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Ducks' Fowler blames players for team's early-season struggles

Marilyn Indahl / USA TODAY Sports

Cam Fowler is defending his head coach in the midst of a dreadful start to the season for the Anaheim Ducks.

After a 3-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday, the reigning Pacific Division champions dropped to 1-5-1, with a grand total of six goals in seven games to their credit.

Related: Bruce Boudreau's face says it all during another Ducks loss

While head coach Bruce Boudreau is the center of attention in regards to the team's struggles - and could very well be the scapegoat - Fowler puts the onus squarely on the team's roster.

"None of this is on Bruce. Bruce is a motivator. He's a guy that sticks up for his players and someone you want to play for," Fowler said Saturday. "Unfortunately, when you lose in this business, the finger seems to be pointed at the coach, but as players, the responsibility is with us.

"We're trying to say all the right things. As a group we're trying to encourage each other," Fowler continued. "I'd be lying if I said it was easy to stay positive right now. This is a tough go that we have but we have to stay together through it. That's the only way we can come out on the other side."

The lack of scoring is befuddling, especially considering seven players around the league have as many or more goals to their names than the entire Ducks squad.

Player Goals
Jamie Benn (DAL) 8
Max Pacioretty (MTL) 7
Jaromir Jagr (FLA) 6
James Neal (NSH) 6
Adam Henrique (NJD) 6
Zach Parise (MIN) 6
Tyler Toffoli (LAK) 6
Anaheim Ducks 6

Anaheim scored four goals in its lone win this season, meaning the Ducks are well on their way to eclipsing last season's shutout total.

For his part, Boudreau believes it's all a matter of the type of pressure that befalls players when mired in a slump.

"I think it mounts. Human nature would dictate that it would," he said. "And when you have chances and you don't score it's even magnified more. You're holding the stick so tight and you can't make plays."

In order for the Ducks to fly high once again, star players like Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry - who have one assist each thus far - will have to set the pace. Things won't get any easier for Anaheim in the short term, however, with road dates in Chicago, Dallas, and St. Louis on tap.

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