CALGARY, Canada -- How does a coach respond to a game in which his team spiraled downward physically and emotionally?
Naturally, the thing to do would be to bring the hammer down with a grinding, seemingly never-ending practice. Except Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle has already done that this season.
So he took the other route Wednesday in response to his team's 4-0 loss to Vancouver.
"It was their practice today," Carlyle said. "Not hands-off. Just let them do their thing."
The Ducks ran their own drills with Carlyle blowing the occasional whistle and ultimately giving his take on the latest setback and on what has become a long-running topic of discussion: their inconsistency.
Each move forward seems to be followed by a step back.
Sometimes it can be in the same game. On Tuesday, the Ducks peppered Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo with 15 shots in a dominating first period but once Markus Naslund snapped a wrist shot past Jean-Sebastien Giguere, their game descended into arguing calls and taking ill-advised penalties.
How bad was it? The Ducks put themselves two men down on five occasions.
Giguere suggested the problem lies between their ears.
"It seems as if we've turned it on and off mentally at times," he said.
"This is something we can control. It has nothing to do with these teams and the way they play. It has everything to do with how we play. We've got to make sure we control what we can control, the best way we can."
The trouble, Giguere said, is that, aside from Sunday's come-from-behind win over the Kings, when the Ducks get down in games, they stay down. And talking about it hasn't helped.
"We've been saying enough's enough since the beginning of the year and it hasn't changed," Giguere said. "It's up to us. There's nobody else that's going to come in. There's not going to be any big trades to change everything. It doesn't happen that way. We have to re-learn how to win."
Carlyle called their undisciplined play Tuesday night "unacceptable" and said that they are a different club from last year, one that isn't as skilled without Scott Niedermayer, Teemu Selanne and Dustin Penner.
But Carlyle isn't about to concede that the Ducks -- eighth in the Western Conference entering Wednesday -- are mediocre.
"I think this team can be a good hockey club," he said. "We think we're a better hockey club than the level we're playing to."
at Calgary, 6, FSN West
Site -- Pengrowth Saddledome.
Radio -- 830.
Records -- Ducks 11-10-4; Flames 10-12-3.
Record vs. Flames (2006-07) -- 2-2-0.
Update -- Center Mark Mowers cleared waivers and is believed to be exploring his options, including playing in Europe or reporting to the Ducks' minor-league team in Portland, Maine. Calgary won't have defenseman Rhett Warrener, who is out because of a broken leg.