The Anaheim Ducks
have had three days to stew over a disastrous road trip, and that has translated to three days of the same talking points.
An 0-3-2 end to a seven-game road trip culminated with a 5-0 loss to Detroit that coach Randy Carlyle
called their "worst game of the year."
Anaheim is dead last in the NHL at 1.86 goals per game as it begins a homestand against Pekka Rinne
and the Nashville Predators
on Wednesday night.
After days of questions about everything from the Ducks' lack of secondary scoring to concerns about confidence, Carlyle bristled at Wednesday's morning skate.
"There's been a lot of negative written, said, professed," Carlyle said. "Now it's time for action. Go out and play to the highest possible level we can, and that's young players, old players, as coaches, everybody's involved in this."
Carlyle also barked when asked about Nashville's recent success against Anaheim in the wake of the Predators' elimination of the Ducks in the first round of the playoffs last season.
Including the postseason, Nashville has won nine of the past 12 meetings against Anaheim. The Predators beat the Ducks, 3-0, on Oct. 29, but tonight is the first meeting at Honda Center since the playoff series.
"Because we lost 3-0 and we lost the playoff series, does that give them advantage?" Carlyle said. "If that's what you're asking, I don't think that. I don't think we played very well in Nashville. I think we can play to a much higher level, and I think we've got to go out and prove to ourselves that we can do that."
At least one Ducks player acknowledged that this appears to be a budding rivalry.
"There's always a lot of emotion in those games," Francois Beauchemin
said. "We both play hard. You want to win those battles and that's what makes those games always exciting to play."