Ducks general manager Bob Murray has proven to be quite the motivator.
When the Ducks fell to 4-7-1 with a 5-2 loss to the Sharks at San Jose on October 30th, Murray scoffed at the idea that coach Randy Carlyle's job was in jeopardy and said the players needed to perform better. The Ducks have responded by winning five games in a row, including 1-0 over the Islanders on Wednesday night.
It is reminiscent of last season when the Ducks began the season a lackluster 6-10-3 before kicking into high gear after Murray ripped into the players. Left wing Bobby Ryan says there is no doubt that Murray lit a fire under the team by calling them out.
"I think coming back from that game in San Jose, we knew we were finding ourselves in a hole that's going to be tough to dig out of," Ryan said. "We've done it in the past and we had to get away from it. Obviously, if (Ryan) Getzlaf, (Corey) Perry and I are going to be catalysts and going to be relied upon, we've got to bring better games than we did. We put together a little bit now. It's a starting point. We've got to continue to let it roll."
Center Saku Koivu, though, says the Ducks knew they were playing poorly before Murray made his public statements.