At the beginning of the season, everyone in the hockey world acknowledged that the Anaheim Ducks were only going to go as far as their goaltender Jonas Hiller could carry them. But even after Hiller was sidelined after being diagnosed withe vertigo, the Ducks have managed to go 7-2 over their last nine games as they make a push for the playoffs.
So who’s the guy who has single handedly placed the team on his back and carried them up the standings? It’s not the captain Ryan Getzlaf. It’s not the Finnish Flash Teemu Selanne. It’s not Saku Koivu or Bobby Ryan.
Nope, it’s the guy who is so quiet off the ice that you wouldn’t think of him as such an agitator on the ice. It’s Corey Perry and he’s quietly having his best statistical season in his young career.
With eight goals and 11 points in his last six games, Perry has shot up the scoring charts, currently sitting at second in the league in goal scoring with 39 goals. What has made Perry such a dangerous player is that he can beat you so many different ways: in open ice, off the boards, down the wing or where he primarily makes his living, in front of the net. Proof of this could be seen in the Ducks latest victory, a 5-4 OT win over the Calgary Flames. Perry parked himself in front of Flames netminder Henrik Karlsson, taking abuse from two different Flames defenders before getting a piece of a Toni Lydman slapshot and tipping it home for the game-winner.
Perry is fifth in the league in scoring with 79 points. Selanne, Getzlaf and Ryan always seem to get more attention, but it is Perry who is leading his club toward the postseason. He may not have high-flying speed or an unbelievable shot, but Perry is an artist around the net with a knack for scoring dirty goals.
With the playoffs soon approaching, the Ducks are going to need all of the dirty goals they can get.