The Anaheim Ducks are in a tailspin right now, but head coach Randy Carlyle isn’t going anywhere.
In a statement released late Sunday after the team’s 11th consecutive loss, GM Bob Murray says he’s not considering a coaching change right now and is more focused on holding his players accountable.
“While it’s not my preference to make comments on this topic during the season, our recent play has led to many questions. Our fans are frustrated and rightfully so, and deserve a response from me,” Murray said in his statement.
“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 situation. The way we played tonight was a step in the right direction, but we need much, much more. We have higher expectations for this group, and they should expect more from themselves.”
Hours after releasing the statement, Murray acquired centre Devin Shore from the Dallas Stars for winger Andrew Cogliano on Monday.
The Ducks have a 0-7-4 record since they won four games in a row from Dec. 9-17. After their last win, 4-2 over the Pittsburgh Penguins, the team had 43 points and sat second in the Pacific Division, two points ahead of the San Jose Sharks and three ahead of the Vegas Golden Knights.
But after picking up only four points in their last 11 games, the Ducks woke up Monday morning tied with the Minnesota Wild and Vancouver Canucks for the final wild card spot in the Western Conference, but on the outside of the playoffs because the Wild have played two less games.
On top of that, the Calgary Flames, Sharks and Golden Knights are all 8-1-1 in their last 10, giving them all a 13 or more point cushion over the fourth place Ducks in the division.
The Ducks have also struggled to score this season. The team is currently 30th in the 31 team league with 112 goals, and have a minus-28 goal-deferential. Captain Ryan Getzlaf leads the team in scoring with 31 points, tied with Arizona’s Clayton Keller and the Kings’ Anze Kopitar for the lowest point total needed to lead a team in points.
Despite all the negativity hovering around the Ducks recently, the team remained mostly positive in their comments after Sunday’s 4-3 overtime loss to the Winnipeg Jets.
“Obviously, now with the stuff that we’re going through, people are only looking at the results,” defenceman Cam Fowler said Sunday. “But we came in here, we played a great road game. If we continue to do that and we continue to put forth the effort we did tonight, then we’ll climb our way out of this thing.”
“You just have to multiply and duplicate efforts like tonight,” Carlyle said. “Because if we do that, we’ll have success. And I think we can do some things better.”
The Ducks hired Carlyle in June of 2016, giving him a second chance to lead the team he won the Stanley Cup with in 2007. Anaheim has gone 109-66-35 in the two and a half seasons since Carlyle returned, including a 19-18-9 record this season.
The Ducks’ next chance to snap their losing streak will come Tuesday night in Detroit against the Red Wings, the second game on a five-game road trip.