Originally posted on Red Light District Hockey  |  Last updated 12/13/11

At 8-16-5, the Anaheim Ducks are not where they’d like to be in mid-December. With a new coach behind the bench and a refreshed atmosphere in the room, the Ducks hope they can turn things around quickly.

Just hours after a win against Montreal, the Ducks pulled the plug on Randy Carlyle as coach and immediately hired Bruce Boudreau. Two weeks later, Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf has liked the change.

“It’s been a good thing,” Getzlaf said. “Our group has a little more rejuvenation and energy and I think we’re adapting well to the system. It’s going to be good for us down the stretch.”

Boudreau was thrown into the fire just days (hours?) after being fired in Washington. He said the last couple weeks have been a whirlwind, but “it’s getting back to a little bit of normalcy now. I still have a bed to sleep in every night, so that’s good. It’s just a different one.”

According to a handful of players, the practices have a training camp-like feel with the coaching change.

“The more practice time, the better,” Boudreau said. “That’s why training camps last as long as they do, and you still don’t have everything in training camp. It’s a vital part of growing as a team.”

Getzlaf mentioned that there hasn’t been much of a system change between Carlyle and Boudreau.

“There’s a little more aggression and different things that we’re doing now that we weren’t doing before,” he said. “Overall it’s not a whole lot different. There are little areas where we need to make adjustments and those are things that take a little time getting used to.”

With just 21 points in 29 games, the Ducks realize that they are looking at a steep uphill climb if they wish to get into the playoffs. They would have to have a record something along the lines of 34-13-6 to get to the 95-point benchmark, the assumed minimum to crack the top eight in a difficult Western Conference.

“With the coaching change we’ve got a guy that has come in and made us look forward and say ‘This is where we are, this where I’m coming into the team at,’” forward Bobby Ryan said in an RLD interview this weekend. “Now we understand what needs to be done. We’re just trying to attack each day and each game as a different opportunity to gain some points.”

A 2-12-4 stretch from Oct. 21 to Nov. 27 essentially paralyzed the Ducks’ playoff hopes before the calendar flipped to December.

“Coming to the rink in that span was very tough,” Ryan said. “I think we’ve turned the corner and we’re finally looking forward.”

Photo credit: Getty Images
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