Since his return, we’ve been watching Josh Manson struggle. Would some time in the Anaheim Ducks press box be beneficial to the veteran defenseman?
If you watched Thursday night’s game against the Arizona Coyotes, you witnessed another contest in which the Anaheim Ducks didn’t play all 60 minutes of the hockey game. Even John Gibson‘s comments from earlier in the week weren’t enough to spark a fire underneath his team’s backside. After the Coyotes scored their third and fourth goals of the night, it was evident that Gibson was less than thrilled with the defense that was half-heartedly playing in front of him, essentially leaving him out to dry.
Despite several changes, it seems the Ducks have reverted back to their old ways. Spotty offense, atrocious defense, and the only positives have been the goaltending. Even still, despite John Gibson giving this team everything he’s got, he’s not superhuman and he needs his team to play in front of him. The leaders need to rise up and whip this team into shape. However, it may be some of the leaders that are the issue.
This is by no means me saying that the Anaheim Ducks don’t have superb leadership, because, they do. Nevertheless, it’s not just about a letter, it’s about leading by example. If you’ve been watching the Anaheim Ducks lately, I’m sure you know where I’m going with this, and my finger is pointed right at Josh Manson.
Costly Mistakes Can’t Be Swept Under the Rug
Josh Manson has been a terrific leader for the Ducks this season. He is both passionate and dedicated, qualities that we can only hope the young Ducklings pick up on. However, as of late, there have been glaring holes in his game. Rookie mistakes have not only been costly to him, but to his entire team.
The most glaring example was the goal that he scored in the game against the Vegas Golden Knights… against his own team. Yes, it was chaotic in front of the net, I give him that. However, even if you think your goalie has the puck, it’s critical that you keep on playing until the referee blows his whistle. This was a mistake on everyone’s part, but if Manson had led by example, his teammates would have likely followed suit.
Gibson, unfortunately, didn’t cover the puck, and it kept rolling. Then, Manson just casually tapped the puck into the back of the net, giving the Golden Knights a power-play goal. Whether he was confused about what was going on or was attempting to get a stoppage of play, there is no excuse for scoring a goal on your own team.
Once again, against the Arizona Coyotes, Josh Manson lost track of the puck. While Gibson is partially to blame, leaving his net wide open, one little mistake allowed Lawson Crouse to score the first goal of the game. The entire team’s confidence seemed shaken, and despite scoring two beautiful goals, the Ducks continued to struggle.
A Privilege, Not a Right
This isn’t to say that Manson hasn’t had good moments. He’s made a few good plays here and there, but it hasn’t resulted in much. Is it possible that it’s time for Dallas Eakins to consider sitting him for a game or two? While some might look at this as punishment, I look at it as an opportunity to gain some perspective and build his confidence back up.
Not only would it send a clear message to Manson that his mistakes are not to be taken lightly, but it would also give him time to reflect and get back to his roots. Plus, the whole point in appointing him as an alternate captain was so that he can help lead this team in the right direction. Spending time in the press box would show the rookies that in every situation, you must take the humble road because it is a privilege, not a right, to play in the National Hockey League.
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