Why only one year for Carlyle, McNab, and more.

Bob Murray’s contract as general manager of the Ducks runs through the 2011-12 season, and he wanted Randy Carlyle and David McNab to be able to say the same. Nothing more, nothing less.

“My experience has taught me that nobody goes past me,” Murray said on a conference call Tuesday afternoon to announce the contract extensions for Carlyle and McNab. “That goes back to something from a previous job where I was gone and some people were left in some very uncomfortable positions when I was gone. Good and bad. That won’t happen again. I felt bad for some people after I was gone.”

“I’m up at the end of next year, and nobody’s going past mine.”

Continue reading “Why only one year for Carlyle, McNab, and more.” »

Carlyle, McNab extended through 2012.

Randy Carlyle’s seat just grew a bit colder Tuesday.

The head coach, along with Senior Vice President of Hockey Operations David McNab, both received one-year contract extensions that will keep them with the Ducks through 2012.

Carlyle’s job security was questioned after the Ducks stumbled out of the blocks this season, before general manager Bob Murray publicly backed the head coach. Murray put his money where his mouth is Tuesday with Anaheim climbing the Western Conference standings at 16-13-4.

The 54-year-old coach has the most wins and highest winning percentage in Ducks history,
compiling a 235-152-56 record in 443 career NHL games (.594 winning
percentage). Only Buffalo’s Lindy Ruff, Nashville’s Barry Trotz and Detroit’s Mike Babcock have been with their current teams longer.

McNab has been with Anaheim since the organization came into existence in 1993, and has been an NHL scout in some capacity since 1978. He served as the Ducks’ assistant general manager for 14 seasons prior
to his appointment to his current title in Nov. 2008. McNab’s duties
include overseeing all aspects of player development, having an
expertise on the Collective Bargaining Agreement and its relationship to
the salary cap in the NHL, contract and arbitration negotiation, player
evaluation and scouting.

Ducks 6, Wild 2.

It’s not every day that a hockey player proudly displays his stick after scoring a goal – that might be considering taunting in the etiquette-laden NHL – but it’s not every day that a player scores a goal with an opponent’s stick either.

Bobby Ryan’s second-period goal and celebration, after scoring with Mikko Koivu’s stick, will be the lasting memory from the Ducks’ win Sunday at Honda Center.

It was almost enough to overshadow the first career hat trick for Corey Perry, which included his first career penalty shot in the second period. Perry also scored 19 seconds into the game for the fourth-fastest goal from the start of a game in franchise history.

The line of Ryan (goal, two assists, +4), Perry (three goals, two assists, +3), and Ryan Getzlaf (two goals, assist, +3) accounted for all of the Ducks’ scoring. Defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky had a pair of assists.

Jonas Hiller needed only 20 saves for the win. More details in tomorrow’s editions.

Voros to miss 3-4 weeks; Koivu out with flu.

The Ducks announced that left wing Aaron Voros won’t have surgery to repair the broken orbital bone that he suffered on Wednesday in a fight with Vancouver’s Kevin Bieksa, but the team will be without Voros’ services for the next 3-4 weeks.

Meanwhile, Saku Koivu (flu) and Teemu Selanne (groin) will not skate against the Minnesota Wild.

Early in the first period, here are the Ducks’ top three lines:

Bobby Ryan – Ryan Getzlaf – Corey Perry
Brandon McMillan – Todd Marchant – Dan Sexton
Jason Blake – Nick Bonino – Joffrey Lupul

Marchant and Perry are both wearing the alternate captain’s “A”s that normally belong to Koivu and Selanne.

Bonino doing everything except scoring.

You don’t need to remind Nick Bonino about his stat line.

How closely does he track it?

“Pretty closely,” the 22-year-old center said Saturday. “It’s frustrating not having a point.”

For a man with no goals and no assists, it’s almost a surprise that Bonino has been a fixture on the so-called “kid line” in Anaheim. The kids on the wing have changed frequently, but the center position has been locked up since Bonino was recalled from the American Hockey League in early November. He’s only been scratched once in 20 games, averaging 9:42 in ice time per contest.

Only one player in the entire NHL – Kings defenseman Matt Greene – has played in more games than Bonino without picking up a goal or an assist. Among forwards, only new York Islanders tough guy Trevor Gillies has played as many games without a point.

The reason Randy Carlyle keeps penciling in Bonino is simple.
Continue reading “Bonino doing everything except scoring.” »

Ducks 3, Calgary 2, SO.

The Ducks squandered a two-goal lead, didn’t score or allow a goal in overtime, then rolled the dice in the shootout. Sound familiar?

Friday’s 3-2 win over the Calgary Flames followed the same script as Anaheim’s last two outings, a win in Edmonton and a loss in Vancouver.

Lubomir Visnovsky and Dan Sexton scored in the first and second periods, respectively, to stake the Ducks to a 2-0 lead. After goals by Olli Jokinen and David Moss knotted the game at 2 in the third period, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry scored in the shootout to seal the win. Hiller preserved the victory with a glove save on Rene Bourque on the other end after Perry’s goal in the third shootout round.

The Ducks have gained points in their last three games, and in six of their last eight. But about squandering those two-goal leads …

“The problem is we start thinking too much about it,
instead of just playing,” Hiller said. “We’re thinking about what could happen. It’s a
mental game. We have to do better and we’re going to work on it.”

Continue reading “Ducks 3, Calgary 2, SO.” »

Tough week for Voros; Sexton recalled.

Kevin Bieksa did more than merely win his second-period fight with Aaron Voros on Wednesday in Vancouver.

Voros sustained a broken orbital bone in the fight, putting the forward back on injured reserve after only one game back from a bout with the flu. Right wing Dan Sexton has been recalled from Syracuse of the American Hockey League. He could be called to fill in tonight if Teemu Selanne’s nagging groin injury causes him to miss his third game in the past week.

Here is the video of the Bieksa-Voros bout in Vancouver:

Vancouver 5, Ducks 4.

Curtis McElhinney’s misfortune was just the opening the Vancouver Canucks needed.

In the midst of a stellar performance, McElhinney was knocked out when he was struck in the head by Christian Ehrhoff’s shot in the third period. Adding insult to injury, Daniel Sedin scored when the puck bounced right to him off McElhinney’s mask, Ryan Kesler scored on Jonas Hiller in the final minute to tie the game at 4, and Jeff Tambellini potted the game-winner in the shootout.

The surprising turn of events left the Ducks with a tough shootout loss in a game they led 4-2 with eight minutes left in the third period. It also left them without their backup goaltender, at least temporarily, heading into Friday’s game in Anaheim against the Calgary Flames.

McElhinney stopped 24 of 27 and was in line for his third win of the season after goals by Corey Perry, Joffrey Lupul, Teemu Selanne and Cam Fowler.

Kesler’s third-effort goal, with Vancouver skating 6-on-5 with 22 seconds left in the third period, was the only goal Hiller allowed on 13 shots in 12:18 of relief. Tambellini scored the only goal for either side in the shootout.

Lupul’s goal was his first of the season in his third game back. It came one year to the day after his last NHL goal on Dec. 8, 2009, in what proved to be Lupul’s last game of the season.

Todd Marchant had a pair of assists, and Selanne, Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Lubomir Visnovsky and Paul Mara had one helper each.
Continue reading “Vancouver 5, Ducks 4.” »

Voros up, Beleskey down.

The Ducks activated Aaron Voros from injured reserve Wednesday and sent Matt Beleskey back to AHL affiliate Syracuse. Voros, who had been battling the flu, accompanied the Ducks on their two-game road trip, which continues tonight in Vancouver.

Beleskey kept mostly fourth-line left wing duty in his second go-around in Anaheim this season. He went scoreless in three games, with two penalty minutes and a minus-2 rating.

Voros, who hasn’t played since Nov. 29, has no points in 10 games this season.

Ducks 3, Edmonton 2, shootout.

Cam Fowler scored his second game-winning goal of the season in the 10th shootout round, ending the Ducks’ losing streak with one shot in Edmonton.

Joffrey Lupul scored on the Ducks’ first shootout attempt and Taylor Hall answered in the third round, before Jonas Hiller and Nikolai Khabibulin put on a clinic to extend the shootout into the 10th round. That’s when Fowler got the call. On his first NHL shootout attempt, the 19-year-old defenseman fired a hard shot into the upper-right corner to end the game.

“I obviously don’t have the best hands out on the ice. I just wanted to put a good shot on net and give myself the opportunity to score. I think my best opportunity was just to shoot the puck.”

Returning from a two-game layoff while he rested a sore groin, Teemu Selanne had a goal and an assist. He dished to linemate Saku Koivu in the second period – the Ducks’ first goal in their last seven periods – and backhanded a rebound past Khabibulin to give Anaheim a 2-0 lead early in the third.

But the Ducks ran out of gas, a dangerous proposition against the young and fast Oilers. Goals by Ryan Jones and former Duck Dustin Penner in the game’s final 10 minutes tied the game at 2. Anaheim couldn’t take advantage of a power-play in the final three minutes.

Hiller made 34 saves and Khabibulin made 30 for the Oilers, who had won five straight.