School was back in session for the
That meant a few sharp-tongued instructions of the R-rated variety when the Ducks wrapped up two straight days of practice with a 90-minute session Tuesday.
The unusual practice time came after the Ducks gave up 55 shots to the
"I don't know if there's ever a time you need yelling, but I guess, yeah, you do," defenseman Josh Manson said. "I think we need it. Nobody likes to give up shots like that and leave your goalie out to dry."
John Gibson, who made a regular-season franchise-record-tying 51 saves, practiced both days and it seemed fitting that he got a playful hug from teammate
In a more serious tone, practice was needed to address a lack of defensive coverage that has been fully exposed.
"I think there's always emphasis there, but after something like that, it's kind of like the last straw," Manson said. "Maybe it was being masked before. Something like that happens and then you kind of go, 'Wow, we really do need to work on this a lot.' So I think the two practices were good for that and hopefully we can reset and get ourselves back to playing the way we want."
Assistant coach Paul MacLean handled media responsibility for Carlyle and owned up to what has been a disconcerting tendency of pronounced defensive breakdowns going back to the tenure of former coach Bruce Boudreau. In their last seven regulation losses, the Ducks have given up five goals or more five times.
"Our defensive-zone game has been an issue not just in the last couple of games, but our defensive game within the [season] is not where we want it to be, and in order to be a successful team, you have to be able to defend," MacLean said.
Ryan Getzlaf did not skate but MacLean said "there was some improvement" and he remains day to day because of a lower-body injury that is not deemed serious.
Chris Wagner was recalled and took rushes on the fourth line with Logan Shaw and
These spot auditions are familiar for Wagner. He has shuttled between the Ducks and the minors because of inconsistency and was exposed to the waiver wire in November.
"I definitely don't take anything for granted up here," Wagner said. "I think I'm pretty mentally strong now just going through the ups and downs. It doesn't faze me as much as it used to. Maybe when I was younger [it would]. I guess you can take that as a positive but it's never fun going up and down."
When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
On the air: TV: FS West; Radio: 830.