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Pro Hockey | DUCK REPORT

A Crossroads in Sunshine State

November 20, 2001|Chris Foster

TAMPA, Fla. — Many of the Mighty Ducks can remember last season, and how quickly they went south for the winter ... spring ... and summer.

A somewhat promising start. A November winless streak. Followed by complete collapse.

So the Ducks have reached a crucial point this season. They had a somewhat promising start, followed by a November winless streak, now at six games. Followed by ...

Well, that should be determined in the next four games. The Ducks face Tampa Bay tonight and Florida on Wednesday, then have back-to-back games against the New York Islanders and New York Rangers this weekend.

The Ducks, at 6-11-3-0, are at a point where they can't afford to tread water.

"If we don't start winning games, we're going to be behind the eight ball," Paul Kariya said. "We're 20 games into the season and it can turn around as fast as it turned bad. We still haven't had a streak where we won three or four games. We have to look at it and take it that way."


To help that along, Coach Bryan Murray held a pre-practice meeting Monday. The Ducks watched an edited version of Saturday's 4-1 loss to Washington, Murray's scared-straight attempt to turn things around.

"I like the attitude, for the most part," Murray said. "I like the work ethic, for the most part. I think we have given away some goals, from lack of really bearing down, and that has put us in tough spots. Now we have to score some goals to give ourselves a chance to win. There are some important people here in that area that have to do that."


Jeff Friesen missed Monday's practice because of food poisoning after eating lobster at a team dinner in a Tampa steak house.

"That's the trouble with eating lobster this close to the ocean," Murray said. "You should always go to Oklahoma or some place."


Defenseman Keith Carney, who has been sidelined for five games because of a chipped bone in his hand, will be reevaluated Wednesday and his status will be determined at that time.


at Tampa Bay, 4:30 PST

Site--Ice Palace.

Radio--XTRA (690).

Records--Ducks 6-11-3-0, Lightning 6-10-1-1.

Record vs. Lightning--0-1-0-0.

Update--The Lighting is 2-6-0-1 in its last nine games. But Washington was 1-7-1-0 in its last nine games before beating the Ducks.

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