Monday, March 28, 2011
Ducks: Hat trick by Teemu Selanne is latest caper
By Dan Arritt
ANAHEIM—Teemu Selanne, the venerable 40-year-old right wing for the Ducks, was standing at his locker Monday night, still dripping sweat after recording the 22nd hat trick of his career in a 5-4 victory against the visiting Colorado Avalanche, when teammate Corey Perry wandered by and hollered, ‘One more year.’
The way Selanne is playing, that might not be enough.
In addition to the three goals, Selanne also notched two assists, becoming the first NHL player age 40 or over to record a hat trick and at least five points in the same game.
“A special athlete doing special things at a very remarkable age,” said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle.
The three-goal game was the 13thfor Selanne as a member of the Ducks and his first since Oct. 29, 2008. It was the 33rd hat trick in club history. As usual, Selanne handled the media's inquiries with a sense of humor.
“Our line did a lot of damage,” Selanne said. “We wanted to give the big line the night off.”
Perry, who came into the game with a league-leading 44 goals, is part of that big line, along with Ryan Getzlaf and Bobby Ryan. Together, they combined for just one assist against the Avalanche.
“He’s ageless,” Ryan said. “It’s pretty incredible, he comes out every night and works hard and deserves everything he’s getting.”
Selanne came into the game with four goals and two assists in the previous two games. Two of the goals tied the score late in regulation and the Ducks went on to win in overtime, a big reason why they came into the game in seventh place in the Western Conference standings.
Selanne’s recent hot streak played a big part in Carlyle choosing him to take a second-period penalty shot after a Colorado player grabbed the puck while it laid in the crease.
Selanne was 1-for-5 for his career on penalty shots—his only successful attempt coming on his first try in 1993—but he buried the attempt in the top right corner to cut a 2-0 deficit in half.
He assisted on Jason Blake's goal about 3 ½ minutes later that tied the score, then scored his second goal later in the second period to give the Ducks a 3-2 lead.
After the Avalanche tied the score early in the third period, Selanne assisted on Cam Fowler's power-play goal to give the Ducks the lead for good, 4-3.
“Sometimes, I just watch in awe in what he’s able to do,” said Fowler, who became the club’s all-time rookie assist leader on Selanne’ second goal. “He has been so consistent over his career and for him to be having the season that he’s having this year, and to be putting the big goals together like he is, goals that find ourselves right back in the game and the momentum kind of switches to our side.”
Selanne shied away from discussing his future career plans, as he regularly does. Perry isn't the only Anaheim player who would like to see Selanne back for at least another year.
“It’s not about his ability to play or his skill level or the skating, it’s just a matter of how long he wants to continue to play,” said linemate Saku Koivu, who had two assists. “When he’s on like he was tonight, usually the puck is finding him.”