Ducks GM angry about the Olympics effect on his team

a shocker
: Anaheim Ducks GM Bob Murray is angry about the Olympics,
and how the Ducks season has fallen apart after returning from the

“We went in playing well and came out dead,”
Murray said,
referring to the team’s 14-6 surge before the Olympic break and an 0-4-1
nosedive in the Ducks’ first five games after the break. “We were
petrified of this (happening) because we had so many (Olympians). But
there’s no explanation for it. Disappointment is the best word I can

“Olympic hangover?” he said, repeating the words that
clearly were
repugnant to him. “Excuses are for losers. You knew the level of play
was going to be higher coming out of the Olympics than it was going in.
That’s just the way our game is. You have to want it bad. Bottom line,
we don’t have enough guys wanting it bad.”

soon as I heard Murray’s statement about excuses being for losers, my
mind instantly remembered this famous movie
(NSFW). Are the Olympics to blame? Tough to say that’s not a
major factor in the Ducks falling out of the playoff hunt.

Yet the
players and the coaches are ultimately responsible for their own play,
and excuses have to be left in the locker room. Murray is exactly right:
the players just haven’t wanted it bad enough. It’s not like the rest
of the league is suffering from a post-Olympics letdown.

To make matters worse, Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne were injured last night, and both are going to be re-evaluated today. Both could just be day-to-day, but it’s certainly just insult to, uhh,  injury at this point. And the Ducks actually won last night.

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    Video: Kings, Kopitar exploit Edler’s gaffe for OT win vs. Canucks

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    Alexander Edler probably feels some serious shame right now.

    The Vancouver Canucks defenseman is getting some heat for a bad blunder on what became the Los Angeles Kings’ overtime game-winning goal by Anze Kopitar.

    You can see the decisive goal in the video above, which meant a 2-1 overtime victory for the Kings over the Canucks.

    Just a (safe for work) sampling of the reactions toward Edler:

    Again, those are the more … sanitized reactions.

    Jacob Markstrom didn’t get the win despite keeping Vancouver in the game. The big Swede made 38 out of 40 saves, yet that last goal will burn.

    For Los Angeles, it’s another reminder that this team sure is scrappy.

    Let’s be honest: it’s better to go late into a game with a lead against the Kings, but a small margin makes for some serious discomfort.

    Malkin, Kessel dominate as Pens stump Sharks

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    Sometimes an angry Evgeni Malkin means a stray power play or two for his opponents, but it’s usually not the best idea to make him angry.

    Giving a player that big and talented extra motivation just seems like a bad idea, right?

    Joel Ward experienced that phenomenon on Tuesday, as Malkin responded to a blow from Ward with the goal you can see below.

    Malkin scored a goal and two assists while Phil Kessel found the net twice in Pittsburgh’s 5-1 win against the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday.

    Malkin now has a four-game goal streak going (five goals, three assists). He also has 13 points in his past seven games.

    Marc-Andre Fleury deserves plenty of credit, too, as he stopped 33 out of 34 shots and continues to quietly generate some of the best work of his sometimes-polarizing career.

    This was a nice way for the Penguins to begin a four-game Western road trip, although they’ll need to wait a while to try to keep it going; their next game comes in Los Angeles on Saturday.

    Of course: Ryan Suter wins it for Wild vs. ‘Hawks after those wild quotes

    NBCSN screen

    You know what they say: “What a difference a game makes.”

    Even in the 82-game marathon that an NHL regular season is, that can be true.

    Ryan Suter admitted he went too far with comments during tough times, yet there he was on Tuesday night, grinning ear-to-ear after scoring the 2-1 goal that ended up being the game-winner.

    Heck, people were even joking about things. The healing powers of winning, right?

    As of this writing, this win places Minnesota in the last wild card spot, and they’re close to elbowing in on the Chicago Blackhawks (who own a standings point advantage, but have played two more games so far in 2015-16).

    Jeremy Roenick labels this 2-1 win as a “team win” for Minnesota, and it showed on that 2-1 goal, as the Wild showed off some picture-perfect passing and a willingness to crash the net for rebounds.

    Let’s face it, though; Devan Dubnyk deserves plenty of credit, too.

    It won’t be easy in the Central Division, and things may get heated again. Still, this is the sort of win that may just help Minnesota build up some confidence.

    Hey look: Flyers reel off three straight wins for first time in 2015-16

    Sean Couturier
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    When you’re talking about bright sides, most people believe that they boil down to the light at the end of the tunnel for the Philadelphia Flyers.

    Sometimes it’s nice to enjoy a little success in the present while waiting for that bright future, though.

    The Flyers are providing at least a burst of sunshine lately, as Tuesday’s 4-2 win against the Ottawa Senators gives them … (drum roll) their first three-game winning streak of this season.

    Joy abounded.

    Even in recent darker moments, Philly’s been pretty impressive on offense, so Flyers fans are likely relieved to see a relative offensive outburst.

    Sure, it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns – Radko Gudas might have gotten himself into some trouble, for instance – yet this is still a nice sign of life for a team expected to finish in the draft lottery.

    If that fails … hey, the future may require shades.