precipice of a really tough stretch.
Seven of the next eight games come on the road, including an upcoming four-game swing in which the Ducks play in Buffalo, New Jersey, Brooklyn and MSG in the span of six nights.