Ducks star Ryan Getzlaf still wary of wearing protective visor
CRANBERRY TOWNSHIP, Pa. – Those that wish Ryan Getzlaf would keep the clear visor that he has been uncomfortable using whenever it’s been required can readily point to his sublime four-assist effort Thursday against the New York Islanders and ask how a protective piece of plastic can bother him.
It has. It does.
To some, it makes no sense to not wear one. Players coming into the league have all some type of facial protection while growing up and continue to use visors after the NHL made it mandatory in 2013. The number of those players that were allowed to continue without decreases with each passing year.
Just six percent of those skating to start the 2017-18 season are not, with Getzlaf and Kevin Bieksa the only two among the Ducks. There is no guarantee that players won’t suffer a facial injury from a high-speed puck or a wayward stick but that piece of plastic has proven to reduce the damage those can cause.
And after suffering a fractured cheekbone when a deflected shot hit him square and put him out for five weeks, Getzlaf gets why management or fans or family members would ask him to reconsider and just add that layer of protection. Given his stature as the leader of the Ducks, that it is not only prudent but perhaps his duty as a $9-million playmaking asset.
But not wearing one, in his mind, matters.
“The thing is, it’s the stuff that they don’t see that makes the difference for me,” Getzlaf said Friday, comfortably discussing the subject after the Ducks worked out at the Pittsburgh Penguins’ suburban practice facility.
It is about comfort to him. Comfort in seeing all of the action from one side to the other without the feeling that something is obstructing his vision, which he considers paramount to his game. […]