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Let’s all blame the Olympics for the Ducks’ slump

I’m not going to blame the Olympic break for the losing streak that the Anaheim Ducks are going through (0-4-1 since the Olympics), but it’s certainly tough not to look at the break as a big factor. The Ducks were 5-2-0 leading up to the break and were making a push for a playoff spot after a disappointing start to the season.

Yet now the Ducks can pretty much write their playoffs hopes off, ten points back with 14 games remaining. What’s led to the slump, after such a strong February? Well, Ryan Getzlaf playing horribly doesn’t help much.

“He’s got to do a better job of moving his feet,” [Ducks coach Randy] Carlyle said. “I think in the games that his effectiveness is where we’re accustomed to, he has the puck and he’s moving with it. And I find he’s standing still, trying to make too many plays.”

Getzlaf is the team’s leading scorer yet he’s making too many negative plays for someone who is supposedly the captain-in-waiting. Was his time in the Olympics to blame for this letdown he’s going through now?

“You go from a high level of hockey where you’re competing for a gold medal and then you come back and now you’re competing for the playoffs,” he said. “It’s not a letdown. If anything it’s another pickup and it just keeps going and going.”

It’s one heck of a coincidence, the way his play has declined since coming back from Vancouver. When mentioning why having the NHL players in the Olympics is a detriment to the league, these sorts of drops in playing level is one of the first reasons that is brought up.

Tough to blame one player for an entire team’s troubles, however. Unless it’s the goaltender, of course.