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Ducks road trip starts with milestone for Coach Randy Carlyle

October 25, 2011 |  1:05 pm

Randy Carlyle said he didn't know Tuesday's game at the Chicago Blackhawks marked his 500th as Anaheim Ducks coach until an autograph-seeker at the team hotel congratulated him en route to the morning skate.

That's what two straight losses and Tuesday's start of a critical, seven-game trip can do. Along those lines of tunnel-vision focus, Carlyle met briefly with both the defensemen and forwards to review recent slippages in play before the Ducks took the United Center ice to prepare for the Blackhawks.

"We just went over some of the things that transpired over the last couple of games, some of the things that ail us as a hockey club," Carlyle said. "We won’t have a chance at success unless we correct them. It wasn’t pointing any fingers. I wasn’t hard on anybody other than the fact that this is what’s happening and what we see.

"You tell me any different. If I’m providing you something you disagree with, let’s talk about it. That’s what we did -- very short, seven or eight clips for the defense. There were 10 clips for the forwards. Just a refresher of what’s going on out there."

As is his custom, Carlyle wouldn't reveal whether Jonas Hiller or Dan Ellis would start in goal. He wouldn't say whether left wing Patrick Maroon, recalled from Syracuse on Monday, would see any ice time.

What Carlyle would acknowledge is that the Blackhawks pose a stiff test at the start of such a daunting trip.

"We always take the same approach: I know it’s a cliché but this is the most important one," Carlyle said. "We’re playing a very good hockey team. We know they will come with a four-man rush. We know they’ve moved their scoring around with the creation of [Patrick] Kane in the middle. They’ve found combinations they’re happy with. Their groupings on defense are solid. And they have their goalie back. There are a lot of things to like about their team. We have to be prepared to match their energy and skill set."


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-- K.C. Johnson in Chicago

Photo: Randy Carlyle. Credit: Jonathan Nackstrand / AFP / Getty Images