When Teemu Selanne announced that he would return to the Anaheim Ducks for a final season before hanging up his skates, only one question remained: would he go out on top?
The 2013-14 season has not been the kindest to Selanne’s game. After getting off with a slow start, the great No 8 has seen a decrease in ice time over recent months, something he has made no secret about being unhappy with. Ducks fans haven’t been happy with it either, seeing as Selanne jerseys are to the city of Anaheim what flip flops are to the state of Hawaii — common and well loved.
But with the recent exit of Dustin Penner at the trade deadline in March, a key position alongside Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf suddenly opened up.
The top line void caused immediate problems for Anaheim as the team that went almost four months into the NHL season without a home loss in regulation suddenly didn’t have a home win since prior to the Olympic break. Night after night, coach Bruce Boudreau filled in the slot with different players, only to find little success.
Enter the Finnish Flash. Since placing Selanne on the Ducks’ top line, good things have brewed for the lagging team; more importantly, good things have started to brew again for Perry and Getzlaf.
On Sunday night at home against the Florida Panthers, all three of the Ducks’ superstars — Selanne, Perry and Getzlaf — registered goals in the 6-2 win. Getzlaf’s three-point game would get him to the coveted 600th-point milestone. The Anaheim captain became the third-ever to do so in Ducks history; and yes, Selanne is one of the other two.
Selanne has neither the power nor the seemingly telekinetic ability to read plays from the Anaheim “twins” like Penner did, but if this high-flying threesome can continue down a road paved with games like Sunday night’s, this team might not miss Penner so much after all.