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Ducks still searching for answers

The Sports Xchange

Not enough offense. Substandard goaltending. A blue line that doesn't strike fear in opposing teams. An alarming lack of confidence.

All of these things plague the Ducks, but it is their inability to deal with the first sign of adversity that might be the most destructive part of a horrific first half to their 2011-12 season.

Another example was on display Wednesday night when they allowed San Jose to score the eventual winning goal just 27 seconds after tying the game in the second period.

Too often, the Ducks have given up another goal in only a few minutes -- or even seconds -- after allowing one and they've been unable to recover. And they've struggled to find any answer to correct it.

"There's just no resiliency," winger Bobby Ryan said. "I guess would be the best word. They get the first one, obviously you get down. That shift that follows up has to be the best shift of the game. It has to be the hardest working to not let the momentum swing in their direction.

"We went out and got outplayed the shift after. It's been a focal point for us. It just continues to keep happening."

Leading goal scorer Corey Perry said it is something where "we're trying to figure that out."

"Shift after goals are crucial for us," Perry said. "We seem to relax when that happens. You know that they just got the wind in them back. The next shift is the biggest shift.

"It's the way hockey is. It's always been like that since you've been a kid. We just haven't been sharp after a goal. I have no answers for it."

The Ducks' dreadful play that's led to their 10-22-6 record has General Manager Bob Murray putting core players on notice. Murray said that only Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu, who have no-trade clauses, are ones that are not on the block.

"And the rest of the players in the locker room, I thought they'd figure it out when we changed coaches they [thought] that time was running," Murray said. "Well, the clock is running quickly here.

"I still believe we have some core players. Now whether we have to change a few core players, so be it. They're deciding who's staying and who's not staying at this point. They're the ones deciding."

Perry, the reigning Hart Trophy winner, and second-year defenseman Cam Fowler figure to be others that are untouchable. But captain Ryan Getzlaf, goal-scoring winger Bobby Ryan and goalie Jonas Hiller have all vastly underperformed and could be up for trade discussion.

However, Murray also said he isn't simply looking to acquire prospects and draft picks if he were to pull the trigger on a major deal. In other words, if Getzlaf or Ryan were to be the key part of a trade, it would be for another player of similar stature.

No one will be given away. And in the case of Selanne, it would have to be his call on whether he would want to join a Stanley Cup contender.

"[It's] the same position I was in with Scott Niedermayer," Murray said of Selanne. "I have no desire whatsoever. He's going to retire in Anaheim."

Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.


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