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Category: Randy Carlyle

Ex-Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle: Experience was positive, firing wasn't

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Randy Carlyle, who coached the Ducks to the Stanley Cup in 2007 but was fired Wednesday because of the team's prolonged struggles, said Saturday he has been traveling "an emotional road" since his dismissal and will take a brief fishing trip to Northern California before considering his hockey future.

"We'll see," he said when asked if he expects to coach in the NHL again. "I'm working on putting one foot in front of another for the next couple of days."

Carlyle's last game was a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday, which ended the Ducks' seven-game losing streak. However, General Manager Bob Murray had decided that no matter the outcome, he would dismiss Carlyle and replace him with Bruce Boudreau, the former Washington Capitals coach.

Boudreau lost his Ducks debut when the team squandered a three-goal lead and lost, 4-3, in overtime Friday. It was much like many of the games Carlyle coached this season, in fact, with a team that lacks depth and discipline.

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Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau ready for more 'firsts'

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Newly hired Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau will experience a series of "firsts" while he settles in, and Friday brought the chance to check two more firsts off his list.

Boudreau, who conducted his first Ducks practice on Thursday, led players Friday through their first morning skate with him in charge. He will make his Ducks coaching debut Friday night at Honda Center against the Philadelphia Flyers, alongside new assistants Brad Lauer and Bob Woods.

His players enjoyed a first on Friday too: They were smiling and laughing in the locker room for the first time in a long time.

"Bruce has brought some good energy to the team. He's really an uplifting guy," defenseman Cam Fowler said. "He's positive, and he's made it fun to come to the rink every day."

Enforcer George Parros, who played for Boudreau in the American Hockey League when both were in the Kings' minor-league system, said he remembered Boudreau's positive attitude and honesty.

"What you see is what you get with him. We all watched him on the 24/7 shows," Parros said, referring to the HBO series last winter that featured an unfiltered Boudreau preparing the Washington Capitals to play in the Winter Classic. "We all got a good look at him. He's that person. There's no hiding how he is emotionally. He's a positive, upbeat guy, and he coaches to win. He's a good coach.”

Boudreau was often heard yelling “Move it!” during drills to remind players to maintain a fast pace.

"Look at all the good teams. They play an up-tempo game," he said. "You've got to be able to move the puck. Not just necessarily your legs but moving the puck quick can make slow teams look fast, and if we can get that in our repertoire, I think we’ll be better."

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Ducks road trip starts with milestone for Coach Randy Carlyle

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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.

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Ducks chatter before Game 5 vs. Nashville

Photo: Anaheim Ducks left wing Jason Blake, 33, challenges Nashville Predators defensman Kevin Klein, 8, for the puck during the third period. Credit: Don McPeak / U.S. PRESSWIRE.

Assorted leftover notes and quotes from a brief visit on Thursday to the Ducks' HQ:

Rookie defenseman Cam Fowler on Teemu Selanne's tough-love words after the Ducks' Game 3 loss at Nashville, words we can't use here, not even in this free-flowing blog.

"We know that he is a great guy, and he's always got a smile on his face," Fowler said. "He's the most intense competitor that I've ever been around. We needed somebody to step up and say something. It wasn't just him, but he definitely had a lot to say to us and when somebody like that speaks up, everyone around just stops what they're doing and listens to what he says.

"I think it was good for us and got us headed into the right direction going into that game after that."

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Ducks' Ray Emery questionable for Friday's game against Kings

Li6zpfnc The Ducks, who still need two points to clinch a playoff spot, might have to play their biggest game of the season without the goalie who unexpectedly saved them when Jonas Hiller was felled by vertigo.

Ray Emery, who suffered a lower-body injury on Wednesday, is questionable for Friday’s game against the Kings at Honda Center, Coach Randy Carlyle said after the Ducks’ morning skate. If he can't start, Dan Ellis would likely get the assignment.

Carlyle said Hiller is available but it’s doubtful the Ducks would throw Hiller in as the starter because he hasn’t played since a 12-minute, three-goal performance at Nashville on March 24.

Emery said Thursday he didn't think the injury was related to the radical hip surgery he underwent nearly a year ago, and he was being cautious because he wants to stay in the lineup when he returns, not be in and out because of this new problem. 

“We’ll make a decision later this afternoon as to the possibility of him backing up or playing for our hockey club tonight,” Carlyle said. “We have an option of three people now, with Jonas Hiller, and Dan Ellis and Ray Emery all being available for tonight’s game.”

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Ducks' goalie Jonas Hiller participates in Friday's morning skate

It wasn't easy to watch the opening minutes of the Ducks game in Nashville on Thursday night. Starting in goal was Jonas Hiller, whose symptoms of vertigo had kept him out of 15 consecutive games. And it seemed right from the start he kept losing sight of the puck as the Predators swarmed him.

The two videos above show the first two goals he gave up. It didn't get better. Nineteen seconds later he gave up another easy goal and was pulled.

As Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle told Eric Stephens of the Orange County Register: "I didn't think he saw the puck. I understand his first game back, it's not easy to pull him. In my mind, you don't do that against him. You do it for the rest of the team. That's what I always say."

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Time coming for Ducks' Jonas Hiller to set a timetable for his return

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Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller, plagued by vertigo symptoms for more than a month and able to play in only two games since he appeared in the NHL All-Star Game, said he’s feeling “definitely better than a week ago” after alternating with Ray Emery and Dan Ellis during the team’s morning skate Saturday at Honda Center.

Emery, who made his first start for the Ducks on Wednesday in a 30-save victory over St. Louis, is expected to start against the Kings on Saturday night at Staples Center. The Ducks’ playoff hopes would certainly be lifted by the return of Hiller, who ranked among the NHL’s leaders with a .925 save percentage before he was forced out of the lineup by lightheadedness and dizziness.

There are no projections for Hiller's return, but Coach Randy Carlyle said the team will soon have to determine a schedule for Hiller if he continues to feel good and is able to increase his physical activity.

“He’s had one bad day out of seven, so we think that’s progress,” Carlyle said. “This is a day-to-day issue. At some point we’ll have to make a date. If he’s [fine] 14 days straight, are we waiting too long or should we put him in the net? That’s a decision that we have to come together with, with him, our medical staff and the coaching staff.”

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Ducks stumble in 5-2 loss to Phoenix Coyotes

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In a playoff scramble so tight that the slightest stumble can turn into a major setback, the Ducks on Sunday made too many missteps on defense and in goal to expect to win.

Goaltender Dan Ellis’ sub-par performance led Coach Randy Carlyle to bring Ray Emery off the bench and into the nets for Emery's first NHL appearance since Feb. 1, 2010, perhaps in hopes the change would jar the Ducks out of their lethargic state. But the move didn’t work, and the Ducks fell to the Phoenix Coyotes, 5-2, before an announced crowd of 14,326 at Honda Center.

Had the Ducks won in regulation, they would have ranked seventh in the West. If they’d won in overtime or by a shootout they would have ranked eighth. Even a loss in overtime or shootout would have moved them up to ninth.

Losing in regulation left them 10th, two points behind eighth-place Calgary. The Ducks do have two games in hand but they can hardly be sure of winning those given Ellis’ struggles Sunday and the indefinite absence of all-star goaltender Jonas Hiller, who is still battling a case of vertigo. Hiller has been skating lightly but said last week he's still not feeling right and there is no timetable for his return.

Emery faced nine shots in the third period and didn't allow a goal, though he got some help when a shot that beat him was swept off the goal line by Lubomir Visnovsky. Shane Doan scored into an empty net for the Coyotes' final goal.

Corey Perry scored twice for the Ducks to move to third among NHL goal scorers, with 36.

The Coyotes matched the Kings with 83 points but have played one more game than the Kings. That leaves them fifth and the Kings fourth.

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Ducks recall Ray Emery . . . possibly to start Wednesday

Goaltender Ray Emery, assigned by the Ducks to Syracuse of the American Hockey League over the weekend to regain his game sharpness, was recalled Monday after leading the Crunch to a second straight victory. His return to the NHL could be imminent, perhaps as soon as the Ducks' game Wednesday against the New York Rangers at Honda Center.

Emery stopped 27 of 28 shots Monday in a win against the Texas Stars, less than 48 hours after he had stopped 40 of 41 shots in a victory at San Antonio. He was traveling back to Southern California Monday evening.

Goalie J.P. Levasseur, who backed up Dan Ellis Sunday in the Ducks’ 3-0 loss to Vancouver, was returned to Syracuse.

Emery was signed by the Ducks Feb. 7 for goaltending depth and was assigned to Syracuse, where he played three games. But Jonas Hiller’s lingering problems with vertigo forced the Ducks to scramble their goaltending plans. Unsure whether Emery was ready to play at the NHL level again after undergoing hip surgery last April, they acquired Ellis from Tampa Bay and installed him as the starter.

Ellis has started five straight games and will need to rest at some point. With Emery back in the rhythm of playing after two good performances for Syracuse, it’s possible he will get the start and Ellis will get to watch  Wednesday.

Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle never announces his starting goalie in advance, so it will be interesting to see how this plays out. 

Wednesday's game, incidentally, has been moved back to a 7:35 p.m. start instead of 7:05 p.m. at the request of Fox TV.

--Helene Elliott

Ducks' Bobby Ryan seeking consistent level of excellence

Ryan_400 Bobby Ryan’s overtime penalty shot goal against Detroit on Wednesday did more than boost the Ducks’ spirits and keep them in the pack of teams jostling for playoff spots in the congested Western Conference.

The goal was the 30th this season for the dynamic winger, his third straight season at a level usually reached only by pure scorers. Ryan, who will turn 24 on March 17, is on pace to surpass the career-high 35 goals and 64 points he scored last season. That’s solid progress considering he scored only two goals in 16 games starting Dec. 3 and ending with a two-goal game against Columbus on Jan. 7.

“When you look at a season and set goals beforehand, that’s the point you want to hit. That’s keeping it consistent,” Ryan said after the Ducks’ morning skate in preparation for their game Friday against Dallas at the Honda Center.

“I thought it was a possibility for me a little early out and just tried to continue my pace throughout the year and tried to put up numbers in that regard, but it’s not something I’ll think about now that it’s done and gone. I’ll try and push for 35 or whatever it was that I had last year and try and get continually a little better.”

The record for most consecutive 30-goal seasons is 15, set by Mike Gartner from the 1979-80 season through the 1993-94 season with Washington, Minnesota, New York Rangers and Toronto. The career record for most 30-goal seasons is also held by Gartner, with 17 in 19 seasons.

“I’ve got a long way to go,” Ryan said, smiling.

“It’s not something I’ll think about by any means but I think it’s a fairly consistent number. I’d like to try and hit it every year. I’m playing with some pretty good players so I know the puck’s going to find me and I’m going to get those chances. As long as I continue to shoot the puck the right way and get to the front of the net, I’ll find them.”

Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle, who rarely doles out compliments, said Ryan had only begun to make the most of his talents.

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Strange playoff race has Ducks, Cam Fowler scrambling

Fowler_400 The Kings and Ducks each moved up a rung in the Western conference standings by not playing Tuesday, another strange day in a bizarre playoff scramble that shows every sign of going to the last day of the regular season.

As of Wednesday morning, before they faced each other at Anaheim, the Kings ranked eighth and the Ducks ninth, respectively. Each had 68 points—as did Chicago and Dallas—but the Kings had played fewer games, 59 to the other teams’ 60. The first tiebreaker is fewest games to achieve that point total (better winning percentage) and the second tiebreaker was changed this season to become number of wins excluding shootout wins.

“It’s abnormal. Specifically when you have 22 games left for it to be this tight,” Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle said. “But I guess the parity of the salary cap, the evening out of the skill throughout the league, the strength of the teams that are in the Western Conference, that’s what we’re presented with and we have to win our share of games.”

Though he said it’s impossible not to notice the closeness of the standings he tries to avoid paying too much attention and urges players to do the same.

“You can’t get too emotionally high or too emotionally low with one win or one loss. Stay on the even keel. Focus on the process of what we’ve established before that has given us a chance of success and strictly focus on that,” he said of the instructions he gives to players.

“Don’t focus on anything other than what you can control. Your work ethic, your discipline, your team mind set, your execution level—all those things are things we’ve tried to put to the forefront versus over the specific results on a day to day basis.”

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