Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle Defended His Team Against The Oilers Non-Existent Complaints About Face-Offs
PuckDaddy- Anaheim Ducks coach Randy Carlyle decided to play some mind games with the Edmonton Oilers at media availability before Game 1 of their second-round series.
The Oilers had the worst faceoff percentage in the NHL at 47.0 last season while the Ducks had the league’s best at 54.7 percent – so Carlyle felt the need to point this out with cameras rolling.
“I know they’re going to make faceoffs a priority. They’re going to be whining to the officials. I know that’s coming because that’s just the way playoffs are because everybody has their crosses to bear on what the opposition is doing,” Carlyle said. “Because we’ve been a strong faceoff team, I’m sure they’re going to complain to the officials about the way we’re taking faceoffs. That’s just the process that takes place.”
Oilers coach Todd McLellan was asked about Carlyle’s comments and chuckled.
“Already? Already? I’ve been whining about or faceoffs all year because we’re in 30th place. I don’t think that’s a brilliant comment by any means. When you’re in 30th you’re not happy where your team’s at,” McLellan said. “Sometimes these games are played and sometimes some of those comments are almost an admission of guilt at times because they’re very effective in the faceoff circle and they do do some things, so that’s always nice to distract.”
You know what, I am kind of torn on this move. On one hand, I like the idea of disarming your opponent of what would have been a surefire, go-to excuse given the drastic difference between the teams abilities at the dot. He can laugh now, but it's more probable than not that Todd McLellan would have complained about the less noticeable tricks of the puck-battling trade when his team's numbers inevitably deflated further. On the other hand, Randy Carlyle basically just outed his team as a bunch of devious draw takers. There's a reason you don't take the stand to declare your innocence before you've officially been charged, and it's because you would look guilty as all hell if you did. For that reason, I think I have to say that - while I love the intent of this message - I don't think it does jack for the quack attack.
Let's be honest here. Whining about gamesmanship in the middle of a series that you're currently on the wrong side of comes off as sour grapes 100% of the time. Very rarely will it ever change the way an official calls a game, because most officials are smart enough to realize that it's just a ploy to guilt them into policing a fundamental part of the game in a way that benefits the team that's currently at odds. Coaches still do it on the off-chance it does work, but - in general - their whining is less efficient and more full of shit than the average person's use of toilet paper.
Giving credence to that potential whining by denying it's legitimacy before it's even spoken into existence, however, is an actual reason for suspicion. Randy Carlyle is essentially the professional equivalent of the guy who blurts out "I'M NOT CHEATING ON YOU!" when his girlfriend asks why it took him so long to get home. Maybe she was going to accuse him and maybe she wasn't, but now she doesn't even have to because his conscience is obviously more unclean than his dick probably is.
In reality, this back and forth is dumber than thinking it will actually change anything that takes place on the ice, but - as a general rule of thumb - it's better to shut the fuck up and not give your opponent an ever-so-slight benefit of the doubt without them even having to sound salty about not getting it. If I were a referee I would currently be more inclined to keep a watchful eye on the Ducks...after going to both benches and telling the grown men standing behind them to stop treating me like a gullible child of divorce.