With the Ducks losing their 11th consecutive game on Sunday night, there is speculation big changes are coming including thoughts of a new coach and trades.
The Anaheim Ducks are in the middle of a free fall down the NHL standings. Losers of 11 in a row — thanks to an overtime loss on Sunday versus the Winnipeg Jets — the team is now out of the WildCard race in the Western Conference and letting teams in the Pacific Division who shouldn't be competing, compete. The Athletic’s Eric Duhatschek wrote on Friday that the team sees this is a “critical time”. If they can't right the ship, the season is lost, even if and when some of the better players who have been out of their lineup return.
The first thing that has happened in Anaheim is that blame has shifted towards coaching, namely head coach, Randy Carlyle. Carlyle is on his second tour with the organization and seems unable to fix the troubles plaguing the team. On paper, Anaheim should be better than they've played and his inability to shift things may just cost him his job.
Duhatschek also wrote that certain players may be in jeopardy of being traded. "They need to prove that this collection of the team can get it going. Otherwise, change is coming and it could start with the valuable two-way forward, Jakob Silfverberg," he explained. He added that these someone like Silfverberg may be "available at the deadline because he is on an expiring contract and the Ducks are deep on the right side."
After the Ducks 11th loss, GM Bob Murray tweeted:
"While it's not my preference to make comments on this topic during the season... At this time, I am not considering a coaching change. I am more focused on our players, specifically with who is going to step up in this situaiton... we have higher expectations for this group, and they should expect more from themselves."
A statement from Executive Vice President and General Manager Bob Murray. pic.twitter.com/UyocDVbmjJ— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) January 14, 2019
What This Means
With a couple more losses and if the players don't step up, Anaheim will have to be considered a “seller” heading into the February 25, 2019, trade deadline. Ducks' GM Bob Murray will need to consider moving impending free agents like Silfverberg, depth pieces from their goaltending and prospect pool and changing the coach to send a message that the results of the team simply aren't good enough.