Randy Carlyle says Ducks need to be much smarter in their decision-making in Game 4 against the Sharks
Randy Carlyle says Ducks need to be much smarter in their decision-making in Game 4 against the Sharks

Randy Carlyle says Ducks need to be much smarter in their decision-making in Game 4 against the Sharks

 

Having mobile defensemen who can initiate or support the offense has become essential for success in the NHL, and the Ducks all season have allowed their defensemen to take chances offensively when they read the situation and believe they can go forward without compromising things on the defensive end. It has generally worked out well, but when those reads are bad or if the forwards don’t cover up when the defensemen go up ice, the results can be ugly.

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The Ducks experienced the ugly side of that equation on Monday in Game 3 of their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series against San Jose because their defensemen pinched too often and the forwards didn’t provide adequate support. That allowed the Sharks to enjoy waves of two-on-one and three-on-two breaks in an 8-1 victory, a debacle that put the Ducks within one loss of elimination.

With their season down to one game, on Wednesday night at SAP Center, Ducks coach Randy Carlyle told his players in no uncertain terms that they must be smarter and more conscientious if they want to prolong their season and take the series back to Honda Center for a Game 5 on Friday. Asked if he would tell his defenseman not to pinch so much or to do so with better judgment, and if he had told his forwards they’d have to help, he answered affirmatively.

“All of the above,” he said after the team’s morning skate Wednesday. “They’ve been well-versed on what happened the other night. They won’t need any more reminders on what we did and the errors we committed because they take ownership of that. And it’s up to us now to provide some opportunities and some positive things into the game that we did do but are overshadowed by the undisciplined acts and the final score of the game.”

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