The attention garnered by (individually) and the ‘s pointless seasonColumbus Blue Jackets’ pointless season (collectively) has overshadowed some of the other stumbles out of the NHL starting gate.
Until they got on the board in Sunday’s 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild, the Anaheim Ducks (1-3-1) had gone 173 minutes and 12 seconds without scoring. Through five games, only two Ducks — depth forward Mike Santorelli and defenceman Hampus Lindholm — have registered multiple points this season.
Chances are, someone in your hockey pool is cursing Perry right now.
The 30-year-old wing has one 50-goal campaign to his name and has racked 30 or more five times. Yet his current goal slump is his longest since November 2013.
“I’m not worried about his goal scoring. I know when he gets one, he’ll get more than one,” head coach Bruce Boudreau told Hockey Central at Noon Monday.
“I’ve seen Corey Perry go into areas where it’s 10 games and he doesn’t score a goal, then all of a sudden he scores seven in his next five. Just like I saw Alex [Ovechkin] do that in Washington: a 10-game slide, then all of a sudden he scored 10 goals in the next five games. That’s what goal scorers do.”
Goal scorers also shoot, something Perry hasn’t done much of thus far. With just six shots through five games, Perry ranks 11th on his team in pucks fired.
The solution to offensive slump-busting is as simple as it is ugly, according to Boudreau. Bully your way within five feet of the crease. Dig for tip-ins and rebounds.
“We preach shooting and going to the net,” the coach said. “You’re not going to get the pretty goal if you wait for it to happen. You have to go out and make it happen.”
In spite of Anaheim’s ultimate goal of winning a Stanley Cup, Boudreau explained that he has adopted a “win the week” philosophy for this short-attention-span generation.
“If you do 20 minutes of video now, you’ve lost everybody. You’ve got to be short and to the point,” Boudreau said.
A fresh week begins Thursday in Nashville for the Ducks, who are embarking on a nasty five-game, Central Division road swing against a series of opponents with winning records.
“It’s tough to make the playoffs. You can ask the L.A. Kings, the Sharks, all the Western teams that were supposed to make it last year,” Boudreau said.
“We’ve got to play better on this road trip or we’re in trouble.”
You move, Mr. Perry.