It’s no secret that the Ducks are struggling. They’re one of the worst scoring teams and one of the worst defensive teams. They’re competing with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the worst record in the league and they’re already on their second coach of the season. Very little is going right in Anaheim these days.
It looks like Bruce Boudreau is digging a little deeper for the answers. Despite playing the vast majority of their career together (and all of this season), Boudreau split up Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry to start tonight’s game against the Colorado Avalanche. How big of a deal is this for the Ducks? Well, this is almost like the Canucks choosing to split up the Sedins to get their offense going. Even Ducks beat writer Eric Stephens called them “the twins” to start the game.
Corey Perry ended up with Bobby Ryan and Saku Koivu to start the game, while Ryan Getzlaf started the game with Nik Hagman and Teemu Selanne. The line combinations don’t matter as much as the message behind the move: things need to be shaken up in a big way to turn things around.
Perry is still leading the team with 14 goals this season. He’s second on the team with 29 points, but the play has been a far cry from his second half performance that earned him last year’s Hart Trophy. Meanwhile, Getzlaf only has six goals and is a minus 17 through 36 games this season. It’s hard to say what exactly is the problem—but it’s clear that something is wrong.
Boudreau is looking for any answer to get his two biggest guns going again. Maybe a little time apart can help the Anaheim Twins find their game before it’s too late.
Wait, is it already too late?
For the second time in his career, Ryan Kesler is wearing an “A.”
On Thursday, the Anaheim Ducks announced that Kesler would serve as one of the club’s alternate captains this season, taking over for Francois Beauchemin, who signed in Colorado this summer.
With the move, Kesler joins Anaheim’s existing leadership group of captain Ryan Getzlaf, and alternate Corey Perry.
“It’s an honor,” Kesler said, per the Ducks. “It’s special. I’m going to wear it with pride and lead by example.”
As mentioned earlier, Kesler has some experience as an alternate — he wore an “A” in Vancouver from 2008-13, but had it removed prior to the start of the ’13-14 campaign.
It’s not surprising Anaheim went in this direction. GM Bob Murray made a huge investment in Kesler this summer by inking the 31-year-old to a six-year, $41.25M extension.
Could Raphael Diaz be on his way back to Switzerland?
We’ll know in a month.
Diaz, who lost out on the Rangers’ final blueline spot in training camp, has reported to the club’s AHL affiliate in Hartford but doesn’t seem pleased with his current situation, per the Post:
The 29-year-old Diaz, who cleared waivers last Saturday after the Blueshirts opted to keep rookie Dylan McIlrath as the club’s seventh on the blue line, is interested in the European option if he is not in the NHL.
The Blueshirts have told Diaz they will revisit the situation at the end of October, but have not promised to release him or assign him to a European team at that point.
If Diaz, a Swiss native who represented Switzerland in the 2014 Olympics, does play in Europe during the season, he would have to go through waivers in order to return to the NHL.
Diaz’s agent, Ritch Winter, told the Post that Diaz signed a one-year, $700,000 deal with the Rangers “to play with the Rangers.”
And it’s understandable if Diaz — a journeyman offensive defenseman — isn’t happy with this situation.
While some believe McIlrath earned his roster spot on merit, some think it’s because of his contract status. McIlrath, who’s only 23 and a former first-round pick, would’ve needed to clear waivers to go back to Hartford, and it’s believed he would’ve been claimed by another club.