3 Straight Losses: GM? Coach? Players?

Posted: 02/21/2011 by bc in Uncategorized

When you lose 3 straight as ugly as our Ducks have lost 3 straight there is plenty of shared responsibility. There is not attempt here in this post to suggest one person or one aspect of the team is any more or less responsible than another person or part of the team.

What does absolutely amaze though is how fragile this team seems to be. You’d think that after a 14-4 run the team would had experienced enough positive reinforcement that the wheels would simply not fall off.Obviously all that positive reinforcement is for naught. It didn’t happen. It was a feel good but something has been lacking. These Ducks were outside of the playoffs, not much above .500 in wins and P%. Then Hiller got hot. As I’ve stated before, great goaltending can make any coach look like a genius. Great goaltending can hide a lot of ills.

Our Ducks survived Getzlaf missing 15 or so games. The guys did what all winning teams do when a great player foes down with an injury. Notice that the Penguins are still winning without Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Our Ducks players like the Pens have each stepped up and picked up the slack.

How do you pick up for a great goalie? The Leafs haven’t been the same since age retired Eagle. The Sabres haven’t been a contender since Hasek left town, despite Ryan Miller’s heroics.

What seems to be going on with our Ducks is that everybody is trying to make a difference individually. At today’s practice  Andy Sutton told the OCR’s Curtis Zupke, “In my mind there was a little bit too much individualism and not enough collective work being done.”

Sadly, Sutton’s explanation is the only explanation that makes any sense. Consider (1) that the turnovers are at least in some significant part the result of trying to force the play, (2) That all of the beats in one on one situations are in some significant part the result of playing the puck and not the man and this goes for tying up opposition sticks as well, (3) the goaltending is also symptomatic of this over reliance on individual effort. McElhinney is getting beat in significant part because he’s protecting the goal line and staying way too deep in the net. Timo got beat a few times because he came out too far and over challenged, (4) Our suddenly PP challenged units can’t make a play either. Again soem great individual efforts but a play? It hasn’t been there.

The reason this is sad is that Andy Sutton can’t do anything about it. Randy Carlyle can but RC’s answer today is going back to the basics. A review of what worked previously will ONLY work now IF the review is focused on team/unit – support/structure and less upon individual effort. Hopefully this is exactly what Randy Carlyle did in practice today.

We’ll see the result of Randy Carlyle’s coaching effort Wednesday night. Can we stop the slide?

  1. buick22 says:

    Scary that Sutton, and Lydman were the only ones that knew what went wrong, I thought Lydman was out of position a lot during the STL game, but I am guessing he was scrambling to cover someone else’s assignment, they don’t show long enough replays to see the play developing, and by the 6th goal I was barely watching.. The rotating D pairings has to stop… the system broke down…and then spread like wildfire to the forwards. I t was the wrong kind of desperation…but three games in a row? Hopefully two full practices in two days will repair it, and Mac can have a redemption game to forget the media, and terrible bounces, and breakaways he has keeping him up at night.

    • BackCheck says:

      Amazing, eh bujick22. The D pairings weren’t broke until Carlyle changed them. McMillan, Sexton & Lappiere were doing just fine then Carlyle broke up the 3rd line and the 4th line as a result of dressing 7 D.

      The 1st unit PP doesn’t score on a couple opportunities so Carlyle breaks that up. If you tour Ducks sites it’s all about Hiller and the D. Carlyle as usual is given a pass on his contribution to the mess.

      And oh yeah, Sutton & Lydman get it but Randy Carlyle hasn’t shown us that he gets it.

  2. czhokej says:

    It’s amazing that you predicted it, bc (changes of the line-up, changes of the system).

    • BackCheck says:

      Naw not amazing cz. I just trusted Carlyle to maintain his established behavioral pattern. Like a serial killer ‘cept Carlyle is buzz kill.

  3. czhokej says:

    When I play with somebody, I need to know how he reads the play, and be on the same page with that person. Then I don’t need to look for my line-mate all the time, I know he is in a position where I expect him to be. Beauch said it well, and that RC’s statement about 7 Ds – “It gives us more options” was really odd.

    • BackCheck says:

      According to the OCR, our Ducks had another extended practice yesterday. We will see in a couple hours if RC is able to address the issues challenging this team.

      Like cz notes above, you know want to know where your teammates are out there. When you execute support the puck when you have the biscuit and out man the opposition at the point of attack when you don’t, positioning seems to just fall into place. Hockey is all about geometry.

      After that it is all about winning the one on one battles. What they call the game within the game. You keep inside position on your opponent you’re a very difficult player to beat on any play. Get 18 guys winning inside position and it very unlikely that your team loses.

      so let’s what Carlyle has accomplished in two days of extended practices:

      -Are opponents still jumping into passing lanes and intercepting passes?
      -are we running 6 D and 4 lines or 7 D and rotating a forward on the 4th line?
      -Is the team executing, what’s Carlyle’s word, oh yeah executing structurally?

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