NHL News: Anaheim Ducks Fight for Wins after Captain's Injury

Liz BrownsteinContributor IJanuary 5, 2011

UNIONDALE, NY - DECEMBER 16:  Ryan Getzlaf #15 of the Anaheim Ducks skates against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum on December 16, 2010 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

In a very unfortunate play during Anaheim's contest against the Phoenix Coyotes December 28, Anaheim captain Ryan Getzlaf took a puck to the face, causing a few nasal sinus fractures.  After CT scans and other various tests, there was no bone dislocation found, meaning surgery will not be necessary. 

Getzlaf spoke to the media earlier today about the injury, explaining he is relieved that the healing time is just 4-6 weeks, which is less than the recovery time had surgery been needed.  The fractures broke in such a way that the bones are not very close to his eyes or brain, thus the risks are limited.  In short, Anaheim can breathe a sigh of relief because their captain is out for a shorter length of time than expected. 

It's somewhat odd that this is the second Anaheim injury to come at the hand (or stick) of Shane Doan of the Coyotes.  Earlier this season, Doan sent Cam Fowler into the boards breaking the rookie's nose, and now it was a shot off Doan's stick that caused Getzlaf's facial fractures.

Despite losing their captain just two games ago, Anaheim has still fought to hold onto their precarious sixth seat in the Western Conference.  Currently riding a 3-game winning streak, two of those games without Getzlaf, Anaheim is hoping to ride this momentum to as long of a winning streak as possible.

So as long as both alternates—Saku Koivu and Teemu Selanne—step up as leaders of the team and secondary scoring continues to produce, Anaheim should have at least a solid chance to continue this string of W's.  

Look for the third "A" to land temporarily on Perry's sweater for the next few weeks.  Hopefully players like Jason Blake and the second line, hotshots like Matt Beleskey and Dan Sexton or newcomer Maxim Lapierre can pick up the slack to produce some strong numbers in Getzlaf's absence.