Ducks' Corey Perry, 46 goals and counting, gets wider attention
There has always been an East Coast bias, especially with the Ducks and Kings not the favorites of NBC or Versus, but maybe this time the voters will look at the 25-year-old Perry and award him the Hart Trophy, since he almost single-handedly propelled the Ducks into the top eight of the Western Conference.The Hart goes to the league's most valuable player.
He also is in contention for the Maurice Richard Trophy, which goes to the season's top goal scorer. With five games left in the regular season, Perry could reach the magical 50. Right now he has 46 goals and 89 points. His surge -- he had a league-high 15 goals in March, inclduing four game-winners -- helped the Ducks post an 11‑3‑0 record for the month.
Perry, who also tied Vancouver's Daniel Sedin for the March lead in points at 21, wouldn't be the first Duck to have 50 goals in a season. Paul Kariya reached that milestone in 1995-96, while Teemu Selanne did it twice, with 51 goals in 1996-97 and 52 goals the following season.
And in case you you missed it, The Times profiled Perry this week.
The Ducks head to San Jose for Saturday night's game against the Sharks. Here are some excerpts from Friday's conference call:
Question: Obviously with your recent run here, you've put yourself in contention to win the Maurice Richard Trophy, is that something you thought was a possibility in your career prior to this recent stretch?
Answer: I don't know if you can ever say that you're going to win it. I mean, you have to have a lot of great bounces and teammates to play with. I have to give a lot of credit to them. Recently it's been going well, and you know, I’m just trying to help the team win. That's all I'm worried about.
Q: That being said, is it going to be possible to avoid thinking about the potential 50 goals in the final week and a half of the season.
A: It's tough to ‑‑ it's tough not to think about it. But you know, you never know what can
Q: Wanted to ask you about a couple of your teammates, Teemu Selanne, a guy that is starting to get more recognition as the season has gone on. Have you been amazed since you joined that team as to just how ageless he seems?
A: Well, he's a guy that he comes in every day with a smile on his face, and he just loves the game. He's been that way ever since I've been here and ever since I've known him.
Just the recognition he's getting now is nothing new to us. He's done it his whole career. He's climbing into the standings and in the points standings. He keeps passing everybody. It seems like he passes everybody every night. He's a guy that just loves the game and hopefully he comes back.
Q: Give your impressions of Ray Emery. What were your expectations for him when you signed him? I imagine he's already blown past that.
A: He's a guy that came in, and we needed somebody to step up when Jonas [Hiller] went down. He came in and has done what everybody has asked of him. I don't know if too many people know his whole story behind the surgery and everything. He's gone beyond expectations and he's taken this team to another level.
Q: Is there anything that you have been able to take from Selanne's game that you've been able to apply to your game to make you a better player?
A: I mean, just the way he trains himself off the ice. Just watching him over the past six years has been enough for me. You know, he comes in every day, like I said, with a smile on his face. He loves the game, and the way he works in practice is truly amazing at 40 years old.
It doesn't seem like he's aging at all, and hopefully he comes back for a couple more years. We have a running joke in the dressing room that we are three‑quarters of the way there, getting him to come back, so hopefully he's listening to us.
Q: If you could talk just a little about the resilience of the team as a whole. Obviously it's been an unusual year with the Hiller situation, missing Ryan Getzlaf for so long; can you talk about how the team has persevered?
A: Well, I mean, when guys go down with injuries, people have to step up and kind of fill that hole and take on a leadership role.
I think guys in the dressing room realized what was going on and where we were in the standings. We had to overcome all of those injuries. So it's not ‑‑ it's not an easy thing to do when you have two big guys go down that kind of carry this team. Everybody stepped up and you have to give a lot of credit to everybody. We kind of ran with what we had.
Q: Do you view the game tomorrow night as sort of a possible playoff preview?
A: I think so. I mean, they are playing well. They are healthy and you know, we are playing well and we are healthy.
So you know, it's going to be a lot of excitement. It's going to be fun and we are trying to get there ‑‑ fourth, fifth seed. So you never know what can happen.
Q: Obviously you don't go into a month thinking you'll score 15 goals. Do you have anyway to explain what got into you in March?
A: Not really. You just go into every game expecting to play well. Things happened in March that doesn't happen very often. It's one of those things where you go out, you play your game, and you see what happens.
But you know, March was a good month, and hopefully there's more to come. ...
I've got to give a lot of the credit to [linemates] Ryan [Getzlaf] and Bobby [Ryan]. I mean, they have done everything they can do, and they are finding me and I'm just trying to get open in the slot, and things are going in the back of the net.
-- Debbie Goffa
Photo: Ducks winger Corey Perry unleashes a shot against the Kings during a game in February at Honda Center. Credit: Kelvin Kuo / US Presswire