SPORTS

Boudreau, Ducks see captain Ryan Getzlaf as Hart Trophy candidate

03/25/2015 11:58 EDT | Updated 05/25/2015 05:59 EDT
NEW YORK, N.Y. - Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens will likely win the Hart Trophy as the NHL's MVP, and Alex Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals has earned plenty of deserved chatter, too.

But the Anaheim Ducks don't want anyone to forget about their captain and sleeper Hart candidate, Ryan Getzlaf, who's tied for 12th in the league in scoring and is playing some of the most and toughest minutes of any forward.

"Nobody seems to be talking about him this year because everybody seems to be talking about Carey Price in that respect, and Ovi," Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said. "But you look, he's (eight) points out of the scoring lead and our team's doing quite well and he's had an abundance of wingers. The one constant is always Ryan Getzlaf."

Corey Perry missed significant time this season with the mumps virus and a knee injury, and the Ducks have rotated wingers on Getzlaf's left side, going through the likes of Patrick Maroon, Matt Beleksey, Kyle Palmieri, Rene Bourque and Devante Smith-Pelly. Two of those players have since been traded, and Anaheim still has a sizable lead in the Pacific Division.

Playing in 72 of the Ducks' 75 games, Getzlaf has 23 goals and 43 assists and is a major reason Perry hit the 30-goal mark despite his major absences.

"He's always up there in the scoring, he's playing a lot of huge minutes for us," Perry said Sunday at Madison Square Garden. "He's doing all the dirty work that you have to do, and he leads this team by example.

"If he's not going, this whole team's not going, so that's the way we look at it."

Getzlaf, a two-time Olympic gold-medal winner for Canada, isn't having a better pure offensive year than Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby or John Tavares. But the best MVP argument is his value to the Ducks.

"He's a guy for us he kills penalties, is on the power play — any tough situation Ryan Getzlaf's out there," Boudreau said. "And our record is fairly good, so if MVP is about most valuable to your team, and your team's doing well, I've got to believe he's up there for consideration."

Bobby Ryan of the Ottawa Senators, a teammate of Getzlaf's for six years, called him one of the best passers in the league. He's also one of the most difficult centres to play against.

Anaheim defenceman Francois Beauchemin said East Coast bias, and the Ducks' relative anonymity on the West Coast, plays a role in Getzlaf being overlooked.

"With the time change I don't think a lot of people get to see us play very often, so we just fly under the radar more than we should," Beauchemin said. "He's been great all year long and the last few years, obviously, not just this year. Every game he brings his A-game and makes our team better."

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