With Only Two Wins In The Last Two Months, It Was Time To Let Randy Carlyle Go
The Anaheim Ducks have fired head coach Randy Carlyle. The Ducks are sitting last in the Western Conference with a 21-26-9 record. Anaheim is currently mired in a seven-game losing streak at the moment so this news doesn’t come as a shock to hockey fans around the world.
Why did Randy Carlyle get fired by Anaheim?
The present losing streak is not the only reason Ducks General Manager Bob Murray decided to let Carlyle go. National Hockey League teams don’t fire coaches just because they are having a rough patch. The Ducks dropped from second place in the Pacific Division to seventh within a matter of weeks.
Yes, the Ducks have been unlucky with injuries, the biggest of those being Corey Perry, who has just returned to the lineup. But some of it is also Carlyle’s own doing.
Former Duck Pontus Åberg, who at one time was second in scoring on the team, was inexplicably benched earlier in the season. Not long after, Åberg was traded to the Minnesota Wild for center Justin Kloos. Also, playing a clearly declining Ryan Kesler on the second line is a horrible idea.
One of the bigger issues on the Ducks is the defense. They haven’t been able to help goaltender John Gibson at all. Carlyle has refused to shuffle up the lines, and Ducks management has been leery to call players up from the American Hockey League. Clearly, Carlyle had lost the faith of the team, and the sloppy play of the line-up on a nightly basis was proof of that. Basically, anything that could go wrong with this team, certainly did.
Who will replace Carlyle in Anaheim?
The Ducks have named GM Murray the interim head coach, and he will likely stay in that role for the remainder of the season. I find that move intriguing, but I’m more interested in who Murray has in mind to take over behind the bench once this season is over. I would expect one of the assistant coaches (Mark Morrison, Rich Preston or Marty Wilford) to take the head coaching role since they’re familiar with the team. If not, it would great to get a coach who can make this team exciting again.
This is a good move by the Anaheim Ducks. They should have fired him earlier. Let’s hope they get a better coach so John Gibson doesn’t get injured from carrying 22 players again.
Statistics provided by hockey-reference.com
Featured photo image credit: Nikos Michals