After going 4-1-0 in their first 5 games, the Ducks have now dropped to a 5-6-3 record. Most recently, the Ducks went 1-3-3 on their 7 game road trip.
After an amazing start, this is not what any of us expected from the Ducks. It goes beyond just the team losing, it is how they are playing! I have seen complete collapse from the Ducks, when they were leading 3-0 to the Capitals and eventually lost in OT. Then there was the games against the Predators, Blue Jackets and the Red Wings where the Ducks looked like they were barely alive. Yeah, the Blue Jackets who are 2-11-1 on the season….
There is a mess of problems going on and if the Ducks keep digging themselves into a hole, than we might be in for a rough season.
So how can the season be fixed?
I’m not claiming to be an expert here and the problems could also be between players/management, but here is the problems I have been seeing.
Is it just me or is the person sitting next to you yelling “SHOOOOOT!” every time someone has the puck EXTREMELY annoying?? As obnoxious as that is, the Ducks may want to listen. In their last game against the Red Wings, the Ducks never had more than 10 shots in a single period, totaling 22 shots for the whole game. Against the Predators, the Ducks only put up 20 shots. Its Pekka Rinne, you’re going to need more than 20 shots to sneak one past him.
They need to cut it out with the fancy plays and put some pucks on net. Teemu Selanne was built for burying rebounds. Goals that deflect in or are blocked by 100 defensemen so the goalie couldn’t see it might not be the prettiest, but a goal is a goal!
Get a spark in the defense
We have been seeing a ton of laziness on the blue line. Possibly some nostalgia from last year, but it needs to stop. The Ducks defense allowed Detroit to get 50 shots on goal and Washington to get 48. That is a ton for Hiller to face, whether he brought his A-game or not.
The Ducks need a #1 defensemen. We have seen a ton of offensive numbers coming from the blue line, but somebody needs to take the role of shutting down the other teams offense. Lubo wants the same numbers as last year and Fowler wants to show his worth as a rookie, so if not one of them, SOMEBODY needs to step it up.
Make some changes!
Randy Carlyle enjoys keeping the same exact lines each game, which makes some sense. The RPG line, when in form, can produce insane numbers. How about when they aren’t “clicking”? We have seen Carlyle put Ryan on the second line and putting Beleskey on the first line, but that hasn’t worked so well.
I don’t want to see Carlyle throw players all around 50 times during one game, but maybe he should test some other lines during practice to give him some lines to use as backups. Also, CALL UP EMERSON ETEM!! It was good for him to get some playing time down in the minors, but we need an energetic scorer, and he is it. He has put up amazing numbers recently and deserves to get some NHL time.