It just keeps getting worse for the Anaheim Ducks.
Their ongoing losing streak reached 11 games on Sunday night with a crushing 4-3 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets that saw them blow another multi-goal first period lead, and then give up the winner with only 10 seconds remaining in the extra period.
Bryan Little‘s goal was the difference and continued the Ducks’ recent misery.
What makes it even worse is that they actually had another fast start by jumping out to a 2-0 lead in the game’s first 16 minutes thanks to goals from Brian Gibbons and Rickard Rakell. It would prove to be short-lived as a Blake Wheeler goal with less than a minute to play in the period and a Patrik Laine goal just two minutes into the second tied the game.
This all came after the Ducks let a 3-0 first period lead slip away on Friday night in what go on to be a 7-4 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
That game resulted in Ducks coach Randy Carlyle facing questions about his job security. Those questions are not going to go away as long as the team continues to lose the way it has. But less than an hour after Sunday’s game ended general manager Bob Murray issued a statement saying that he is, at least for the time being, sticking by his coach.
“While it’s not my preference to make comments on this topic during the season, our recent play has led to many questions. Our fans are frustrated, rightfully so, and deserve a response from me,” said Murray in the statement.
“At this time, I am not considering a coaching change. I am more focussed on our players, specifically with who is going to step up in this situation. The way we played tonight was a step in the right direction, but we need much, much more. We have higher expectations for this group, and they should expect more from themselves.”
In some way, he is not wrong about Sunday’s game. This game was a much better overall effort than what they put forward on Friday night, and it easily could have ended with a different result.
On the other hand, when you have lost 11 games in a row there really is not much room for moral victories.
Really, though, the only good thing you can say about this game from a Ducks perspective is that they were at least able to get a point and tie the Wild (currently the owners of the second Wild Card spot in the Western Conference) in the standings. But the Ducks have played two more games, still have one of the worst goal differentials in the NHL (minus-28), and are near the bottom of the league when it comes to their ability to prevent shots and scoring chances. That all adds up to a bad team. It is hard to see how much that will change as long as everything remains the same.