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Getzlaf proclaims himself ready to go

Monday, 02.15.2010 / 10:58 PM / All-Access Vancouver

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Getzlaf proclaims himself ready to go
A left ankle sprain didn't keep Ryan Getzlaf from scoring two goals for the Ducks on Sunday and it won't prevent him from suiting up for Team Canada in its Olympic opener on Tuesday.
VANCOUVER -- Despite the severity of his left ankle sprain, Team Canada center Ryan Getzlaf played Sunday night for Anaheim and practiced Monday evening here at Canada Hockey Place without much tape for support.

"Actually it's a relatively light tape job considering what it could be," Getzlaf told NHL.com.

What it could be is not something Getzlaf has to think about anymore. He's here in Vancouver and he will be in Canada's lineup Tuesday against Norway, centering a power line that also includes Corey Perry and Eric Staal.

Getzlaf sprained his ankle on Feb. 8 when he got tangled up with Los Angeles' Dustin Brown in the second period. He missed the next two games and the hockey world was wondering if Team Canada Executive Director Steve Yzerman was going to have to make his first roster change.

Yzerman brought Philadelphia center Jeff Carter to Vancouver on Sunday as a precaution, but Getzlaf played later that night against Edmonton and had two goals and two assists in a 7-3 win.

He said he knew in warm-ups that his ankle would be just fine, but he needed to see for himself and clearly he was thrilled with the outcome.

"That game was a big test for me and my ability to be confident in my ankle," he said. "After playing that game and getting involved in a couple of different situations it was clear to me that I was able to do that stuff and recover."

Getzlaf said he doesn't feel much pain at all, and he did not get any injection either.

"I feel little quirks here and there, but it's not restricting any of my mobility and my speed, and that's what we measure," Getzlaf said.

Team Canada coach Mike Babcock said all the medical people both for Hockey Canada and the Ducks believe it's best for Getzlaf to "keep plugging along," so there is no doubt he'll be in the lineup against Norway.
"We brought in Jeff Carter and he was really good to be here and we prepared totally as a coaching staff to have Jeff Carter," Babcock said. "When we got the news that Getzlaf is going to play, obviously we think he's a very good player and has an opportunity to be real good for Canada."

Babcock is especially glad to have him because he believes Getzlaf's presence will elevate Perry's game.

"I think it's kind of like (Brent) Seabrook and (Duncan) Keith, when you talk about Getzlaf and Perry," Babcock said. "I think Perry is a better player when he plays with him. One of the coaches on my staff, he says one and one sometimes makes three with players and I think in that case they are better off together."

How Staal fits into the mix remains to be seen.

"Perry and I like to play down low as does Eric, and that's the way we're going to play," Getzlaf said. "We're going to have to learn where Staal is going to be and work each other into it."

Contact Dan Rosen at drosen@nhl.com