The NHL has named center Ryan Getzlaf and right wings Corey Perry and Teemu Selanne the collective First Star of the Week for the period ending on Nov. 2. This is the first time that the NHL has named any combination of teammates as the collective First Star since the league instituted the award in 1981-82. Over a four-game stretch, beginning on Oct. 27 at Columbus and wrapping up at Honda Center last night (Nov. 2) vs. Calgary, the trio ranked 1-2-3 in league scoring for the week. Getzlaf had 10 points while Perry and Selanne each had nine, combining for 10-18=28 points with a +7 rating.
Getzlaf, 23 (5/10/85), scored 2-8=10 points with a +4 rating in four games last week. He had a five-assist (0-5=5) night on Oct. 29 vs. Detroit, which set career highs and tied club records for both points and assists. It marked the 11th five-point game in club history (Perry recorded the 12th on Oct. 31 vs. Vancouver) and the third five-assist game in club history. The 6-4, 216-pound center became just the fourth player to record a five-point game in a Ducks uniform, with Perry becoming the fifth (previously Selanne, Kariya and Mironov). In addition, by assisting on all five Ducks goals in the club’s 5-4 overtime win vs. Detroit, Getzlaf became the second NHL player in the last 11 seasons to do so. The last NHL player to do so was defenseman Alexandre Picard for the Flyers in a 6-5 overtime loss to the Devils on Feb. 1, 2007. The last player before Getzlaf to do that in a game his team won was Doug Gilmour for the Maple Leafs in a 5-3 victory over the Flames on Jan. 22, 1997.
Perry, 23 (5/16/85), collected 2-7=9 points with a +4 rating over last week’s four-game stretch. The 6-3, 209-pound winger is currently riding a career-high seven-game assist streak (3-11=14), just one game shy of tying the franchise record held by Scott Niedermayer (Dec. 26, 2006-Jan. 7, 2007). Perry established a career high for points and assists with 1-4=5 on Oct. 31 vs. VAN. Perry now leads the team in scoring and ranks tied for third in the NHL with 3-12=15 points in 13 games.
After recording back-to-back five-point games, Getzlaf and Perry became the first teammates in over 10 years to accomplish the feat. The last NHL team to have back-to-back games where a different player had five-plus points was Montreal during the 1997-98 season (first time ever for Anaheim). Brian Savage recorded 4-2=6 points on Jan. 8, 1998 at the New York Islanders, while Vincent Damphousse earned 1-4=5 points in the following game on Jan. 12, 1998 at Tampa Bay (courtesy Elias Sports Bureau).
Selanne, 38 (7/3/70), earned 6-3=9 points in four games last week. He scored six of the Ducks’ seven power play goals during the seven-day span, currently leading the NHL in the category. The Helsinki, Finland native pushed his point streak to six games (7-4=11), moving into a share of 45th place on the NHL’s all-time points list (also Bobby Hull, 1170) with an assist on Nov. 2 vs. Calgary. Selanne recorded his 21st career hat trick (3-0=3) and his 12th with Anaheim on Oct. 29 vs. Detroit, also tying the club record for power play goals by one player in a single game (also Kariya, Mar. 29, 2001 @ SJ). His 21 hat tricks are the most by any active NHL player and second-most all-time among European-born players, behind Jari Kurri’s 23. In addition, Selanne collected his 700th point as a Duck in the same contest and moved into a tie with Guy Lafleur for 20th on the all-time goals list (560).
Teemu Selanne spoke to reporters via conference call Monday morning. Following is a transcript:
Q. A lot of players have played a long time and don't get hat tricks. Why are you so successful at it? I think you've got more than Gordie Howe had in his career and you're two back of Jari Kurri. Will you feel badly if you get three hat tricks to pass him?
TEEMU SELANNE: That's good question. I don't know what's the secret. Obviously, especially when I was younger, when I got the first goal, I was so hungry to try to get another one. Usually when I got two, I know there's a good chance to get a third one. When you get older, you're not so greedy anymore. But still it's always very special to get hat tricks. Even myself, I haven't got many hat tricks last five, six years. Maybe that's one reason.
Q. What about passing Jari Kurri?
TEEMU SELANNE: Obviously, you know, Jari was my hero and my idol when I was growing up. Any day when you can compare yourself to Jari Kurri or you hear the conversation, it's obviously big honor. You have to have some great things if you can be in the same company as Jari.
Q. Can you talk about what happened with this team, why the turnaround after an awful start.
TEEMU SELANNE: Well, I think we had a pretty good pre-season. Maybe we thought it's going to be a little too easy, or easier than what we thought. And then finally it was almost attitude like the joke is over right now, let's start playing, let's start working, and the good things happen. That road trip we had, we turned everything around. We started playing better, with a lot of confidence. Our special teams improved. You know when you do those things right, you're going to get some wins.
Q. Talk about tomorrow night's game against the Kings. It's always a war, right?
TEEMU SELANNE: Yeah, you know, it's always special against Kings, you know. Obviously they have a very young team. They have a lot of young, hungry players. They want to show and prove that they having good company. It's always tough to play against Kings. Same hand, it's always nice to have the rivalry we have between each other.
Q. You love those short road trips?
TEEMU SELANNE: Yeah, only 40 minutes.
Q. How good is Getzlaf right now?
TEEMU SELANNE: You know what, Getzlaf, he's unbelievable. I don't even know if he knows himself how good he can be. I can't see any reason why he couldn't be the best player in this league. He has all the tools what you need. I think it's just a matter of time when he realize that he can do it.
Q. Halloween night was kind of scary. 26 shooters on the penalty shot line and only 3 goals. Does it make you think maybe a penalty shot isn't what it used to be when it happens during a game and you'd be better off having a two-minute power-play?
TEEMU SELANNE: You know, lots of times when you have a shootout, you have too much time. It's so much harder than normal breakaway. Obviously, of course it's very exciting time, and I like shootouts.
But that was a weird night. I haven't seen 30 shoots in a game and only 3 goals. Percentage is not very good for us.
Q. So you like the shootout? Do you think it should ever get to the playoffs?
TEEMU SELANNE: I don't think the playoffs, no. The regular season, I think it's good, entertaining. The fans like it. I like it. Even our record hasn't been very good over the years, but there's an excitement factor. I think it's good for the regular season, but not in the playoffs.
Q. It seems that you're taking it year by year now. How do you feel? Do you think you can keep going on more years?
TEEMU SELANNE: Yeah, that's good question. Obviously when you reach this age, you just want to think about one year at a time. Obviously, you know, when you get older, the hardest part of playing the NHL is the recovery time. When you were younger, it was pretty easy to get ready for that next game, and your energy level is normal. But when you get older, you have to be so much smarter with the eating and resting and do the right things to get the energy level where it should be.
Obviously it's not easy. Even I signed two-year deal, I still try to look just one year at a time and go from there. Older you get, harder it gets.
Q. How important was it for you to enter this season with that new contract, the two-year contract, as compared to last year when you had to wait until January until you finally signed?
TEEMU SELANNE: Yeah, it was a little bit different situation. Last year at this time I thought I'm done. Obviously winning the Stanley Cup was something that got me so empty physically and mentally, too. I took long time when I realize I want to play again. Last summer that wasn't the case. I knew I want to play. Obviously the salary cap issue with the Ducks, obviously I couldn't sign before. But I knew I wanted to play. That's why it was easier. You know, that's why I signed two-year deal because you never know what the salary cap's going to be. If I want to play next year, I don't have to worry about those things.
Q. What unique quality do you, Corey Perry and Getzlaf bring to the top line? How are you able to pull it all together?
TEEMU SELANNE: Well, obviously Corey and Ryan, they're both players that they have all the tools that you need to be a great hockey player. They can see the game very well. They can pass. They can shoot. Especially those two guys, they're so strong down low. They're really hungry to do some damage. Obviously when you get open, you know that those guys going to find you. Same thing when you have guys like Pronger and Niedermayer, it's going to make your game so much more easier. Obviously that's why I think the power-play has been pretty good lately.
Q. In the first eight games, the scoring just wasn't there. All of a sudden everything just seemed to click. What was the reason for that?
TEEMU SELANNE: Well, obviously the power-play improved a lot. I think we had pretty good pre-season. Honestly, I think we thought it's going to be a little easier than what it really is. There's no easy games.
The secret with the Ducks is that we have to outwork the opponent. That's the only chance we have going to win some games. We realized that. We start working hard, get this thing rolling. So far so good. But we still know that we can do even better.
Q. A lot of players that get to your age, the goals start dropping off. I know you had the knee problems. They fixed your knee. At this age usually the 40 goal-scorers are down to about 25, not 40. How have you been able to defy nature and still be able to score?
TEEMU SELANNE: Well, I think my speed is still there. Maybe I'm not fast as I was when I was 22. But I think the speed is still the key for me. I like to use that on my advantage. You know, I still like the game and I'm very lucky that I'm always playing with great players, which really makes my game easier. But obviously you just have to love this game and play with a passion and hope that you can stay healthy. That's the bottom line.
Q. You didn't come over till you were 22. A lot of players in the league are starting at 18. Do you think you got shortchanged three or four years?
TEEMU SELANNE: I know for a fact when I was 18, I wasn't ready to come over. That wasn't even in my mind. Obviously the reason I stayed a little longer is '89, when I just turned 19, I broke my leg and I missed whole year. I just wanted to play one more extra year there and get the confidence level where it should be. For sure I was more ready mentally as a hockey player when I came over of age 22.
Q. You’re tied with Guy Lafleur in goals and Bobby Hull in points. Illustrious players.
TEEMU SELANNE: You know what, it's amazing to hear that. Obviously when I was real young player, somebody would tell me this gonna happen, I would say, You guys are crazy. Obviously a lot of great things has happened. I'm very thankful for that.