Anaheim Ducks: Staying the Current Course Could be the Best Option

Head coach Dallas Eakins of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Head coach Dallas Eakins of the Anaheim Ducks (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /
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Anaheim Ducks
Anaheim Ducks head coach Dallas Eakins Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports /

Removing Eakins Could Set the Ducks on a Path not Built for Success

But for now, they’re only in the second season of Dallas Eakins’ tenure. Removing him now would merely place the current Ducks youth in a similar place to the Buffalo youth. Two coaches in two seasons. A path that is clearly not built for the players to succeed.

That may go doubly this season when there is so little time to actually run a practice. Players need to have days without physical work put into them, to avoid breaking down. With the league almost forcing four games a week into teams, there are very few multi-day breaks that allow the Ducks to make tangible changes to their systems.

In essence, games are practice, this season. Firing a coach who is unable to call practices and make changes, just for the sake of organizational change is foolish. Particularly given the incoming coach would be stuck with the same problems. They can’t practice. Thus the same systems, or generic simple ones, would be implemented. There’s simply no upside to making that change at this point in time.

Perhaps more pertinent is that many of the Anaheim Ducks youth are in the midst of taking some significant strides in terms of their play. Max Jones, who for so long was left to— I’ll say rot, but that’s a little harsh— rot in the bottom 6, has been given a new lease on life as a banger on the top line. He’s playing the best hockey of his career after being given a chance to create space for the team’s best player.

Isac Lundestrom was an enigma of sorts prior to recent weeks, yet his play has seen him almost become an energy-forward on the third line. Like Jones, Lundestrom is in the best form of his career. Troy Terry has been back and forth from the dog house since last season, yet only last week scored what may be the best goal of his entire career. He may not be in career-best form, but no longer will his career be defined by an all-amateur Olympic Games.

Max Comtois, however, may be in career-best form. He plays a simple game, and that game is bang bodies and shoots from everywhere. He’s been the team’s most promising young player, and while not in the echelon of rarified air that former Duck Corey Perry once breathed, Comtois, is clearly showing he can play a power forwards role next to Ryan Getzlaf.

It’s more than likely too late for these younger players to be the stars that many fans wanted them to be. However, there is still a very strong possibility that they can become the role players the Anaheim Ducks will put around promising likely-stars, Trevor Zegras and Jamie Drysdale. With these young players finally showing promise, is now the time to be confusing them with new messages and new ideals?