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Blamed by Boudreau: Ducks’ best players take some heat

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With a pathetic 55 goals for in 30 games, the Anaheim Ducks are easily the lowest-scoring team in the NHL.

It’s staggering to consider that this could happen, even if Ryan Getzlaf did go under the knife early in the 2015-16 season. And even if the bounces have been especially cruel to the Ducks.

Some might call it throwing them under the bus; others may lean more toward “sending a message” (or even just honesty amid frustration). Either way, Bruce Boudreau acknowledged Anaheim’s scoring troubles after a troubling 3-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres.

Getzlaf is aware of the criticism … and it’s definitely out there.

One can understand Boudreau’s frustration, yet sometimes those speak-your-mind moments precede a coaching change.

(Heck, Boudreau merely needs to look at Paul MacLean and his mustache to see how a frank moment can leave you shake, shaking it off into the sunset.)

At the same time, one cannot help but wonder: what can Boudreau do, and would a coaching change really help? It sure feels like something has to give soon …

Will Boudreau still be coaching the Ducks by Sunday?

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Following Anaheim’s loss in St. Louis last night — one that dropped the Ducks to an ugly 1-7-2 on the year — the question was asked of Bruce Boudreau:

Do you still expect to be coaching the team for its next game, at home, on Sunday?

His answer?

“Until somebody tells me (I’m not), I’m coaching the team,” Boudreau said, per the OC Register.

By now you’ve heard all the issues plaguing the Ducks — they can’t score goals, they can’t win games, they’re frustrated. Boudreau sounds like a coach that’s entirely out of answers; following the loss to the Blues, he all but acknowledged the club’s success is partly beyond his control.

“We do need a break,” he explained. “And we’re not getting them right now, and that’s what usually happens when a dark cloud is over you.”

Which begs the question: When will that dark cloud be lifted?

Some have pointed to Sunday’s game against 7-1-1 Nashville as the one in which Boudreau’s tenure could end. The Ducks will be back in Anaheim after a five-game road trip and, as callous as it may sounds, it’s easier — at least from a logistical standpoint — to relieve a coach of his duties at home.

Easier to call a press conference, easier to deal with the administrative stuff, etc. etc.

(Columbus turfed Todd Richards right before heading out on its current four-game road swing, for what it’s worth.)

It’s also widely assumed that Anaheim already has its next head coach in Paul MacLean, currently serving as Boudreau’s assistant. MacLean’s had plenty of success as a bench boss, highlighted by winning the Jack Adams in ’13.

If Boudreau is dismissed, it’ll be a tough and ultimately unfair ending for a guy that won 163 games as Anaheim’s head coach, and took the Ducks to within one game of last year’s Stanley Cup Final.

But for GM Bob Murray, an unfair ending might be the only option.

Boudreau does the playoff math, and it’s no ‘easy task’ for Ducks

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At 1-6-2, the Anaheim Ducks have already dug a sizable hole in the race for a playoff spot. Tonight in St. Louis, they need a win, and badly.

“The level of urgency is as high as you can be,” coach Bruce Boudreau told the Ducks’ website. “There are only so many points on the table in 82 games. You have to start putting games together. If you have to get 99 points to get into the playoffs, that’s 47 wins for us right now. That’s not an easy task.”

To match the 45-30-7 record the Flames squeaked into the playoffs with last year, the Ducks would need to go 44-24-5 over 73 games.

That’s why Boudreau’s seat is as warm as it’s been during his time in Anaheim. Another loss tonight and all eyes will be on GM Bob Murray.

The Ducks return home after tonight’s game. They host Nashville on Sunday.

Boudreau admits latest Ducks loss is ‘demoralizing’

Bruce Boudreau
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The latest Anaheim Ducks’ defeat – one in which they lost despite going up three goals in the first period – has elicited three types of responses from hockey fans.

1. Some say “Aw, poor Bruce Boudreau.”

2. Others laugh at his misfortune.

3. Many opt for both.

That 4-3 loss to the Dallas Stars, particularly losing even a standings point thanks to Antoine Roussel‘s late goal, could probably be summed up by this.

How does Boudreau feel, though? Is he furious? Maybe he’s making excuses?

No, it seems like he’s a combination of defeated and bewildered.

“It’s a 3-0 lead. You should not lost a game like that,” Boudreau said, according to the Ducks. “We won’t sugarcoat it – it’s demoralizing.”

Despite closing off a back-to-back game tonight (and a third period in which the Stars generated a 17-2 shot advantage), Boudreau insisted that it wasn’t a matter of running out of gas.

This post briefly discusses why Boudreau might deserve more time despite many calling for his head, yet quotes like these do indeed make you wonder if he’s losing his wits.

After a night like this, Boudreau’s seat is likely quite a bit hotter, so we’ll need to wait and see what happens.

For more on the loss, click here.

Boudreau wants the Ducks to realize ‘how great’ their lives are

Bruce Boudreau
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Bruce Boudreau was channeling Annie today as his struggling Anaheim Ducks prepared to face the Blackhawks tonight at United Center.

“Every day’s a new day,” Boudreau said, per the Sun-Times. “The sun’s still coming up even if it is in Chicago in October/early November. You look for the positives in everything, and you’re not sitting around being gloomy. Today, I talked to them about how great it is to be a hockey player. We’re so lucky, so blessed to do this job that we love, rather than doing things that are forced upon you. And we have to play with that. We have to play with that enthusiasm.”

No word if Boudreau has ever “seen a bunch of guys look so [expletive] down when something bad happens,” but the Ducks sure didn’t look too cheerful Saturday in Minnesota, where they were shut out for the fourth time season.

Related: Ducks need way more from Corey Perry