Corey Perry might have dealt with his current situation a little differently if he were 21 or 22 and struggling with only one goal over 11 games.
Time has given Perry added wisdom.
And while the high-scoring Ducks winger isn't near the form that made him the NHL's most valuable player in 2011, he isn't going to overreact to his season-opening slump.
"It definitely would be different if I were younger," Perry said Monday. "I'm more mature now. Obviously, I'm still frustrated. It's just the bounces aren't there or whatever it may be.
"It's just one of those things where you have to try to dig yourself out of."
The great thing is the Ducks are 8-2-1 and they haven't needed Perry's usual production as they're getting scoring from many different sources. Seven players have four goals or more.
But the bad thing is Perry has just one – and this is his all-important contract year.
"I put pressure on myself," Perry said. "Everybody expects big things. I obviously haven't been scoring but it's definitely different if we're 2-8-1 or whatever. Obviously, they'll come if I just keep shooting the puck."
Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said Perry's frustration is evident on his face and that offensive players who are struggling are "hoping rather than doing."
"I told Corey, 'you're pressing,'" Boudreau said. "'And when it's time to score, when we've needed it, you're the one that always comes through.' So I'm not worried about him.
"I'd like to see him get one for his sake. An empty-net goal or whatever. It doesn't matter."
Perry did deliver a big shootout goal in the fourth round Saturday in St. Louis, which kept the Ducks alive and eventually allowed Nick Bonino to get the decisive score in a 6-5 victory.
"When you're in a shootout and you haven't scored or you have one goal all year, to get a big goal like that, a shootout goal to keep it going, it definitely lifted my spirits a little bit," he said.
The Ducks will gladly take a goal or two from Perry on Tuesday night when they take on Chicago, which has bolted to a 10-0-2 record (the NHL's best since the Ducks went 12-0-4 in 2006-07).
Ducks' Perry trying to dig out of a slump
Orange County Register | Feb 12