The Anaheim Ducks, the worst team in the Western Conference, relieved Randy Carlyle of head coaching duties and installed general manager Bob Murray as an interim head coach.

Randy Carlyle
Randy Carlyle in his second stint as head coach of the Anaheim Ducks during a game at the Pond in Anaheim, CA.(Image: James Carey Lauder/USA Today Sports)

Murray has been the GM of the Ducks since 2006, but has zero head coaching experience. Randy Carlyle, 62, has the most wins in Ducks history with a 384-256-96 record. He also guided them to their only Stanley Cup win in 2007.

The Ducks are 2-15-4 since December 17, 2018. They won only two games in nearly two months. Overall, the Ducks (21-26-9) have only 51 points and occupy the basement in the West. There are three Eastern Conference teams with fewer points, but the Ducks are one of the five worst teams in the NHL.

Low-Flying Panic Attack

What’s wrong with the Ducks? They cannot score goals. You can’t win games when you don’t get the biscuit in the basket. It’s not a problem that’s easy to solve. It’s not like the Vancouver Canucks, who decided to ban Fortnite in order to reduce distractions in the club house.

The Ducks are the lowest-scoring team in the NHL with only 127 goals in 56 games. They average 2.21 goals per game, which is worst in the league. Their power play is only effective 14.9 percent of the time, which is third-worst in the NHL.

Meanwhile, the goalies are struggling as well allowing 3.21 goals against per game, which is #22 over in the NHL.

Five players have double-digit goals, but left winger Jakob Silfverberg from Sweden leads the team with 12 goals. Veteran center Ryan Getzlaf leads the team with 36 points on 11 goals and 25 assists. Meanwhile, young stars like Patrick Laine can score hat tricks at will and post five-goal games for the Winnipeg Jets without much effort.

Carlyle Slump

The Ducks had advanced to the Stanley Cup playoffs in the previous six seasons. Right now, they are eight points out of the playoffs in a highly-competitive Western Conference.

The Ducks won only two games in the last eight weeks. They were bogged down in the middle of a seven-game losing streak. In order to shake things up, the team fired its head coach.

“We thank Randy for everything he has done for the organization,” Murray said. “Leading the team to a Stanley Cup and three conference final appearances, he has accomplished so much in Anaheim. Difficult decisions need to be made when times are tough, and our play has clearly been unacceptable. We have a tradition of success in Anaheim and we need to get back to that.”

Bob Murray has been the GM since 2006, but he has never coached in the NHL. Murray was also instrumental in bringing Carlyle back to the fray in 2016.

The Ducks specifically stated that Murray is just an interim head coach and they will conduct a search for a full-time coach in the offseason.

Carlyle Wins Mighty Cup

Randy Carlyle finished his second stint with the Ducks. He had previously coached the team from 2005 through 2012. The Mighty Ducks hired him but they rebranded the team as the Ducks after his first season. In 2007, the Ducks posted 110 points and won their only Stanley Cup.

Carlyle was unable to replicate the magical run in 2007. He eventually wore out his welcome when he was fired after 24 games into the 2011 season.

Carlyle went on to coach the Toronto Maple Leafs for three and a half seasons. The Leafs made the playoffs only once under his tenure.

The Ducks had a change of heart in 2016 and brought back the only coach who won them a Cup. The Ducks posted 105 points in his first season back and he guided the Ducks all the way to the Western Conference Finals. Last season, the Ducks posted 101 points and were swept in the opening round of the playoffs.

Carlyle won more games than any other coach in the short history of the Ducks, going all the way back to the time when they entered the league as the Mighty Ducks.

Carlyle is a former player who logged over 1,000 games with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets, and Pittsburgh Penguins. In 1981, Carlyle played for the Penguins and won the Norris Trophy for the NHL’s top defenseman.

According to the South Point Casino and Sports Book in Las Vegas, the Anaheim Ducks are 100/1 odds to win the Stanley Cup. The Tampa Bay Lightning continue to be the big favorite on the board at 3/1 odds to win the Cup.

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