The Anaheim Ducks finished second in the Western Conference, winning their second Pacific Division banner and giving their fans high hopes for the post-season. They were expected to make the playoffs this season, but the finish, despite the presence of superstars like Corey Perry, Teemu Selanne, Bobby Ryan, and Ryan Getzlaf, was a pleasant surprise.
A team with a 30-12-6 record was just knocked out of the playoffs by a team with a 24-16-8 record in a hard-fought seven game series. There's nothing to be ashamed of by that, except for the fact that the Ducks were outgunned when it mattered by a smarter Detroit team. People who counted the Red Wings out this season did so at their own risk. Mike Babcock is one of the best coaches in the league, and he proved it this series.
Bruce Boudreau was, again, outmatched. He actually told the Detroit Free Press' Helene St. James that he was mentally tired after each game:
“It keeps you in the game,” Boudreau said after...