Anaheim Ducks fans are understandably upset about the team’s poor start to the season. We finally saw the powerful display that the Ducks are capable of in their 4-1 win against the Minnesota Wild, but some feel this is not enough. Comments from media outlets and fans seem to squarely place the blame on head coach Bruce Boudreau. For instance, the Los Angeles Times reported that “Boudreau’s job security could erode if this slow start turns into a prolonged struggle.” I have said in the past that Boudreau makes poor choices and he should be possibly considered for the chopping block as well.
The difference is that I want to wait until Anaheim has finished 2015-16 before such a major choice has been made.
Let’s be honest here. Anaheim had a major reconstruction during the offseason in an attempt to fix their postseason shortcomings against the Chicago Blackhawks, as well as throughout the 2014-15 regular season. With so many new players, rookies and veterans alike, it is going to take some time for the lines to function at devastating levels. Some blame absolutely belongs to Boudreau, as his strange decision to split up Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf (among other missteps) has hurt the team’s performance due to leaders being mentally out-of-sorts from the changes.
A lot of the blame, however, belongs with the players themselves. There are bad penalties being taken due to out-of-control tempers. The defense is not in position as often as they should be, and this forces either Freddie Andersen or Anton Khudobin to bear the brunt of offensive attacks. Also, the offense is not nearly driving hard enough to make plays happen and winds up losing possession or posting poor shooting numbers.
As far as the poor start to the season is concerned, the players are to blame as much as, if not more than, Boudreau. Getzlaf spoke about getting the players heads back in the game, and hopefully the win against the Wild is a sign that tactic is working.
I have no issue with sacking Boudreau should the time come, but calm down Ducks fans; there’s a lot of hockey left this season.