As they somehow linger close to a playoff spot, the Anaheim Ducks need Corey Perry to come back and deliver the scoring he’s been known for.
Despite being just 2-6-2 over their last 10 games, which overlaps with a 12-game winless streak from mid-December to mid-January, the Anaheim Ducks are somehow just one point back of the final playoff spot in the Western Conference with 51 points right now. And good news is coming, as Sara Orlesky of TSN confirmed winger Corey Perry is set to make his season debut Saturday night against the Winnipeg Jets.
Perry had surgery to repair meniscus and MCL issues in his right knee back in September. In early December it was reported he was targeting a return on March 1, so he’s basically a month ahead of that schedule.
Perry posted his lowest point total since 2006-07 last year (in a non-lockout shortened season), with just 49 points in 71 games. He is definitely in his decline phase, at 33 years old coming off back-to-back seasons with less than 20 goals. But the Ducks will welcome any kind of offense he can provide, as he’s in line to step right into the first forward line and prominent power play duty.
Entering Saturday’s action, Anaheim is 30th in the NHL in goals per game (2.29) with the league’s 28th-ranked power play (14.5 percent) and the fewest power play goals in the league (20). Perry is not as prolific on the power play as he once was, but one-fourth of his goals (nine) and one-third of his assists (22) over the last two seasons have come on the man advantage.
During Anaheim’s extended downturn, with two wins in their last 16 games, leading point scorer Ryan Getzlaf has just one goal and five assists. Fellow first-liner Rickard Rakell hasn’t been any better, with just four goals and two assists since the start of December as he also missed a bit of time with an ankle injury.
The hope from coach Randy Carlyle is Perry can step in and spark his struggling teammates. Things can really only get better going forward, but the Ducks’ playoff chances may rest on Perry’s impact in both tangible and intangible ways.