Near the end of the 2018-19 season, Anaheim had to make a big change.
The Ducks decided to fire former head coach Randy Carlyle.
Bob Murray would end up filling the head coach role until the end of that season. Once the summer of 2019 came around the Ducks had to hire a new coach. They turned to Dallas Eakins who was the head coach of the San Diego Gulls at that time.
Eakins has had NHL coaching experience in the past with the Edmonton Oilers.
Dallas is fully qualified for the head coach job but his first season may not have gone the way he wanted it to.
Everything seemed to be going well at the start of the season. Anaheim started their season by winning four of their first five games. From there the Ducks were hot and cold through October. The month of November showed the Ducks true colors. They went 3-6-4 through the month. Things were starting to unravel with the team.
It almost seemed as if they were having trouble adapting to Eakins’ system.
Players like Ryan Getzlaf have played a physical style of hockey throughout their careers. Now with the way the NHL has changed the game of hockey has become faster-paced and more skilled. With Getzlaf playing his physical style he won’t be able to keep up. It will take time for this group to get adjusted to Eakins’ system.
Not only do the veterans have to get adjusted to Eakins’ system many young players have to get adjusted to NHL play.
The Ducks had a pretty young team this season with the likes of Sam Steel, Max Jones, Jacob Larsson, and more. Many of those players have worked with Eakins in San Diego but they don’t have a lot of NHL experience under their belts.
This process is going to take a lot of time. Murray has stated before that Eakins is the guy he wanted for the job and that he has trust in his abilities. Nobody expects this group to win so Eakins has to make the most with what he’s given. However, he may be beneficial for the Ducks at the time of a rebuild.
It may be a painful process for right now but it will pay off in the future.
It will be interesting to see how Eakins and the Ducks do next year after having their first year in the books. The team may be more accustomed to Eakins’ system and coaching style for the upcoming season.
In short, not all of the blame should be put on Dallas Eakins.
His coaching style and system may not be impressive but he’s the best candidate for this rebuilding Ducks team right now.
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