ANAHEIM, Calif. – The Ducks dropped their fifth consecutive game on Friday in a matinee matchup against their division rivals, the Los Angeles Kings. The 4-1 defeat was self-inflicted, with two penalties from Anaheim midway through the first allowing the Kings to convert on the ensuing power plays.
Poor discipline has begun to crop up for the Ducks, as they’ve given opponents 20 power play opportunities during their five-game losing streak. A lot of these penalties are ones that could have been easily avoided, like the two too many men penalties that they took against the Kings.
“Bad decisions,” said head coach Greg Cronin. “That’s on us as coaches. What looked like a pretty clean, even period turned sideways on the next two power plays.”
“Can’t be on the penalty kill most of the game,” said Leo Carlsson when asked about where the team needs to improve. “(We need to) shoot more as well, I think. We had some good opportunities today where we didn’t shoot.”
One player who has struggled to produce for Anaheim during their losing streak is Troy Terry, who has one point and just four shots on goal during that span. Terry signed a seven-year, $49 million deal this past summer, coming ever so close to an arbitration case with the long-term deal being agreed to just hours before his case was set to take place.
Whether it’s a matter of Terry needing to simplify things or perhaps taking it upon himself to do more because of his big deal, the offense just has not come for him lately. Cronin said that Terry has had chances and he just hasn’t scored. “Tonight he scored.”
Alex Killorn, who signed a big deal of his own this past summer after coming over from the Tampa Bay Lightning, scored his first goal as a Duck on Friday but has just four points in 10 games. “I’ve gone through things like that in a season,” said Killorn. “Typically don’t start the season like that, nine or 10 games without a goal. I’ve been getting my chances, so I’ve been trying to just stick to the process.”
Both Terry and Killorn are playing top line minutes alongside Carlsson and carry high expectations as two of the team’s top earners. The line of Frank Vatrano, Mason McTavish and Ryan Strome has carried most of the offensive load this season so far, with inconsistent scoring from the rest of Anaheim’s lines.
The losing streak has carried similar themes from game to game: early deficits and needless penalties. The problems have been identified, it’s just a matter of addressing and correcting them.
“Everything’s going to be okay,” said Cronin. “This is a process.” Cronin pointed out that three of the five games (Florida, St. Louis, Montreal) they’ve lost have been winnable games. “We’re fighting and clawing to get points and you’ve got to take the long view of what’s going on. We’ve just got to keep finding ways to improve and build on things, and that’s the only way you can dissect it.”