Ducks' season over, a bit later than expected

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Perhaps the last cartoon for a couple of weeks -- Sleek's on vacation.

And so it ends, the seventh game that wasn't supposed to happen, in the second round that wasn't supposed to happen, after the first round that wasn't supposed to happen.  Here's my comment from last night post-game, I really don't have a ton to add to it:

First off, thanks for any condolences, but here’s really my feeling on this one. Of all the times that Anaheim has been eliminated from the postseason, this one hurts the least. I actually feel pretty good.

Joe keeps mocking me for saying this, but we weren’t supposed to be in the playoffs, we weren’t supposed to survive round one, and we weren’t supposed to push the Wings to the closing minutes of G7. Sure today could have had a different ending, and that would have been swell-icious, but I’m happy we weren’t blown out in really any part of these playoffs.

We found out we have a killer goalie in Hiller (one big offseason question: will anybody approach Giguere about his no-movement clause? that’s a big $6M sitting around if it’s not being used), a blueline maybe better than 2007 (more summer questions to be answered there), a top line that might be among the best in franchise history — all 23 24 or younger, I think, and that guys like Niedermayer, Selanne, and Marchant all had lots in their tank. And as noted, we have a new GM in Murray who hasn’t done anything close to wrong yet.

Yes, the lesson is kind of trite — the first 70 games of a season do matter — and we may have to ask what really went wrong there. But it’s pretty much been all smiles since that 1-0 regular season loss where I declared the team’s season dead — and I can’t truly complain about that.

Congrats, Wings and (a few of you) Wings fans — held your end of the deal quite well. I will be rooting against you in the next round, but it has nothing to do with bitterness and everything to do with Sammy Pahlsson. Ducks fans, you may have been surprised at what a mess I’d have been next round had the Ducks advanced — Sammy’s got that much a hold on me. But should the Wings survive that, I have zero interest in a Carolina or Pittsburgh cup.

And fuck blaming refs, guys. Leave that to the amateurs.

Feel free to throw in your own post-series thoughts or summer musings in the comments as well. 

As is my usual habit after an Anaheim season ends, I'll be taking a week or two off serious blogging (though this "Wayward Teams" series does offer some intrigue), to recharge for an interesting summer ahead.  Chin up, Ducks fans -- even though my least-desirable outcome happened (losing to righteous Wings fans is never easy), I think we brought out the worst in a lot of them, and that's saying something.  Serious props to IAmJoe, Justice & Rule, hockeychic, A2Y, and TD Tyler (sorry if I missed anybody) for stopping in and offering level-headed opposition comments -- I will say this, at least from a BoC comment perspective, this series was way more civil and productive than 2007. 

After the jump, a collection of Ducks-Wings cartoons, from this series and beyond.

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Per the odd-numbered year pattern, I suppose we'll be doing this DET-ANA postseason battle again in the spring of 2011 -- enough time for both franchises to catch their breath. Until then...

Go Ducks.

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