“We think that it’s mentally refreshing to your players to work out, have lunch together, play a little bit of pool, and prepare ourselves for a game tomorrow night against the Nashville Predators,” head coach Randy Carlyle said.
“I just think our compete level, and our commitment to playing more of a defensive structure, has been better,” Carlyle said.
Captain Scott Niedermayer said that he and Carlyle have spent the better part of two weeks discussing “everything you could possibly think of” to try and right the Ducks’ ship. On Wednesday, the laid-back approach was the order of the day.
Hard work on the ice, and commitment to the system, may eventually win out over any drastic personnel moves — or even a coaching change, as has been suggested in the media.
Asked if he thought the team’s confidence in the system ever wavered, Niedermayer said, “I don’t really think that would be the case.”
“Confidence in general; I don’t think necessarily in the system,” he said. “Whether it’s your linemate and yourself, different things like that, can affect how you play and the decisions you make.”
Still, the Ducks’ system — of dumping, grinding, cycling, checking, and generally out-toughing opponents — was among the topics the coach and captain brainstormed.
“We talked about the system, the work ethic, rest,” Niedermayer said. “When a team is playing a system, all 20 guys are playing a system, a lot of different things can be affected.”