Takeaways: Back to the Old Grind

Bruce Bennett

As we expected, plenty of Ducks played late into the Olympic tournament and brought home some hardware. What does that mean for the first games back in the NHL season?

1. The Finns wanted it more than the Americans did, plain and simple. Both teams were disappointed with their semi-final losses to neighboring countries, but rather than admit failure in the tournament, Team Finland regrouped and fought hard for their Bronze Medal. Team USA, it appears, adopted a Gold or bust mentality and in doing so let any chance at a medal slip away. Congratulations to Teemu Selanne, Sami Vatanen, and the rest of the Finnish team. They deserved their Olympic medal. The Americans did not.

2. Speaking of Selanne, the Ducks website has a pretty good list of his Olympic accolades dating back to 1992. Take a look. Perhaps his performance in Sochi will convince Bruce Boudreau to give him a little more power play time, something I wouldn't mind seeing.

3. Nick Bonino and Mark Fistric, while both still on IR, could return as early as Friday's game against the St. Louis Blues. That game kicks off a four-game homestand that will also see the Ducks host the Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal Canadiens, and Pittsburgh Penguins. The Blues will obviously present a challenge, but I'm more concerned about seeing how the Ducks perform, particularly those that competed in Sochi. Jonas Hiller and Cam Fowler should be plenty motivated after their teams disappointing losses, but will that translate into good play? And how will the Ducks' two best players perform in their return to regular season games, which figure to be something of an emotional letdown after the triumph of winning Gold? They didn't respond so well in 2010. Let's hope for better this time around.

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