Found November 15, 2011 on Fox Sports:
In a perfect world the Anaheim Ducks would only be required to show up for the third period and begin their season in February. Ever since their Stanley Cup season in 2006-07, the Ducks, like clockwork, have gotten off to slow starts. Their record through 17 games the past five seasons is a combined 36-38-11. That includes a 6-8-3 start to this season, with only two victories in their past 12 games after Sunday's dud, a 3-2 loss to the Minnesota Wild at home. Expectations were hardly grand for Anaheim this season, yet it has managed to become one of the early disappointments this season. A team with Hart Trophy winner Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne ranks dead last in scoring at two goals a game. The Ducks have given up the first goal nine times in 17 games and their third-ranked power play unit from last season is 23rd. On Sunday they fell into a 3-0 hole against the 29th-worst scoring team in the league, and there weren't many answers given in a funereal locker room afterward. "I don't know what we're doing wrong in our preparation, but it's got to change," Selanne said. "We all feel that we can play well, but we just have to find a way to do it. Right now it's just costing us games. Forty minutes is not enough. You pretty much get what you deserve." Selanne pointed out the worst-kept secret within the Ducks: They lack confidence, and when the opposition takes an early lead they fold like a tent. Coach Randy Carlyle last week called on his veterans to help them dig out of this hole. Not much more can be asked from Selanne, who leads the team in scoring with 15 points. But the inconsistency of the Ryan-Getzlaf-Perry line, often tabbed as the best in the NHL, is an issue. When they don't score Anaheim is exposed as a top-heavy team that wobbles badly when its No. 1 line isn't firing. Getzlaf and Perry have a combined two goals the past eight games while Ryan has three goals in his past 13. "We're leaning heavily on those people to play to a higher level," Carlyle said. "As an organization and coaching staff, we're not dumping on those guys. It's just that our results are driven by the core of your group and those are your core players. We have to find a way to motivate, stimulate to get this group to play to a higher level than what they're playing at now. That's what's frustrating for everybody because we know what kind of players they are. We've had them for a number of years. We've had them through thick and thin. These are the type of players you want on your side." History suggests that the line will get going, but the path getting there comes with another uphill hike to at least Christmas. "On paper you look at this team and we should be doing a lot better than we are," defenseman Cam Fowler said. "The paper only says so much. It's up to us right now to rally around each other and really get behind each other ... it starts on Wednesday. We should be going into those games like Stanley Cup Finals Game 7." General manager Bob Murray isn't one to stand still during turmoil and his loyalty to Carlyle is unquestioned. Murray made a small move Monday when he claimed three-time 20-goal scorer Niklas Hagman on re-entry waivers. The Ducks could also use a defenseman because they don't have an NHL-ready blue line prospect in their system, and Anaheim has a cadre of young forwards that could serve as movable pieces if it continues a start that is poor by the low standards. Selanne returned for his 18th season at 41 because he was having too much fun. After the game Sunday, he sat at his stall in an empty Ducks locker room and appeared glum in front of a small group of local media. "It's funny," he said. "We work really hard and you think you're back and then it's another disappointment after that. We just have to get everything out on the game days." But the ever-optimistic Selanne struck such a tone. "We can do better, way better, and we're going to do it. I'm still very, very positive about this group. I know these guys. We will do it," he said. Pacific Division notes: Dallas joined Anaheim as Pacific teams to lose a key defenseman with Alex Goligoski's broken thumb that will keep him out about a month. Goligoski suffered the injury during the first period of a 3-1 loss in Pittsburgh on Friday. . . . Look for Los Angeles to get its offense going as Drew Doughty gets back up to speed. Kings coach Terry Murray acknowledged that Doughty was significantly set back from his late signing and subsequent injury but Doughty has two goals and five points with a plus-1 rating over his past five games. . . . San Jose made it a point to improve its 24th-ranked penalty killing unit from last season but it has gotten worse with a 27th-ranked unit that allowed the game-tying goal in a 4-3 overtime loss against Nashville on Nov. 5. . . . Remember Patrick O'Sullivan, the former 20-goal scorer who is with his fifth team in six seasons? O'Sullivan has carved out a fourth-line role with Phoenix and he got a goal in a 3-0 win against San Jose last Saturday that also was Mike Smith's first shutout as a Coyote.

Perry Struggling To Follow Up MVP Season

Corey Perry may have won the MVP in 2010/11 but he isn’t looking like he will be in the running this year.  After 17 games played he has 11 points.  This puts him on pace for a 53 point season, which would be his lowest total since 2006/07. Perry has become the target for his opposition.  Teams have keyed in on him more than his teammates - especially Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu...

Home-and-home series might just fire up the Kings and Ducks

Projected to compete for the Pacific Division and Western Conference lead, the Kings and Ducks instead are struggling for stability as they prepare for their first encounters this season, a home-and-home series that begins Wednesday at Staples Center. The Kings, still seeking production from their bottom six forwards, have won three of their last 10 games. Their efforts have been...

Ducks Make Moves; Prepare for Kings

Having won only two games in the past 12, the Ducks will need to do something, fast, to turn things around.  Nothing like a good old-fashioned rivalry with the team up the road to get you motivated!The Ducks will play the Los Angeles Kings in a back to back series on Wednesday at Staples Center and then Thursday night at the Honda Center.  There will be no time to lose momentum...

Ducks Reassign Holland to Syracuse

The Ducks have reassigned center Peter Holland to the Syracuse Crunch, Anaheim’s primary development affiliate in the American Hockey League (AHL). Holland, 20 (1/14/91), appeared in four contests with Anaheim this season, scoring 1-0=1 p...

Puck Daddy chats with Bobby Ryan about the Ducks’ struggles

It's not been the best three weeks for the Anaheim Ducks, who are 6-8-3 heading into their Battle of California matchup with the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night. They're 2-5-3 in their last 10 games, including a 1-2 homestand after a long Eastern Conference road trip. A bit more concerning: Jonas Hiller is 5-7-3 in 15 games with a rather large 3.10 GAA; meanwhile,...

Ducks Recall Guenin, Jacques from Syracuse

Guenin Jacques The Ducks have recalled defenseman Nate Guenin and left wing Jean-Francois Jacques from the Syracuse Crunch, Anaheim’s pri...

Ducks-Kings Preview

With some of the best forwards in the game, the Anaheim Ducks' scoring woes certainly come as a surprise. Things aren't about to get any easier with a home-and-home set against one of the league's stingiest defenses. The Ducks try to avoid an eighth loss in nine games when they visit the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday night. Three-time 30-goal scorer Bobby Ryan, two...

Ducks claim Hagman off re-entry waivers

The Anaheim Ducks claimed veteran left wing Niklas Hagman off of re-entry waivers on Monday

Offensively challenged Ducks pick up Hagman

In a bid to drum up more offense on a team that ranks last in the NHL in scoring, the Anaheim Ducks on Monday claimed left wing Niklas Hagman on re-entry waivers from the Calgary Flames.

Kings-Ducks Preview

The Los Angeles Kings appear to be putting a rough stretch behind them. The Anaheim Ducks are still mired in the middle of their own. The Kings look to sweep a home-and-home set on consecutive days against the Ducks for the first time Thursday night when the teams meet in Anaheim. Los Angeles (9-6-3) has won three of four following a season-high five-game losing streak (0-3-2...

Five Reasons To Vote San Jose

Winning is always fun, but the car is more important - Teemu Selanne on the All- Star game The NHL All-Star game is something fans look forward to each year. Personally, I am tired of seeing the same guys each and every year. Not only that, I feel that each team should be represented in the game itself, and not just for the skills competition. So here are five reasons for why...
NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.