The Ducks didn’t deliver much in a 6-2 loss to the Florida Panthers, but in the post-game dressing room, honesty was served in heavy portions.
“I don’t know if we’re taking teams lightly, but we’ve got to show up to play,” center Ryan Getzlaf said after his first-place team duplicated a 6-2 loss to Florida -- the first coming in Anaheim in November -- and left the state with 11 goals allowed in two games.
“We’re not playing. The responsibility’s on us to get ready to play and we’re not doing it. We’ve got to change something in our routine to get out of this little funk.
“We can blame everything around -- the puck’s bouncing -- everyone in the game knows those things happen when you’re not working. Taking penalties, shooting selves in the foot all night long.”
Here are some takeaways from the game.
1. How not to argue your point:
After getting scratched in two of the last three games, Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy pleaded his case to play by noting he’d only been on the ice for three goals in his nine previous games.
Then he was on ice Tuesday for three second-period goals, getting beaten badly on two occasions before committing a holding-the-stick penalty.
“They got a lot of what we gave them,” Lovejoy said. “Odd-man rushes, turnovers ... that’s a way we can’t play. We don’t want to go chance for chance. We want to go grind in the offensive zone. They were able to catch us on a couple line rushes. Very frustrating.”
2. Heat up the trade talk:
The Ducks privately dismissed rumored interest in Buffalo defenseman Tyler Myers before the March 2 NHL trade deadline, but it’s not a secret that they would move to swap for Myers or a player like him if the right deal comes along.
Though Lovejoy said puck-management strides and improved discipline can fix the team's woes, management may not feel the same way and could move to address a trend of play that would prove fatal in the postseason.
“We’ve regressed,” Lovejoy said of the attention to avoiding penalties.
3. Energy, focus and some key players are missing:
Veteran defenseman Francois Beauchemin said the Ducks need to return to the tenets of their system as they face Carolina on Thursday with a 1-2-1 showing on a tiring trip in the Eastern Time Zone.
“We’re just not on the same page right now in regard to passing, defensive-zone coverage -- there’s too much space, looking for long plays instead of shorter passes, getting into their zone,” Beauchemin said.
He insisted that the guys in the room can solve the problems.
4. Who’s to blame?
“You can’t take [nine] penalties and expect to win a game,” Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Our No. 1 goal was to take three or less. We took three in the first  minutes.”
No team in Western Conference playoff position has given up more goals than the Ducks.
“We’re a team that was in the top 10 defensively last year. We think we’re a better team,” Boudreau said.
“There was room for improvement from the goaltender, the defense and the forwards. The coaches, we obviously had the wrong combinations together.
“We’re all at fault.”