Carlyle: "People don't forget those things"
After Saturday's 5-2 shellacking of Anaheim, Ducks Head Coach Randy Carlyle had some choice words for Sharks Head Coach Todd McLellan, specifically concerning his use of his top offensive players on a 5v3 power play late in the second period:
"It was 5-0 and you’ve got Joe Thornton and you got Patrick Marleau and you’ve got Heatley and you’ve got Boyle and you’ve got [Joe] Pavelski on the ice," he said. "People don’t forget those things."
It's a strange quote, one probably born of frustration more than anything-- the Ducks have struggled out of the gate once again this season, going 4-7-1, and have had issues trying to find their team identity. At this point in the season he's likely trying to play damage control in the locker room, defending his players as not to allow the negative feelings of a subpar start creep into their collective consciousness and begin to effect their on-ice performance. In other words, it has less to do with McLellan's decision to put out Thornton on the power play during a blowout and more to do with the Ducks own performance in Saturday's game.
Anaheim has struggled immensely in the penalty department over the last four years, consistently leading the league in heading to the sin bin. It's something that has become a point of contention amongst the Anaheim community, and if the team continues to struggle with being undisciplined from Corey Perry on down, one has to wonder if Randy Carlyle's job as a Head Coach could be in jeopardy.
Anaheim Ducks Penalty Woes
|Year ||GP||Minors ||Majors ||PIM ||PIM/Game|
| 2010-2011 ||12 ||64 (2nd) ||16 (1st) ||258 (1st) ||21.8 (1st) |
| 2009-2010 ||82 ||389 (4th) ||79 (2nd) ||1317 (3rd) ||16.1 (3rd) |
| 2008-2009 ||82 ||442 (2nd) ||82 (1st) ||1418 (1st) ||17.4 (2nd) |
| 2007-2008 ||82 ||480 (1st) ||69 (3rd) ||1465 (1st) ||18.1 (1st) |
Anaheim has always been a team that toed the line physically, and with a blueline of Chris Pronger and Scott Niedermayer, they were able to do so considering those two players adeptness in their own end. But with the Ducks in a rebuilding phase, and the defensive pairings filled with some less notable names, continuously going to the box has been a real issue for the team.
If discipline is a product of the coaching staff, there's little doubt that Carlyle has some work to do in practice. Especially if he wants to avoid another situation next Tuesday where McLellan has the option of putting Thornton out on the power play in a blowout game.