Ryan Getzlaf didn’t make a fuss over turning 30 on Sunday, and he didn’t want his teammates to make a fuss either. The Ducks gathered in a circle during their morning skate Sunday at Honda Center to offer musical congratulations to their captain, but the party broke up very quickly.
“We acknowledged it and now it’s done with,” teammate Cam Fowler said. “He’s not going to make a big deal about it. He’s got bigger things on his mind.”
Among the bigger things on Getzlaf’s mind was completing the Ducks’ second-round playoff series against the Calgary Flames on Sunday night. The Ducks took a 3-1 series lead into the game at Honda Center, where the Flames haven’t won since 2006.
With a potential clincher coming up, that meant Getzlaf didn’t feel a need for festivities Sunday morning.
“Maybe tonight,” he said. “It’s business as usual. Birthdays are mainly to celebrate when you’re a kid, I think, but we’re excited to have the game today. Hopefully we can celebrate tonight.”
Getzlaf has an impressive résumé at this stage of his career, including two Olympic gold medals with Canada and a Stanley Cup championship with the Ducks in 2007. But the Ducks haven’t gotten past the second round of the playoffs since the season they won the Cup, a shortcoming of which Getzlaf is keenly aware.
Now, as the team captain, he has the chance to get the Ducks to the Western Conference final and to a matchup against the Chicago Blackhawks. Winning the series in five games, after sweeping Winnipeg in the first round, would mean the Ducks will have advanced with a minimum of extra work and travel. That, he said, is why they hope to finish off the resilient Flames on Sunday night and do it by simply continuing the good things they’ve accomplished in this series.
“Just maintain what we’re doing,” said Getzlaf, who has two goals and 12 points in eight games to rank fourth in playoff scoring.
“You can’t take anything for granted in this league. I thought that we showed a lot of poise in that Game 4 in Winnipeg. That was a tough win on the road. Hopefully we learned some things from that on how to keep our composure and just keep doing the things that we’ve been doing.”
Fowler, 23, admires Getzlaf’s list of honors. “He’s accomplished a lot in a pretty short amount of time. He’s an impressive guy to have around and we certainly lean on him for a lot of experience in this room,” Fowler said. “He’s our guy. He’s our captain, our leader. We’re happy to have him, especially at times like this. He can help us settle down and help us get ready for a big test.”
If they pass that test, it will be another feat on Getzlaf’s résumé. “He’s been super successful both individually and as a team. He’s a great player,” right wing Jakob Silfverberg said. “I hope he’s not satisfied yet and we have a big couple weeks ahead of us.”