As much as I would love to Ducks style" target="_blank">see the Ducks succeed this season, and make the playoffs for my own personal desire to ingest as much hockey as possible, I can't help but wonder what it would mean if the team missed the playoffs—in a positive manner of course.
To begin, I do not anticipate either Teemu Selanne or Scott Niedermayer will return next season.
I don't want to see either go, but to be honest, I don't feel that either player has had the season they hoped for. Disregarding their Olympic achievements, both men have their ups and downs on the ice and Selanne's injury list grew a great deal this year.
With 16 games remaining, Selanne only needs to score two goals to reach the 600 career mark in the NHL. If he is able to do so, I'd be willing to wager on his departure from hockey for good at the end of this season.
It would be wonderful to see both men leave the game on top. Unfortunately, I do not see this team rising to that level in 2010. I don't think the team wants it. I don't think the team has the drive, determination, or the passion to achieve it.
While I don't want to see the Ducks take an early summer vacation (or to continue to play the way they have been), I do want to see them become a winning team again in the future.
I think that needs to begin now.
With an early exit from the hockey scene this season, the Ducks could benefit greatly from the disappointment.
For example, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry have seen more than their fair share of winning at a young age.
Numerous playoff appearances, a Stanley Cup, and Olympic Gold medals are on a list of achievements that these two men boast. Some will never be as successful in their entire career, and these two have done it all before age 25.
Perhaps it is worth missing a post season run in order for these two gentlemen to reevaluate the work ethic necessary to obtain such glorious accomplishments. It might be time for the slew of youth on the Ducks roster to learn the sting of defeat before they are able to appreciate the joys of victory.
Time and again fans have questioned the level of talent the Ducks posses and the disappointing season they have produced.
Would a missed playoff opportunity be enough to bring these stars down to earth?
Likewise, many fans have called for the firing of Coach Randy Carlyle.
Perhaps his previous seasons of success have allowed the management and ownership to keep him at the helm.
Would a failed season be enough to give the coaching staff an overhaul?
Perhaps even to replace General Manager Bob Murray.
Again we are reminded of the numbers and the possibility of the Ducks making the playoffs this season. The chances of them seeing hockey in late April are slim, but still possible.
Assuming the team makes the post season, would it even be worth the trip?
Do they have the firepower they possessed last season to upset a powerhouse like the San Jose Sharks?
Or would they simply vanish without even creating a spark?
It might just mean that missing the playoffs is a positive.