Given an opportunity to see an increased role with the Ducks on the ice this season, Corey Perry has thrived, blossoming into one of the team’s most feared offensive threats.
'He's getting more of an opportunity to play all the key offensive situations," said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. "And he's taken advantage of that."
|The hard-hitting Perry has four goals in his last five games. |
Beginning with his two-goal performance in a 4-1 win over Los Angeles during the second game of the year in London, the 22-year-old from Peterborough, Ontario has had or been tied for the team lead in goals.
“Things are just going in the net,” Perry said. “I’m just going to the loose areas and getting shots on net. You battle hard and things happen. It’s nice.”
With his ninth goal of the young season Wednesday against the Coyotes, Perry is already halfway to his career high of 17 goals, posted last season.
“Perry’s playing great right now,” said fellow 22-year-old Ryan Getzlaf, who has developed alongside Perry in the Ducks system since the two were drafted within nine picks of each other in the first round (Getzlaf 19th overall, Perry 28th) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. “He’s playing confident with the puck. He does a great job of battling in front of the net and getting those goals. He finishes everything that touches his stick pretty much right now.”
Most of Perry’s goals this season have come on a talented line that features himself, Getzlaf and Chris Kunitz. The right winger likes the chemistry the unit has developed this season.
“I’m playing with two good linemates,” Perry said. “Kunitz is a grinder and a digger. He gets the puck in the corners and he’s quick. Getzlaf’s a playmaker. He makes nice passes and can shoot the puck too. The three of us together, we’re all different players, but we all seem to be playing as one.”
Through 17 games this season the Kunitz-Perry-Getzlaf line has produced half of the Ducks’ goals scored (19 goals out of 38) and 39.2 percent of the team’s points scored (40 points out of 102).
“They’re a strong grouping,” coach Randy Carlyle said. “They’ve played a pretty consistent brand of hockey for us.”
Added Getzlaf: “We’re doing fairly well on the offensive side of it. We just need to take care of our net and work on getting out of our zone a little cleaner and the goals will keeping coming. The more we play with the puck and not chase it around is the better off we’re going to be.”
Perry is the emotional player of the group, wearing his heart on his sleeve while in the heat of battle. It is this competitive fire that has fueled the emergence of the third-year pro.
“He’s a yappy guy, I’ll give you that much,” Getzlaf says. “He’s a competitor and that’s part of him game, playing that emotionally. He loves to talk out there.”
Said Perry, “That’s how I play the game. I try to leave nothing back. At the end of the day, you want to say to yourself that you left everything on the ice and you couldn’t do anything more.”
Luckily for the Ducks, the main thing Perry is leaving on the ice this season are opposing goalies dumbfounded by pucks he’s sailed past them.