Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Ducks: Lost in the Selanne shuffle
By Dan Arritt
ANAHEIM — Teemu Selanne is burying a lot of things these days.
While the ageless wonderboy for the Ducks was turning Honda Center into a cap-flying frenzy with his 22nd career hat trick Monday night against the visiting Colorado Avalanche, rookie defenseman Cam Fowler was quietly putting his first stamp in the franchise record books.
Fowler broke the club's rookie assist record on Selanne’s second goal during the second period, a key momentum boost in the 5-4 victory that kept Anaheim in seventh place in the Western Conference standings. The Ducks have six games remaining and a four-point lead over ninth-place Calgary, where they play Wednesday at 6:30 PT.
With his 27th assist of the season, which helped get the Ducks even after they had fallen behind, 2-0, Fowler passed the rookie mark previously shared by current wing Bobby Ryan and defenseman Francois Beauchemin.
“I don’t think there was any doubt in anybody’s mind that he was going to do it at some point,” Ryan said.
Fowler’s offensive contributions didn’t end there. In the third period, he broke a 3-3 tie with his fifth power-play goal of the season and second winner in the last three games.
“Just kind of a fortunate bounce,” Fowler said. “Teemu was trying to get the puck on net and it just kind of went off a shin pad. Those are the ones where your eyes just kind of light up and you see a lot of the net. I was lucky enough to put it home.”
Fowler extended his lead over NHL rookies in power-play points (19). He already leads in assists (15) and is fifth in goals. Not bad for a player who fell in Anaheim’s lap as the 12th overall draft pick last June.
“The sky will be the limit for Cam Fowler,” said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. “He’s only 19 years old and accomplishing what he’s accomplishing already, it’s huge.”
Fowler said he was not aware of the rookie assist record until after the game. He was quick to credit his teammates for finishing plays and earning him the points. In addition to the red-hot play of Selanne, forward Corey Perry is leading the NHL with 44 goals and Ryan has 32.
"I’m definitely happy,” he said. “It’s kind of a good sign of a good start of a career here.”