The Ducks have now lost three in a row – two in a shootout and now a 3-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night. So much for showing former coach Randy Carlyle how much they have improved without him behind the bench.
Those three losses have also allowed the St. Louis Blues to catch up and pass the Ducks in the standings by a point.
Perhaps some of the blame for the Ducks recent woes include a return of the missing power play.
Where oh where has the power play gone?
In the beginning of the season, it was virtually non-existent, but Anaheim was so strong in all the other areas of their game, they didn't need it to win. Now that things are leveling off, they need it. If they could have converted on the man advantage, it would have been the difference maker in all three games that they have lost.
The Ducks are one for 19 of late, with a whopping goose egg on four chances against Toronto.
"We’ve worked hard, gotten pucks back after shots, we’ve shots pucks," said Ryan Getzlaf. "They’re just not going in. I’m not accepting that. Those are the things we have to focus on as a group. When the power play works, it’s because everybody is working and everybody is shooting. I thought our guys have done that the last three games. We need to support each other through those things."
Frederik Andersen was also left high and dry by his defense as the Maple Leafs got out to a 3-0 lead.
Tyler Bozak scored a power play goal at 16:51 of the first period, with Phil Kessel getting one at 19:21. Paul Ranger made it 3-0 at 3:44 of the second and that was all they needed to win the game.
Jonathan Bernier took over from there, stopping 43 shots on goal. The only one he did not stop was Corey Perry's 35th of the year at 14:19 of the middle frame.
Try as they might, the Ducks could not get anything else past Bernier, even after pulling Andersen for the extra attacker in the final two minutes of the game. Yeah. Like an extra attacker has been working for them.
"When a goalie is sharp and you don’t create traffic in front of the net where he can’t see the pucks coming, you’re not going to score," was coach Bruce Boudreau's assessment. "He was seeing everything. He was stopping everything. You can only talk about so much, but if you want to score goals in this league, you have to go to the front of net and pay the price."
Will the Ducks pay the price when they face Calgary on Wednesday? Will the power play finally come out of the closet and get packed with the rest of the hockey equipment?
Something has to change so that the Ducks start getting checks in the win column again.