The Anaheim Ducks will be without captain and first-line centre Ryan Getzlaf for Wednesday night’s pivotal Game 4 versus the Dallas Stars.
According to the team, Getzlaf will miss the game with an upper-body injury. He’s listed as day-to-day.
His absence will likely be felt a great deal more than Teemu Selanne’s.
It goes without saying that this is a massive loss for Anaheim. Getzlaf has 4 points in the series — a goal and an assist in both Anaheim wins — but we knew his value to the team long before the playoffs commenced. Getzlaf finished second in the league in scoring behind Sidney Crosby, and is soon to finish second in voting for the Hart to Crosby as well. He’s invaluable, and he’s irreplaceable.
One wonders if the upper-body injury is in the upper upper-body, like, say, the face. Getzlaf’s been wearing a jaw protector since he took a puck to face trying to preserve the lead late in Game 1. There’s a distinct possibility that it’s broken, and he’s playing through it.
In Game 3, it may as well have been a bullseye. The Stars weren’t shy about going after Getzlaf’s jaw, something Getzlaf himself decried after the game.
“Well it was class,” Getzlaf said. “You can play hard and do all the things you want, but me personally, if a guy’s got a bad jaw, I’m not going to hit him in the jaw but everybody’s different.”
The other possibility is that he reaggravated the jaw injury running his mouth about basic gamesmanship.
Either way, the Stars have the momentum going into Game 4, and now it will be up to a centre group of Nick Bonino, Mathieu Perreault, Saku Koivu and Rickard Rakell to take it back.