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Hockey Guy: Ducks still struggle to take flight

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While the Blues roll on, other teams have put their coach into peril.

Anaheim appears to be one such situation, given Randy Carlyle’s inability to coax consistent performance from the Ducks.

But Anaheim general manager Bob Murray defended Carlyle during an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

“Our coaching is fine,” Murray told the newspaper. “He's a good coach. It's not the coach who's doing some of the things that are happening out there. It's not the coach taking stupid penalties. It's not the coach losing faceoffs in our own zone and then not taking their guy.”

(Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf committed that gaffe Saturday night as Anaheim fell to San Jose 5-2.)

“It's not him doing those things,” Murray said. “He's a good coach. His record proves that. It's more our people. I'm getting tired of watching them looking for excuses, feeling sorry for themselves.”

Sounds like they are having fun!

AROUND THE RINKS: Former Blues goaltender Fred Brathwaite leads the German Elite League in save percentage (.931) and (2.20) by a regular netminder.  Brathwaite, 38, is in his third year playing for Adler Mannheim. Former Blues prospect Justin Papineau is also on that team . . . Were the Devils serious about shopping top gun Zach Parise? We may never know that he will miss upwards to three months after undergoing knee surgery. Let's see if $100-million man Ilya Kovalchuk wakes up in his absence . . . Red Wings forward Jiri Hudler has struggled in his return from Russia. He had just three points in his first eight games, earning him a benching from coach Mike Babcock. On the other hand, Pavel Datsyuk scored 11 points in October for Detroit and looked more like his old self . . . If the Coyotes take a big step backward this season, blame the struggling defensive corps for the reversal . . . The reeling Maple Leafs didn’t need to lose defenseman Dion Phaneuf for a leg injury. Though unpopular with some Toronto fans, Phaneuf is still one of the blue line bulwarks for this team . . . The Lightning started 7-2-1 despite getting nothing out of pricey addition Simon Gagne, who is battling a neck ailment. He has no points and a minus-8 rating in six games . . . The depleted Blackhawks will welcome puck rushing defenseman Brian Campbell back from the injured list . . . Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson has had some growing pains, but veteran Sergei Gonchar has become a good mentor for him . . . Sharks winger Devin Setoguchi had just one goal, one assist and a minus-5 in his first nine games. That is why he got bumped to the third line. San Jose comes to town on the heels of a 1-0 loss to Minnesota. . Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau isn’t concerned about a quiet offensive October from defenseman Mike Green. “I just wish people could see him through my eyes,” Boudreau told the Globe and Mail. “He has been outstanding defensively. So now people are saying, ‘Well, how come you’re not scoring?’ I just told Mike not to change a thing. He’s our best player, game in and game out. When he missed those three games, he was sorely, sorely missed. He’s a good player – and he’s matured and he’s done all the things he’s had to do.” . . . That three-game suspension for Daniel Briere cost him $237,804.37 in lost wages. The game has changed, no?

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