Bruce Boudreau thinks he knows why his Anaheim Ducks — who were one win away from the Stanley Cup Final last year — are 0-3 to start the year, and have only mustered a single goal.
“The work ethic, that’s been the eye opener,” Boudreau said, per the OC Register. “We’ve been out-worked. The other teams are quick that we’ve played. But they’re quick because they’re working hard to be quick. And we’re waiting for things to happen. We’re coasting back in the zones.”
This is not the start many envisioned from the Ducks.
After losing to the eventual champion Blackhawks in last year’s Western Conference Final, Anaheim went out and loaded up this summer, acquiring the likes of Kevin Bieksa, Carl Hagelin, Shawn Horcoff, Chris Stewart and Mike Santorelli. The moves were designed to upgrade the club in a number of areas — toughness, veteran experience, size and, in the case of Hagelin, pure speed — but nothing seems to be clicking.
The Ducks have an opportunity to right the ship tonight at home against Colorado, a team that’s in a state of flux itself. The Avs will reportedly start backup netminder Reto Berra this evening, in place of struggling No. 1 Seymon Varlamov, so the Ducks could use this opportunity to not just break out offensively, but also salvage the rest of their current four-game homestand, which ends on Sunday with a date against the Wild.
After that, Anaheim heads out on a grueling five-game road swing through the notoriously tough Central Division, with stops in Nashville, Minnesota, Chicago, Dallas and St. Louis.