Pucks of a Feather Contributor, Jonathan Maxfield, answers the question that is on the mind of every Anaheim Ducks fan. Where do we go from here?
With all honesty, I’ve been procrastinating writing this article. Not because I don’t have any ideas for the direction to take it, and certainly not because I don’t have enough that I want to say about the Anaheim Ducks.
It’s because I was hoping, pleading that Bob Murray would surprise me, that he would make the move we’ve been waiting for. I was hoping he would look at the sorry state this franchise currently sits in and do something about it.
I thought the shellacking by the Oilers, who were fresh off of an embarrassing 4-0 loss to the Kings, one of the worst teams in the entire league, would prompt change. Well, that change came in the form of benching the Pontus Aberg.
I convinced myself we would definitely see a change after losing to the Senators, one of the worst teams in the league, after setting a new bar for most consecutive losses in franchise history. Still, nothing happened.
I thought for certain we would see some change after watching a 3-0 lead evaporate, ending in a brutal 7-4 loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins. But alas, here we sit a few days later, and the only change we’ve seen is in the demeanor of coach Randy Carlyle who has devolved into lashing out at reporters who ask him about his job status.
I’ve simply come to terms with the fact that this is our reality. Reinforcements aren’t coming. We aren’t going to rise like a Duck shaped phoenix. Bob Murray is just content letting this season waste away and not do anything to spark this team to push them towards the playoffs.
GMBM showed his hand to us last season when he had no faith in the lineup he had assembled, he refused to go and get help. He refused to give the minuscule amount it would cost to get Evander Kane.
Instead, he opted to get two veterans who’s acquisition really feel like nothing more than him trying to save face by saying, “I did something!” The Ducks were promptly dispatched of by the Sharks in the playoffs which prompted this quote from Bob Murray to Eric Stephens, formerly of the OC Register.
I think it’s remarkable that we made the playoffs. But in making the playoffs, did we screw up some other things? That’s where I’m trying to get my head around. Sometimes it’s better to miss (the playoffs). -Bob Murray, General Manager of the Anaheim Ducks
Bob Murray probably looks at this lineup he has hobbled together and sees that nothing he’s going to do is going to make them a contender. So, why bother to make massive moves to try and become a playoff team when you know you’re not going to make it past the first round?
Still, a GM who does nothing in the face of a 10 game losing streak looks incompetent. The obvious decision would be to fire the coach, the coach whose team consistently bleed shots, consistently don’t score, and consistently bore their fans to sleep. However, as Elliotte Friedman said in his 31 Thoughts article:
“There is no way Anaheim GM Bob Murray would want to fire Randy Carlyle in-season. He dislikes that route and has said he feels the coach deserves a full roster for proper evaluation. An 0-6-2 stretch will test even Murray’s patience, but that’s an absolute last resort for him.” -Elliotte Friedman, Sportsnet
So, that kind of puts some cold water on that hot take. Yes, that was before the two most recent losses, which were arguably the most embarrassing of this 10 game drought, but I don’t feel at this juncture that Carlyle is going anywhere until the end of the season, and that’s unfortunate.
Nevertheless, that doesn’t mean that Bob Murray won’t make moves of some sort. So, what can we expect the rest of this season? This brutal, depressing, hard to watch season…