Corey Perry

Slumping Ducks to split up Getzlaf-Perry?

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Few duos have been as inseparable as Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry but, with the Ducks having lost seven of their last 10, the pair could be broken up for tonight’s game in Calgary.

Perry was taken off the club’s top line and skated next to No. 2 center Ryan Kesler (and winger Devante Smith-Pelly) during Thursday’s practice, leaving Ryan Getzlaf to work between Patrick Maroon and Kyle Palmieri on the top line.

“I wanted to try it in practice today to see what it was like,” head coach Bruce Boudreau said of the move, per the Ducks website. “Once they both find their game, we’ll be much better and we won’t be talking about this anymore.”

Getzlaf is scoreless in his last four games while Perry has just one goal in his last five. Not surprisingly, the entire Anaheim offense has struggled along with the big two; the Ducks have scored just eight times in their last four games and haven’t potted more than three in a single game since a 5-2 win over Nashville back in early February.

Perry, who still leads the team with 24 goals this season, sounded optimistic about the move.

“If it works, that’s the main goal,” he said, per the O.C. Register. “If it’s not working, you have to change something up.”

Are the Ducks just in a little slump, or is there more to the story?

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The Anaheim Ducks are not playing good possession hockey lately.

How “not good” have they been?

Well, in their last nine games, based on score-adjusted five-on-five Fenwick, only the Sabres and Devils have been worse.

Which is pretty darn “not good.”

And it’s been showing in their results. The Ducks are 3-5-1 in those nine games, including last night’s 5-3 home loss to Washington, one that left coach Bruce Boudreau bemoaning his squad’s “woe is me” mood.

Now, for the record, Anaheim has been an average possession team all season, and that hasn’t stopped it from going 35-15-7 and sitting comfortably in first place in the Pacific Division. There’s no shortage of talent on the roster, especially up front with veterans Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Ryan Kesler.

Besides, even the best teams go through little slumps during a long season. Maybe there’s a touch of complacency in their mindset right now. It’s also worth noting that six of their last nine have been on the road.

Still, the Ducks remain a curious squad, one that, statistically speaking, doesn’t do anything particularly well…

source:

Actually, that’s not true. The Ducks have, in fact, done something well all season, and that’s win one-goal games. Amazingly, they’re 24-0-7 in those — a record that some believe speaks to their mental fortitude, and others believe is an indicator that they’re not quite as dominant as the standings make them look.

Whichever perspective you take, it’s hard to deny this an important season for Anaheim, a franchise that’s won just two playoff series and hasn’t been past the second round since winning the Stanley Cup in 2007. Anything less than a deep run this spring will be seen as a disappointment.

While the Ducks’ record suggests they have a great chance to do just that — make a deep run — their underlying numbers continue to bring doubt into the equation.

Dubnyk, Perry, and Desharnais are NHL’s three stars of the week

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Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk, Ducks winger Corey Perry and Canadiens center David Desharnais have been named the NHL’s three stars for the past week.

From NHL.com:

Dubnyk went 2-0-0, stopping all 42 shots he faced to lead the Wild (25-20-6, 56 points) to a pair of shutout victories and their season-high fifth consecutive win overall.

Perry shared the League lead with four goals and six points in four outings to help the Ducks (34-13-7, 75 points) gain five of a possible eight standings points.

Desharnais paced the NHL with five assists and a +6 rating and also shared the League lead with six points to power the Canadiens (34-15-3, 71 points) to two wins in three starts.

Related: It’s not just the goaltending that’s improved for Minnesota

Video: Backstrom’s shootout winner lifts the Caps over the Ducks

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Nicklas Backstrom scored the shootout winner as the Washington Capitals edged the Anaheim Ducks 3-2 Friday night.

With the win, the Capitals improve to 6-1-1 in their last eight against the Ducks.

Jason Chimera got the Caps on the board tying the game 1-1 at 4:15 of the second period thanks to a highlight-reel assist from Troy Brouwer.

John Carlson had the other goal for Washington. Evgeny Kuznetsov had two assists.

Ryan Kesler and Corey Perry scored for the Ducks, who played without captain Ryan Getzlaf (lower body) for a second straight game.

Philipp Grubauer made 23 saves in his regular season debut.

Ilya Bryzgalov saw his record drop to 1-3-1 with a 32 save performance.

Welcome Matt Beleskey to the trade rumor mill

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Pretty interesting tidbit here from Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos, discussing if Anaheim would consider moving breakout scoring sensation Matt Beleskey:

“Well how about a 19-goal scorer in Matt Beleskey. Believe it or not, there is talk that Anaheim may move him. Very seldom do you see a Stanley Cup contending team make such a bold move, but the fact remains he’s an unrestricted free agent.

“They’re not even close to term or money. He knows long-term that he’ll get a better deal somewhere else. So maybe the time is to move him now.”

We’ve written quite a bit about Beleskey’s out-of-nowhere campaign, in which he’s scored a career-high 19 goals — second on the Ducks to Corey Perry, tied for 18th in the NHL. Back in early January, agent Murray Kuntz began negotiations with Anaheim GM Bob Murray on a new deal; Beleskey, who’s in the final year of a deal that pays $1.35 million annually, is probably in line for a significant raise given he’s only 26 and could be one of the bigger names to hit the open market this season.

That said, Beleskey wants to stay in Anaheim.

“You do think about the future,” he explained, per the O.C. Register. “I want nothing more than to stay in Anaheim. I’ve never been anywhere else and I don’t think there’s a reason to go anywhere else.

“This is where I’d like to be. Hopefully we’ll see what happens.”

The concern for the Ducks is available money down the road. Committing too much (or, too many years) to Beleskey could be an issue given the slew of young players that’ll need contracts in the future: Jakob Silfverberg is an RFA this summer and, in ’16, Anaheim will have a ton of work to do with Frederik Andersen, Kyle Palmieri, Sami Vatanen, Hampus Lindholm, Rickard Rakell and Devante Smith-Pelly all going restricted.

One also wonders if the Ducks — head coach Bruce Boudreau specifically — think Beleskey is really worth the money. There’s no denying his goal production is tied to extended minutes on a line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry; there was also a curious moment in mid-January when Boudreau made Beleskey a healthy scratch.