Ryan Getzlaf simply isn't playing like a first-line center this season, so he's not being treated like one.
For the second time in less than a week, and with Getzlaf stuck on one empty-net goal through 26 games, Anaheim Ducks head coach Bruce Boudreau separated him from long-time running mate Corey Perry during Thursday's shutout loss to the Buffalo Sabres.
"We're not producing," Getzlaf said of Boudreau's decision, according to Eric Stephens of the OC Register. "You got to produce in this game. You got to find ways to do it. He's doing his job to try and find ways to get us goals. And we got to do it.
"He's trying to find ways to get us to score goals. That's his job back there. My job is to go out there and play. Whoever's on my wings, I'm going to try and do that. You're never going to hear me complain about that. I got to go out and play and do my job. We got a lot of good players on this team. There's nobody that I don't like playing with."
To say Getzlaf isn't producing is an understatement. He's on pace for the worst statistical season since his rookie year, with numbers far below his career averages.
|Career 82-game Average||23.2||54.3||77.5||193|
What's encouraging for Getzlaf is that his shot rate isn't far off his usual pace, meaning his 1.8 shooting percentage is bound to revert back to his career mark of 12.1 percent sooner than later.
Boudreau called out his top players following the loss to Buffalo, and Getzlaf knows he has to step up as team captain.
"It starts with me," he said. "I take a lot of it on my shoulders at times. When I got one goal throughout the first 30 games we have played, that's not good enough. I can't expect our guys to follow anybody else."