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Takeaways: It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Like everyone else here, I've got a million different playoff-related thoughts running around in my head. Here is my attempt to sort a few of them into three rough categories.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Bad Thoughts:

1. The four consecutive wins to end the regular season are all fine and dandy, but keep in mind that the Ducks won three of their last four games of last season before falling in the opening round.

2. History tells us that a top seed doesn't mean as much as it used to. Four of the last eight Presidents' Trophy winners have been knocked out in the first round.

3. Bruce Boudreau's playoff woes might actually be more than just bad luck. During his press box interview in the season finale, Brian Hayward asked Ryan Getzlaf if coaches still prepare a "book" on their playoff opponents. Getzlaf said, "We didn't do as much last year with Bruce," and then went on about how they were still well prepared. His wording makes me think Randy Carlyle did prepare books of some sort before each playoff round, which really shouldn't surprise anyone given Carlyle's postseason success. Remember, his team came within a goal of beating the immeasurably superior Boston Bruins last year, and he won more series in Anaheim than every other coach in team history combined. I'm still a big supporter of Boudreau's general coaching philosophy, but this has got me thinking about why his teams have yet to go far in the postseason.

4. Possession metrics. PDO. The Ducks.

5. I'm worried about the goaltending situation. The more I think about it, the more I think Frederik Andersen needs to play. The more likely scenario is that Jonas Hiller starts. [Ed. Note: Really?! -CK] I'm okay with that, as long as at least one of three things happens: He plays well, he wins, or he watches Game Two from the bench.

Neutral thoughts:

1. The Dallas Stars outscored the Ducks 11-9 while winning two of three games this season. Can't say I'm too worried about that.

2. Bryan Allen was scratched at the end of the regular season. So were the Twins and Francois Beauchemin. Does that mean he's resting up because the coaching staff see him as a critical piece of the puzzle? Or has Sami Vatanen actually jumped him on the depth chart? This thought will move into another subheading once I know the answer.

Good thoughts:

1. As I wrote above, four of the last eight Presidents' Trophy winners have bowed out early. But the Ducks are not Presidents' Trophy winners. As it turns out, zero of the last eight number one seeds of the conference that didn't win the Presidents' Trophy lost in the first round.

2. Stephane Robidas knows the Stars very well, and he will pass on that knowledge to his teammates. I'm not concerned about the fact that the Stars know Robidas. He is only one player, so the worst that can happen is that they anticipate his tendencies and his play suffers. That's a lot different than knowing an entire team.

3. Mathieu Perreault, Nick Bonino, Patrick Maroon, and Devante Smith-Pelly made offense happen in the last week of the season.

4. PDO is supposed to regress to the mean, but neither math nor history nor voodoo magic decrees that it will happen anytime soon. The playoffs — and this is obvious, but bear with me — are a smaller sample size than the regular season, and one playoff series is a tiny sample size. Unsustainable shooting and save percentages happen all the time over the course of one round.

5. So glad to see J-S Giguere get the treatment he deserved and Paul Kariya at least show up. 35 ought to follow eight to the rafters based on his postseason heroics alone. Nine probably still needs a few years of forgiving and forgetting, not because it's fair, but because that's how the world works.