I wrote in Monday’s San Bernardino Sun that the Ducks players and coaches were “going bald scratching their heads” trying to figure out what’s wrong with the team. I might have been jumping the gun a bit with my hyperbole. Turns out I actually knew what I was writing.
On Monday, a day off for the players (Drew Miller had dinner with his brother, Buffalo goalie Ryan), Randy Carlyle reviewed the Edmonton game and did some “deep thinking.” It resulted in an interesting practice. The team did a drill I hadn’t seen before, sprinting full-on, two at a time, from one blue line to the top of the opposite faceoff circles. Over and over. No puck anywhere, just a stick in the hand, sprinting.
The coach’s philosophy: “We just have to try to stimulate more – from an emotional, physical and conditioning aspect – is what we‘re going to try and focus on to get ourselves 10 percent better. We‘re displaying some things that are causing us to think we‘ve lost a little bit of an edge.”
He talked to the players a lot during this practice, more than I’ve ever seen him just stand next to a whiteboard and talk. It’s interesting to note, and probably just a coincidence, that the Kings had a 2-hour off-ice meeting in lieu of a practice over the weekend before playing Edmonton on Sunday night.
So aside from benching Todd Marchant and Shane Hnidy and maybe switching the lines up – check out tomorrow’s notebook – this is how the Ducks are “shaking things up.” For now.