It's like trying to pry loose his deepest, darkest secret which is, of course, who he will start in goal Friday night against Nashville in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series at Honda Center.
So who will it be?
"The guy who gives us the best chance to win," Carlyle said. "The guy who is the healthiest. … Ultimately, the decision is mine."
Here is where the gyrations begin.
"We had the veteran in Giguere, a Conn Smythe winner, and a young upstart in Bryzgalov, trying to steal the net away from him," Carlyle said.
The dynamics are different this time. Ellis is with his third team in two seasons. Emery spent a year recovering from hip surgery.
The two were essential to the Ducks getting to the playoffs — going a combined 15-5-1 — after goaltender Jonas Hiller was sidelined with vertigo.
Ellis said of Wednesday's game, "I got work to find pucks through traffic." Emery said of his latest injury, "My body feels good enough to be out there for a full practice."
Those are Carlyle's choices.
"One thing Ray Emery has is a bigger body for blocking, where Dan Ellis is more compact, more active in the net," Carlyle said.
Which style will work best against the Predators?
"Oh, I don't know," Carlyle said.
Ducks defenseman Francois Beauchemin skipped practice Thursday with an undisclosed injury that has bothered him for a couple weeks.
"I have been taking medicine for it and resting when I can," Beauchemin said. "Today, I just didn't want to force it."
Thursday brought the usual post-loss quotes from the Ducks … more traffic in front of the net … win one-on-one battles … better puck management … etc.
Teemu Selanne had a basic thought seeing the Predators dominate Wednesday.
"I just want us to play our normal game," Selanne said. "If we do that and they still beat us, we'll move on. But when we play our normal game, there is nothing we can't do."
The inspirational message scrawled on the board in the Ducks' dressing room Thursday was from Jack Nicklaus, "The one strongest, most important idea in my game of golf — my cornerstone — is I want to be the best. … "
It begged the question: Should the Ducks be thinking about their golf games down 0-1 in the series?
Tickets remain for Game 2. … The Ducks have lost six of eight playoff series after dropping the opener. They are 0-4 in after losing the first two games.