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Ducks' collapse in 6-5 loss to Blackhawks prompts trade questions

The Chicago Blackhawks score four third-period goals to hand the Ducks their sixth straight loss. In their last 17 games, the struggling team has lost 15 times, intensifying questions about trades.

November 25, 2011|By Lisa Dillman
  • Anaheim's Andrew Cogliano is pursued by Chicago's Jonathan Towes in the third period Friday at Honda Center.
Anaheim's Andrew Cogliano is pursued by Chicago's Jonathan… (Jeff Gross / Getty Images )

Who stays and who goes?

Easy questions if you are in charge of a fantasy hockey club, but not quite so simple if you are an executive in charge of a team with playoff hopes starting to look like a fantasy.

These questions only intensified after a dizzying collapse by the Ducks at Honda Center. It featured a rapid-fire chain reaction of errors as the Blackhawks scored four third-period goals in their 6-5 victory on Friday afternoon, rallying from a 4-2 deficit.

The Ducks went into deep-freeze mode, and it had nothing to do with the building temperature. "In the third period, it was like we froze," Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle said.

Chicago got a five-point performance by Jonathan Toews and a hat trick from Patrick Sharp to hand the Ducks their sixth straight loss. They've lost 15 of their last 17.

"We're digging ourselves a deeper hole," said Ducks forward Bobby Ryan, who had two goals. "If changes are made, you can't really blame them.

"Everybody is a little fed up with it. You can't blame them if they pull the trigger on something. What do you do?"

Does it bring forth a small deal or warrant doing something drastic like moving a so-called core player? General Manager Bob Murray is not one to make a hasty move, and many trades made out of panic can backfire spectacularly. (For example: The Dion Phaneuf deal for the Flames.)

But before getting back to the Ducks' deep woes, a moment of appreciation for the huge effort from Toews. Toews and his five-point performance were a career high, and he practically put the team on his back with four points in the first 9:22 of the third period.

The Blackhawks captain not only outdid his Ducks counterpart, Ryan Getzlaf, but also seriously schooled him on Chicago's fourth and fifth goals, jumping on a Getzlaf turnover behind the net on Sharp's second goal and winning the faceoff from Getzlaf to set up Sharp's third goal.

Toews scored his second goal of the game on a gritty effort after having lost his helmet, making it 6-4, at 9:22 of the third period, on the power play. He had been equally relentless on the tying goal, setting up Sharp at 1:32 to make it 4-4.

"I went behind the net, and I tried to make that play off the wall," Getzlaf said. "It kind of jumped my stick for a second, and he just wrapped it real quick. It's one of those things that it's my responsibility to be a little harder on that puck and not let that happen."

He was hardly the only culprit, as other veterans came up wanting in the third period.

"Totally undisciplined penalties at a critical time," Carlyle said.

"The Corey Perry penalty. What can you say? It's undisciplined. Saku Koivu in the offensive zone. You can say the officials did this, the officials did that.

"We did it. And we have to take responsibility for that. It's as simple as that."

Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller, who was pulled after Chicago's fifth goal, said he almost felt speechless. He added: "It looks like we're just afraid of losing right now. It looks like we always find a way to make things tough on ourselves, losing pucks in our own zone."

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