Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf was surprised Saturday to be the lone Anaheim player selected to the NHL All-Star game despite the team's first-place standing in the Pacific Division (26-10-6).
"When you're talking about the first-place team … I'm definitely not doing this by myself, that's for sure," Getzlaf said after second-line center Ryan Kesler (29 points) and forwards Matt Beleskey (17 goals) and Corey Perry (15 goals) were omitted from the rosters for the Jan. 25 game in Columbus, Ohio.
"We've had a great collective effort. When you look at how many man-games we've lost [more than 200], as a group, we've done a great job filling those voids."
Getzlaf's 32 assists have him in league most valuable player talk, and make him tied for second in the NHL with returning league MVP Sidney Crosby of Pittsburgh and returning Hart Trophy finalist Claude Giroux of Philadelphia. Getzlaf's 45 points are a team high.
He's an all-star for the third time, and for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
"It's been a good start to the season, I'm excited about [the game]," Getzlaf said.
Getzlaf has been one of the few constants as the Ducks have endured a mumps outbreak and injuries to Perry and key defensemen Ben Lovejoy and Francois Beauchemin.
"You can't give Ryan enough kudos for everything he's done," Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said.
Getzlaf said he's proudest of "where we are in the standings, at the top. I'm really proud of our group. Over the last two or three years, we've turned this organization around from the standpoint of starting the season on time. We had been known as slow starters. We've been able to change that mentality.
"It's an honor for me to enjoy. Others can use the rest, and will use that rest properly."
The Ducks will retire their first player jersey Sunday night for Teemu Selanne's No. 8 with a pregame ceremony that will start at 4:15 p.m.
Boudreau said he's worked to sharpen his team's focus on the game against the Winnipeg Jets, who are in playoff position.
"It's a fabulous thing we're doing for Teemu, and what Teemu has done for the team," Boudreau said. "His contribution to hockey in California is immense, on the same level as [Wayne] Gretzky. But the focus has to be on getting a win."
Selanne and Boudreau have patched things up after Selanne bashed the coach in his book, released on the opening of training camp.
Part of Selanne's criticism was that Boudreau didn't effectively communicate his playing-time decisions.
Is the coach more sensitive to those issues this season because of Selanne?
"It didn't change me," Boudreau said. "It wasn't something you like to hear, especially when you're caught off guard. I firmly in my heart don't think he meant what he said.
"I [communicate plans with players] all the time. We've got a good roster. People are going to sit out. It's the way hockey works. I talk to them. They all know where they stand all the time."
On the air: TV: Prime Ticket; Radio: 830.
Etc.: The Ducks' struggling power-play unit, ranked 23rd in the league with 15.8% scoring success, confronts a top-10 penalty-kill unit. Former Ducks center Mathieu Perreault returns to Anaheim.