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Takeaways: Take a Break

Maybe this break came at the right time for the Ducks. And maybe it didn't.

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

1. Predictably, the Ducks looked better playing the Blackhawks than they did playing the Predators. Also predictably, they lost to the Blackhawks and beat the Predators. I'm just happy that they could play with Chicago and not look bad. Cam Fowler committed an ugly turnover on the coffin-nailing goal, shown below, but as you can see, he whiffs on the puck, so it isn't the type of structural defensive issue that would be concerning.

2. The Olympic break has me a little worried. If memory serves, the Ducks entered the 2010 break two points out of a playoff spot, then completely fell apart and finished the season 11th in the west. That year, Scott Niedermayer, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan, Ryan Whitney, Teemu Selanne, and Saku Koivu all won medals, meaning they played throughout the entire break. I don't think these things are coincidental. Also, take this opportunity to reflect on the fact that Ryan Whitney made the American team. The Silver Medal-winning American team.

3. Nick Bonino and Mark Fistric timed their injuries well. Even if the Olympians come back and don't play as well as they did earlier in the season, there's always a chance that the non-Olympians will pick up their slack. Francois Beauchemin looks better now than he did a month ago.

4. Go USA!