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Ducks Gameday—The root of all elbows

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New Jersey Devils (24-14-3, 6th in east) at Anaheim Ducks (21-17-5, t-6th in west)

Corey Perry returns from his elbowing supension tonight, which certainly isn't a new phenomenon in Anaheim.  You could say that Perry was acting under the influence.  Of whom?

Was the ex-Captain in you, Perry?

For the 39 games played with Corey Perry in the lineup, the Ducks averaged 6.05 power play minutes and 8.71 shorthanded minutes.  The 4 games played during his suspension, the Ducks averaged 7.25 power play minutes and 5.80 shorthanded minutes.  There's certainly some other factors in there (it seems that pretty much all the Iowa Pig call-ups have been rather gentlemanly, for one), but it's tough for me not to see the correlation. Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf have for years observed bad behavior rewarded in Anaheim, and they can let their hot-headedness get the best of them with frequency. 

It's probably the main difference between the Ducks' top line today and the top line of Selanne-McDonald-Kunitz from the cup season.  In those days, the top line hardly ever put the Ducks shorthanded -- that was the job of the checkers and the energy lines.  It seems that we'll just have to wait for the Wondertwins to grow up a bit, but I will say this.  Probably one of the most encouraging things I'm seeing out of Bobby Ryan is that he doesn't seem as interested in being the toughest guy on the ice -- he may be the young guy, but he may already be more mature than Getzlaf and Perry.  Hopefully he'll rub off more on them than they will on him.

For your Devils perspective, despicable though it may be, you can go to In Lou We Trust.

Prediction: If it's another 4-3 loss I'll kill myself.

Go Ducks.