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Category: Anaheim-Ducks

Team Speed An Issue For The Anaheim Ducks

from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,

Bob Murray sees where the NHL is going and where the Ducks are at within it – and where his coach fits with their need to adapt.

The Ducks have to get faster and Murray, who just wrapped up his 10th season as their general manager, saw their current level of team speed wasn’t nearly good enough in grim fashion in a four-game sweep by San Jose.

“We just played a team that was way faster than us,” Murray said Saturday, where the Ducks cleaned out their lockers at Honda Center earlier than they imagined. “And they played the game faster than us.”...

The roster is expected to skew more toward youth. They’re expected to jettison older free agents such as Kevin Bieksa, Antoine Vermette, Jason Chimera and Chris Kelly. Murray did rave the work of fourth-line center Derek Grant and would like to re-sign him.

Bieksa played with a torn tendon in his finger that was suffered during his fight with Philadelphia’s Radko Gudas in October and said he opted to put off surgery until March because the recovery period would have taken months instead of weeks.

But the veteran defenseman also felt the March procedure made it easier for Carlyle to play youngster Andy Welinski in three of the four games against San Jose. His dissatisfaction was thinly veiled.

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The Anaheim Ducks Are Out Of The Stanley Cup Playoffs, Swept By The San Jose Sharks

from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,

Tomas Hertl scored midway through the third period and the Sharks completed a four-game sweep of the Ducks and brought a swift end to their Pacific Division rival’s season with a 2-1 Game 4 victory Wednesday night.

As a rollicking sellout crowd of 17,562 rhythmically chanted for the broom work to go down, San Jose put the clamps on the Ducks as it had all series. The Ducks scored only four goals in the four games and were swept in a playoff series for the first time since Detroit did it to them in 1999.

“We played well down the stretch and then obviously the let up, we didn’t respond the way we needed to going into the playoffs in the first game,” Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. “That’s on us. That’s what we got to do as players. Be prepared and ready to compete throughout a whole series and not just at the end.”...

“To me, it’s too fresh in people’s minds and emotions run high in these situations and nobody feels good about what just happened,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “There’ll be lots of comments. People that aren’t in the organization will be making a lot of comments about what should happen. And that’s their opinion.

“We’ll let the organization make the decisions that are the best interests. Leave that to the people that are in charge.”

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Changes Needed In Anaheim?

from TSN,

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger told TSN Radio Vancouver 1040 on Tuesday it may be time for the Ducks to move part of their core, despite reaching the conference final last season.

“I feel something substantive has to be done in Anaheim if they go out with a whimper," Dreger said. "And based on the shellacking [in Game 3] at the hands of the San Jose Sharks, that’s more and more how it’s looking. How do you not do something of significance?

“And I’m not pointing the finger at [general manager] Bob Murray, but ownership has considerable say in all of this. Maybe at some point ownership looks at what they’ve got in management and says, ‘Okay, it’s time to give someone else with a fresh look a crack at this operation.’

“But if Bob Murray stays on board then, yeah, he’s got tough decisions to make with Randy Carlyle and most definitely with the core of that team. Because the core of that team is the head of that snake, as they say, and they’re not producing. They’re not getting it done. So change is needed.”

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The Anaheim Ducks Could End Their Season On The Golf Channel

from Mark Whicker of the LA Daily News,

This will not involve Golf Channel broadcasters or Golf Channel style: “Couture is looking closely at this 20-foot wrister … I don’t think it’s going to do too much until it gets to the net, where it might break a little right …”...

David Duval will not say that the Sharks’ 8-1 win on Monday night was just a matter of a bounce or two and that the media, as usual, are being too negative.

No, it’s because NBC owns the Golf Channel and, in order to get all the games televised, it needs the platform.

However, some theorize that the network is perversely punishing NHL commissioner Gary Bettman for depriving the network of real Olympic hockey.

In any event, the Ducks are one game away from fairways and greens. They looked range-ready on Monday. They are on the verge of their most wretched playoff performance in their history.

They have not been swept since Detroit in 1999. That was pre-salary cap, and a spending mismatch between Mike Illitch and Disney. The Ducks had done well to even make the playoffs. This is alarmingly different. The Ducks finished ahead of San Jose in the standings. They have crudely validated General Manager Bob Murray’s belief that playoff slotting means nothing. They have scored three goals in three games, two by Hampus Lindholm and Rakell on two of the very few passes that have been directed to the heart of the stick and not the skates.

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The Anaheim Ducks Are A Mess After 8-1 Blowout Loss To The San Jose Sharks

from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,

The ability to win once in this Western Conference quarterfinal series has never been more daunting. A bottomless 8-1 destruction delivered by the Sharks in Game 3 on Monday night put the Ducks on the playoff ledge just three games in, with the waters of elimination waiting below two nights from now.

This was the worst defeat in the franchise’s postseason history. Even with recent excruciating playoff failures, the Ducks’ postseason résumé has been respectable. Two trips to the conference finals in the previous three seasons. Just two playoff sweeps against them in 29 series. Two trips to the Stanley Cup Final, with one glorious title....

“One win,” Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said, visibly fuming. “We got to win a game now. Our focus got to be to win that Game 4 and that’s all we can do.”...

Something is needed. Or maybe something is needed beyond what this group can deliver once this season is done. A team that survived a blistering rash of injuries in the first half of the season managed to survive their mistake-prone play after getting healthier and somehow finished second in the Pacific Division....

Capping the awful night was Getzlaf’s personal meltdown, first sitting for four minutes in the third period to serve slashing and roughing penalties and then essentially being ejected with a 10-minute misconduct. The Ducks were unglued, racking up 20 of their 28 penalty minutes when them the game was lost.

Asked if he let frustration get to him, Getzlaf said, “Yeah. Kevin asking me to leave was a polite way to finish his night,” in referring to referee Kevin Pollock.

“From my perspective, it’s hard to forget what we just did,” Ducks coach Randy Carlyle said. “Very undisciplined. Very disappointed in our reaction in the hockey game. Those are the things we have to address.

“You’re not going to give yourself any kind of an opportunity when you take the number of penalties we took. And I call them selfish penalties.”

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The Anaheim Ducks Now Down 0-2 Heading To San Jose

from Mark Whicker at the OC Register,

It’s a 3-2 league, as Darryl Sutter used to say.

The Ducks had the “two” Saturday night, on a game-opening shot by Jakob Silfverberg that hit a stick and fluttered past Martin Jones, and an indefensible power-play blast into the top right corner by Hampus Lindholm.

Otherwise, scoring goals was like pulling a camel through the eye of a needle. Winning this Western Conference first-round series will be approximately as hard.

This Game 2 loss to San Jose, which dealt the Ducks an 0-2 series deficit,  featured hot effort and cold hard truth. There will always be games like this in the playoffs, when you do almost all you can, and Anaheim did that for most of the second and third period.

But there will periodically be losses in those games, because playoff games are so competitive. Therefore, you can’t afford a no-show like Game One, and now the Ducks have to win four out of five against a team they’ve only beaten once all season.

continued

Below, highlights of the Sharks' 3-2 win over the Ducks.

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Filed in: NHL Teams, Anaheim Ducks, San Jose Sharks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Too Many Penalties Cost The Ducks

from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,

Until now, the story for Evander Kane has been the tale of a talented scorer who wore out his welcome in one hockey-loving city and became a movable asset for another one that had also fallen on hard times.

The Ducks didn’t pay the cost to acquire the left wing and perhaps couldn’t maneuver enough of their pieces to fit in his $5.25 million salary cap number. San Jose had the space to make its play and got him. And the Sharks were the big beneficiary Thursday night in taking back the home-ice advantage they lost.

Kane scored San Jose’s first two goals in a game-changing second period and the Sharks rolled to a 3-0 victory in Game 1 of the first-round Western Conference playoff series in front of a sellout crowd at Honda Center that was willing to get its vocal engine going but had to watch the Ducks put in figurative shackles....

Discipline issues that the Ducks seemed to solve in the season’s second half came back into play and they paid for it. Cogliano and Ryan Getzlaf took slashing penalties 16 seconds apart to give San Jose its third and fourth power plays. They had six in all but the one they scored on was enough.

Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin used the word uncharacteristic, given they had worked to limit the amount of time they play short-handed. “That was one thing about our game plan that we didn’t execute. Obviously way too many penalties,” he said.

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The Anaheim Ducks Are In The Playoffs Again

from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,

Injury, inconsistency and adversity were the anchors tied to the Ducks as they dragged all of that through their most challenging season in recent years but they preached and insisted to anyone listening along the way that they would get in the Stanley Cup playoffs. That was only thing that mattered.

Goal stated. Message received. Point made.

To get into the tournament for a sixth straight year, the Ducks completed their mission Wednesday night as Ondrej Kase snapped a third-period tie with 3:56 remaining and Andrew Cogliano added an empty-net goal in a 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild at Honda Center.

Their five-year run as Pacific Division champions ended but they couldn’t have cared less. Though their final seeding and eventual first-round opponent is still up for grabs over the final two games, the Ducks’ driving focus was on just getting their ticket into the postseason show.

continued

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Cam Fowler Out 2-6 Weeks With A Shoulder Injury

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Big Game Win For The Anaheim Ducks

from Eric Stephens of the OC Register,

In the biggest game to date for both the Kings and Ducks in their respective grinding, challenging seasons, Rickard Rakell became Mr. Big Shot.

To cap a taut, thrilling Freeway Faceoff that was the most meaningful one played between Southern California’s two hockey teams since the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs, Rakell lifted the Ducks to a dramatic 2-1 victory over the Kings on Friday night at Honda Center.

Trapped in a bit of a slump over the last nine games, Rakell got the puck from Brandon Montour in overtime and drove up the ice. Measuring Kings defenseman Alec Martinez, the Ducks’ goal-scoring star took a rising shot that soared past Kings goalie Jonathan Quick toward the top left corner of the net with 19 seconds left.

It was Rakell’s team-leading 32nd and this one carried more importance than any other. His plan was to build up speed and see what the defense was going to give him.

continued

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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