We’ve documented Anaheim’s struggles quite extensively over the last few days. But just in case you aren’t reading every PHT post in detail (and if not, you should totally start), a quick recap: The Ducks are winless in six and nine of their past 10. Their once-lethal powerplay is going at 12.1 percent. They’re 29th in shots per game, 29th in faceoffs and last in goals per game.
Yesterday, the Ducks finally decided to do something about it.
Eric Stephens of the OC Register reports the Ducks “had a heart to heart for nearly an hour in the dressing room at Anaheim Ice [practice facility] as they sought to find a solution.”
What’s unique about the meeting is that it wasn’t a players-only affair. Head coach Randy Carlyle was right in the mix, taking feedback (and heat, you’d assume) from his troops.
“You spend 45 minutes with a group talking to them, there’s always some things that are going to come back,” Carlyle told the LA Times. “You have to understand their perception is their reality. Sometimes if they perceive something, that catches you off-guard.”
It’s fair to suggest a major meeting topic was Anaheim’s sputtering offense. The ‘Big Three’ of Ryan Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan and reigning league MVP Corey Perry are all off to sluggish starts while blue-line scoring sensation Lubomir Visnovsky — who led all NHL defensemen in points last year — has just four points in 15 games with a ghastly minus-9 rating.
About the only guy that’s playing well is Teemu Selanne (5G-9A-14PTS) — and he thought yesterday’s meeting was a big step.
“Today was good. A lot of guys were talking and giving their opinions how they feel why it doesn’t work, really,” Selanne said. “A lot of times coaches are talking and nobody says a word and you go to the ice and say, ‘Well, I don’t think that’s work[ing].
“It’s important that the players can give their input also about the situation. It was really good. It was really honest conversations. I think it was a huge step forward.”
The Ducks do have a huge opportunity to turn things around this month. The rest of November sees them play seven of nine at home with just one back-to-back: Nov. 16 and 17 against in-state rival Los Angeles.