All it takes is one Cup. Even if that season you got to toss Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger over the boards for 45 minutes of every 60. That’s how Randy Carlyle has managed to duck the reputation of a moron, even though we all saw him fail to make toast in Toronto.
When the Ducks originally fired Carlyle, it was because he took that Cup-winning roster and managed to win just one more playoff round in the next four seasons, getting fired in the fifth. His hard-ass ways had turned off Perry and Getzlaf, and the affable Bruce Boudreau was seen as the necessary gear change.
So it’s hilariously short-sighted, or unoriginal, that when it came time to replace Boudreau the only name GM Bob Murray thought of, “The guy we fired for this guy.” It’s so hockey. What other sport has retreads like this since the Yankees did it with Billy Martin?
Carlyle and his supporters, basically Pierre McGuire, would point to last year’s conference final appearance as proof it was the right move. Except they needed an utter miracle to not lose to the heavily flawed Edmonton Oilers in the second round after getting a sweetheart draw by playing the dogshit Flames in the first. Getting to be in a weak division saved him. It probably won’t this year.
Carlyle would point to the amount of injuries the Ducks have suffered, but that doesn’t make up for the Ducks not having an area you can say they do well. They’re a bad possession team, bad defensively, and only have John Gibson to thank for not being marooned at the bottom. Carlyle has watched Cory Perry turn to silly putty of course, and Getzlaf hasn’t really cared beyond assists from the outside in like four years.
Still, with Fowler, Lindholm Manson, and Montour, this team could get up and go if he were so inclined. Instead Kevin “Guess What I Just Swallowed?” Bieksa is on the second pairing. They still worry about “getting on the body.”
But whatever, Anaheim sucking along with the Hawks is just fine with us.
Game #58 Preview