This is especially true when it comes to the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs, Year and year out, pundits and fans alike see good NHL teams exit the playoffs early and year in and year out, these same teams had great regular seasons.
One club that might fall victim to that this year are the Anaheim Ducks. Yes, the Ducks have been one of the best teams in the league this year (currently second in the league and two points behind the league-leading Boston Bruins), but there are several flaws that could hurt them in the playoffs this year.
One thing to look at is team head coach Bruce Boudreau. When it comes to the regular season, Boudreau is great at getting his teams to perform well, finish near the top of the league, win a division and set franchise records for wins in a season.
The playoffs, however, are a much different story for Boudreau. Despite coaching talent-laden teams in Anaheim and previously in Washington with the Capitals, Boudreau has yet to get his team past the second round of the postseason.
While the blame should not solely be placed on Boudreau's shoulders, it is a trend that us worth noticing considering the kind of position the Ducks are in right now. The Ducks are an elite NHL team that has all the tools and talent to win a Cup and if they do not do that this season, Boudreau is someone that might need to be looked at as one of the reasons why they did not win.
Secondly, the team finds themselves with a goaltending conundrum heading into the most important part of the NHL's season. The Ducks currently have three good goaltenders in Jonas Hiller, Frederik Andersen, and youngster John Gibson.
Hiller has plenty of postseason experience while Andersen and Gibson do not. With that said, it is Gibson's ability to play well on the big stage that has Boudreau intrigued, which he explained to L.A. Times's writer Lance Pugmire.
Of his decision to play Gibson on Wednesday, Boudreau said, “It’s a little bit of a gamble … My gut feeling [was] that he’d be the guy at this stage who’d really jump up and do a bang-up job for us.
“I don’t know what we’re going to do now.”
This point of the season and the playoffs are never the time to have questions about who your number one guy is. Unfortunately for Boudreau and the Ducks, it appears that is where they are at with their netminding right now.Lastly, this Ducks' hockey club has not had much luck in the postseason of late. The last two seasons the Ducks were in the playoffs, they lost in the first round and then in 2008-09, they lost in the second round to the Detroit Red Wings.
Again, we all know that the Ducks are one of the league's best teams this season. With that said, there are some glaring issues that the Ducks have that could derail them in their quest for their second Cup in franchise history.