The Anaheim Ducks are holding steady at 2-2-1, but after a 3-1 loss to last year’s cellar-dwelling Colorado Avalanche on Friday, many feel that coach Randy Carlyle might point to their struggling power play, but according to Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register, it’s the team’s inability to adjust to the NHL changes in slashing penalties.
The NHL has made changes to the slashing penalties in order to reduce them due to the number of injuries that have cropped up over the years. However, Anaheim seems to have missed the memo, according to Stephens, who writes that 12 of the 27 penalties the team has taken this year are for slashing, nine of which have come in the last two Ducks’ games and six against the Avalanche on Friday.
“Discipline has got to be adhered to, especially to the rules when they do change,” Carlyle said. “And there is a learning curve. But the learning curve should have taken place during training camp.”
Carlyle went on to suggest the reason the team has so many slashing calls is due to the team playing too much in their own defensive zone. Several players have been hit with multiple infractions, including defensemen Cam Fowler and Brandon Montour as well as forwards Rickard Rakell and Antoine Vermette.
- Stephens, in the same piece, also writes that Ryan Getzlaf, who missed Friday’s game against the Avalanche is an unknown for today’s game against the Sabres. The 32-year-old center aggravated a lower-body injury earlier this year and has only suited up for two games this year. The scribe writes that it wouldn’t be surprising if the team holds him back today since the team has a four-day break before their next game.
- Starting goaltender John Gibson is also questionable for today’s. The veteran was hurt on a shot he took in pre-game warm ups on Friday and he was removed after the first period. Stephens said the injury was to either the hands or wrist, but couldn’t get that confirmed. Journeyman Reto Berra took over since goaltender Ryan Miller was not available.
- Stephen writes that Miller is edging closer to returning to the team and should be ready to dress soon, but it won’t be for tonight, according to The Buffalo News Mike Harrington. Miller, who came over from Vancouver to backup Gibson in the offseason, suffered a wrist injury in the preseason and has not dressed yet for Anaheim.