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Hiller irate after latest troubling defeat

The Sports Xchange

An agitated Jonas Hiller did a slow burn in the Ducks' dressing room Sunday night, his volume rising as each word was uttered.

After his team's 5-3 loss to the Minnesota Wild, Hiller became the latest Ducks player to vent his frustration -- this time at his teammates as he recounted the breakdowns in front of him.

"I don't think we're playing really solid in our own end," Hiller said. "I think that's where you can see why we're not winning. It's kind of like those guys always seem to get inside ... to kind of walk through two guys and suddenly get a two-on-one out of nothing.

"Even though we have guys back, it seems like we're just too cute."

Nick Johnson's tiebreaking goal clanging off his skate in the third period as Ducks defenseman Luca Sbisa went to defend the stick and not the body was the final straw for Hiller, who hasn't won consecutive games since the season's second week.

Hiller has already allowed four goals on 10 different occasions this season after doing so only 13 times in his 49 games a year ago. Pierre-Marc Bouchard managed to flip a backhand shot from distance past him just 32 seconds after Casey Wellman's goal right on his doorstep.

"It looks like we're there but we're not really there," Hiller said. "We're kind of physically there but probably mentally already in the other zone or, I don't know, still in the dressing room. I don't know what."

"To me, it looks like we get so many errors. Suddenly guys are all by themselves in the slot out of a nothing play. Two guys chasing one guy. We're playing here in the NHL and I don't think that should happen."

Said Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau: "If you're going to stick check against skilled players, you're going to get beat every time. There's a lot of video to be watched, and hopefully we're smart enough to retain what we learn and apply it in the games."

Sbisa said that the team needs to give Hiller more support in the defensive end.

"Definitely, Jonas has been doing a great job," Sbisa said. "Everybody in our (defense) group is a really good player, so we can't allow that many goals against us. Especially in tough situations like that when we're up by one goal or something and the game's getting toward the end.

"Especially then, we've got to be better."

Hiller implored his teammates to work harder and be better in their own zone.

"You can have all the skills, but if you're not working hard in your own end, you're not going to win anything," he said.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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