The Anaheim Ducks’ struggles began in mid-October, after the team got off to a strong 4-1-0 start. Since then, they are a mere 6-21-6. They have been one of the teams at the forefront of the NHL rumor mill. In late November, there was a rumor that would’ve sent Bobby Ryan to Buffalo, with Ryan Miller’s name being thrown around in there as well.
Days later, with much media speculation, the Ducks fired coach Randy Carlyle and hired Bruce Boudreau, who had been relieved of his duties as head coach of the Washington Capitals just two days earlier.
General Manager Bob Murray, as well as the entire Anaheim Ducks organization, hoped that coaching change would help turn the Ducks season around.
That didn’t happen.
In fact, since the coaching change, there have been even more Ducks-centric rumors. One such rumor includes the Ducks trading away team captain, Ryan Getzlaf, whose season has been lackluster to say the least.
Ryan commented, “Getzy is a guy who wears his heart on his sleeve and the speculation between the three of us (referring to his other line mate Corey Perry) over the past week, month whatever it is, has been exhausting.”
It’s also being speculated that franchise player, Teemu Selanne, is in his “last” season (he’s been returning for “one more year” for the past four years, so no one really knows when he’s going to hang up his skates) might request to be traded to a team in playoff contention so that he has one last shot at winning another Stanley Cup.
Though they have acknowledged various issues throughout the season, the Ducks try not to listen to the rumors that have surrounded their team.
They took to the ice on Friday night to face a rare opponent in the New York Islanders. With both teams having losing records, they both came out with the mentality of trying to turn things around.
However, by halfway point in the first period, there was only one registered shot on goal between the two teams, belonging the Islanders, and the first period ended scoreless.
With just under six minutes remaining in the second, Ryan jammed the puck into the net of Evgeni Nabokov, giving the Ducks a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long as Matt Martin retaliated for the Islanders less than two minutes later.
Tied at one, the game would be up for grabs in the third. A little over six minutes into the third, Kyle Okposo gave the Isles the lead, but the Ducks were not about to give up.
A few minutes after the Okposo goal, Ryan scored his second of the night on a shorthanded attempt.
“Generally, I miss those,” Ryan joked. “It’s nice for me to pull one back to my forehand and get one that goes. It was a great goal to feel good about yourself with.”
Another three minutes later, Getzlaf followed suit with backhanded shot from directly in front of the net, putting the Ducks up 3-2 with just under seven minutes remaining.
Getzlaf mentioned, “It is a relief, but there’s still a task at hand. I’ve got continue forward here now and continue doing things that got me out of it.”
“It was really nice to see him get rewarded,” Ryan added. “Cause he’s putting in the work and he’s doing the right things and he’s being a captain and those are things that people don’t see behind the scenes.”
Later in the period, Selanne sealed the deal for the Ducks and the Ducks won 4-2, just their eleventh win of the season.
“Big boys scored big goals. That’s a good sign,” stated Selanne. “The best players have to be the best players to win in this league. Tonight it worked and we’ll go from there.”
The Ducks will face off against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Honda Center on Sunday evening.