Ever since the Ducks announced that Randy Carlyle would be coming back behind the bench, people have been calling for his job. They remembered how things were when he was shown the door the first time, and did not see how things would be different this time around. Personally, I have not been on the “#FireCarlyle” train. I am a big believer in the idea that the players are the ones on the ice, they are professionals and should know how to get it done. When Randy came back, the Ducks were still able to perform and win games. They did so because of their talent and skill. There have been good hockey players with good chemistry who were able to get the job done. The problem is, now that things are changing for the Ducks, but it seems that our head coach may be stuck in the past.
The Ducks are known for their slow starts to seasons and taking a while to get consistent wins. This season, they actually started out pretty well getting wins in 5 of their first 7 games. Things on paper seemed to be going pretty well but if you look at these games, the Ducks were never all too dominate in their efforts with maybe an exception of the second half of the Sharks game in San Jose. In the past week, the Ducks have gone 1-3 with the lone win vs the Islanders. I know it is early, and we could be much worse off, but it’s not necessarily the win loss record I am thinking about, it is the way we are winning or losing these games. Our overall effort.
The Ducks are getting out-shot like no other, our goalies are under siege and can only do so much. I will say again that if we did not have outstanding performances from John Gibson and Ryan Miller night in and night out, we would be getting obliterated. We looks absolutely lost out there, we don’t look like we have any confidence when we have the puck, and we look like we have no plan on what to do with the puck when we do have it, and essentially panic and just dump it in. That is not a hockey system in the slightest. There is just no chemistry right now.
We saw what happened in Vegas, and vs Buffalo and even a week and a half ago in Dallas. Getting doubled up in shots, and taking penalties. It was clear as day, and anyone in their right mind would expect to see a change when you go on the road vs Chicago, who has suffered similar struggles in the young season. Good teams, and coaches make these adjustments. They hold the team accountable, and expect discipline and change. Then there are the Ducks… who came out at the United Center and took FOUR penalties in FIRST period while getting outshot 6-16. That is UNACCEPTABLE. What a joke, everyone knew what they needed to change to be successful and they came out and did that, which finally brought me to the realization that I think it is time for a change in Anaheim.
Again, I know the coach isn’t out there taking the penalties or not connecting the passes, but in professional sports the coach is the one who is responsible for his players. I just don’t think this is working out, I don’t think there is a sense of accountability to his players, I don’t think there is an understanding that we need to change the way we are playing hockey, I don’t think there is much respect from the players to the coaches and I don’t think that Randy will be a good coach going forward for the Ducks in the direction this organization is moving towards. I get the feeling that the Ducks lose these types of games, get a pep talk from Randy that goes in one ear and out the other, and they are soon enough on the plane to another city without really caring that much or thinking that “this will turn around, it always does.” They seem like they are expecting to win, and when it isn’t happening the team is so surprised and figure it’s a fluke that we got out-shot by 100 shots for the 10th time this season.
The Ducks are bringing in their younger guys. We have a lot of fast, skilled rookies on the team and in the farm system. They are the future of the game, their style of play and I do not think it will do them any good coming up to the NHL and playing for a coach who is stuck on old system. It will set them back in their development. Having rookies on a team where there is no accountability from the coaching staff and a disconnect from the players to the coach is not a way to have these young guys transition into the show. Is the answer down on the Gulls with Coach Dallas Eakins? Maybe. A younger coach who has been working with younger players might be the change we need to kick start this team into the new NHL. Dallas may be a bit more relatable to the veteran players and would have a new voice in the locker room. From what I understand the Gulls players really respect him and listen to him. The Ducks signed him to an extension recently, which must make you think that they can see him as a Head Coach for the Ducks while sending a sign to Randy that his leash is short, and his replacement is near. I think that’s what we need now most, a new voice who can connect with the veterans and lead the rookies because right now that simply is not happening.