It’s only the preseason, but Randy Carlyle could not simply brush this one off. For a moment after the Ducks’ 8-3 loss to the Kings, the coach was at a loss for words.
“We didn’t do anything to start to build on,” Carlyle said. “The
frustration; the lack of discipline, structure; we started to play
outside of our system — you’d almost think we never practiced defensive
zone coverage, when you watch the game the way we played in our own
That’s not putting it kindly because, really, there was no way to. The insults coming from 12,520 tongues in Staples Center were almost as juicy as the rebounds coming off Curtis McElhinney’s chest pad (and there were plenty).
Each goal was a little less excusable than the one before – a 5-on-3 goal by Dustin Brown, a 5-on-4 goal by Wayne Simmonds, a Ryan Smyth backhander off a close-range rebound, a long-distance bomb by Jack Johnson. Those four gave the Kings a 4-0 lead by the end of the first period. Los Angeles held a 23-7 shots advantage after one (the tally was 18-3 at one point). After a slight Anaheim pushback in the second period, the Kings scored four straight goals to take an 8-1 lead midway through the third.
On a night that saw the Ducks’ energy line provide the most offense (the Josh Green to George Parros to Todd Marchant combination proved potent twice), Carlyle couldn’t let this one slide.
“I reacted,” he said. “Not real emotional, from a standpoint of yelling and screaming, it’s just a matter of fact the way we played is unacceptable. The lack of discipline on the first penalty. Next thing you know the momentum of everything swung in their favor. It’s 2-0 and we’re back on our heels.”