Composure and patience helped get the Ducks through an awful start to the season. Those qualities failed the team Wednesday.
Anaheim put 18 shots on goal in the first period but descended into retaliatory penalties and couldn't recover in a 4-0 loss to Toronto. It was an ugly setback from the 4-0-1 run the Ducks made after Christmas.
Here's what we learned:
Their defense had some rare breakdowns. The Ducks don't allow a lot of good looks and odd-man rushes, but Toronto was able to penetrate and get them.
"I don't think we've been averaging more than one odd-man rush a game in the last seven," Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Today there was multitudes of them. There were all over the place. When we don't play with the structure that's needed, we're in trouble."
Carl Hagelin and Jakob Silfverberg need to score. This could have been said a month ago or two months ago, but after 39 games the Swedish wingers have combined for six goals.
Hagelin had a glorious chance early but the puck bounced off his stick on a backhand attempt, a microcosm of his season. It was his only shot on goal.
They can turn the page on this … or can they? It was easy to see it as a throwaway game because of the nastiness, but Boudreau differed.
"We have to park it, but we're not in a position where, all of a sudden, we can fluff games off like that. We didn't play well enough in all areas," he said.
The Ducks are two games into an eight-game run at home, considered a crucial window to make a move.