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Ducks GM says 'core has to be held responsible'

After firing Boudreau as coach, Murray calls first-round loss 'very disturbing to watch'

by Abbey Mastracco / Correspondent

ANAHEIM -- The firing of Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau was ultimately based on a lack of success in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but general manager Bob Murray didn't pin all of the blame on Boudreau on Friday.

"The core has to be held responsible," Murray said at Honda Center after firing Boudreau. "Maybe I haven't been hard enough on them in the last few years. They're going to hear some different words this time."

Murray said Boudreau couldn't be completely faulted for the NHL-record four straight home Game 7 losses, and that the problems began well before the most recent, a 2-1 loss to the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference First Round on Wednesday.

"Where were they in Games 1 and 2?" Murray said of the series-opening home losses. "The players are going to have to answer that in the next couple of days. Where were they? I think they showed up in Game 7, but where was that passion to control the motion? Where the heck was that?"

At the top of that leadership core is captain Ryan Getzlaf and alternate captains Ryan Kesler and Corey Perry, the latter who was scoreless with a minus-7 rating in the first round. The group extends to include veteran defensemen Kevin Bieksa and Cam Fowler, who at 24 has played six seasons in the NHL.

There's a few others as well, but Murray wouldn't name names or get into specifics. What he did do is implore that group to show more leadership and take more accountability, especially in important games.

"The mentality has been that they weren't going out to win but going out not to lose," Murray said. "You cannot play hockey that way. You cannot. And that's the group. It was very disturbing to watch."

The fact Getzlaf didn't feel the need to say anything to the Ducks before Game 7 wasn't concerning, Murray said. Getzlaf's position as captain is safe for now, but Murray did say the new coach will have input.

"I think he's doing the best he can in that role," Murray said of Getzlaf, who has been Ducks captain since 2010. "The best leaders in the world do is, when it comes to this Game 7, is they don't say a word and they go out and lead on the ice. I go back to the days of the [Wayne] Gretzkys and the [Mark] Messiers and they never said anything. It's going out and doing it."

There's no-trade and no-movement clauses in the contracts of those Ducks leaders, but Murray made it clear he wants more from them. From the others? He may not need their services anymore.

"This won't be the same team," Murray said. "That's for sure."

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