More changes in store for Ducks?

After the Ducks’ 4-2 loss to the Dallas Stars last Wednesday, head coach Randy Carlyle promised changes ahead. The subsequent injury that forced center Ryan Carter to IR, as well as right wing Evgeny Artyukhin’s three-game suspension, forced the coach’s hand on a pair of lineup changes. Petteri Nokelainen has taken Carter’s spot in the three games since, and Matt Beleskey has filled in at right wing for Artyukhin.

Carlyle has also alternated Bobby Ryan between the first, second and (at least on Monday) third lines; returned Luca Sbisa to his juniors club in Lethbridge, Alberta; and shuffled Nick Boynton and Sheldon Brookbank in and out of the defensive rotation.

None of it has resulted in a win, however, and the Dallas loss looked downright pretty in comparison to a 6-3 thrashing at the hands of winless Toronto on Monday. Are more changes in store?

“We’re looking at it and saying, ‘maybe we should change this, maybe we should change that’ — and when you’re emotional after a game like this, it’s hard to pinpoint,” Carlyle said. “I don’t want to say anything that would perceive panic because it’s not a panic mode. It’s an understanding that we can’t accept the way we played tonight.”

The players seem to get that message. And although panic doesn’t seem to have set in, Monday’s starting goaltender, Jonas Hiller, seemed to express a sense of hopelessness.

“I don’t really see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Hiller said. “Once we feel like we’re going, boom, we take the next goal against and we’re back in the hole again. It’s tough right now. I wish I had a solution to get out, but hockey’s a game of confidence. (We have to) trust each other and I don’t think that’s what we do right now.

“Everybody thinks ‘I have to do everything,’ and everybody thinks the other guy does it, and nobody really takes the whole thing in his hand and carries us, carries the team.”

This entry was posted in Anaheim Ducks/NHL by J.P. Hoornstra. Bookmark the permalink.

About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.

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