The Anaheim Ducks got the win Monday, surely a victory that had to mean a little extra to Randy Carlyle — even if he didn’t admit it afterward.
Once again back behind the Ducks bench, Carlyle returned to Toronto to face his old team, which fired him in January of 2015 and has, since the fallout of that decision, gone in the direction of a full-on rebuild, with an eye toward the future.
The Ducks are once again in contention for the Pacific Division, although the beginning to this season under Carlyle wasn’t exactly been smooth sailing.
In fact, they were outshot on Monday, but a late power play goal from Cam Fowler and a strong 33-save performance from John Gibson was enough to give Anaheim the 3-2 win over Auston Matthews and the Maple Leafs.
If there was any desire to get something of a last laugh against the organization that gave him his walking papers, Carlyle didn’t let on.
“It’s nice, but the bottom line is the hockey club needed a win more than I needed a win,” said Carlyle.
The Ducks got the win, but did so without defenseman Kevin Bieksa for the majority of the game.
Bieksa was hit in the face by a deflected Roman Polak shot early in the second period. He left the game and didn’t return, but that was just a precautionary measure, said Carlyle.