Talk about being bitter... A few teams that may it to this year's postseason, notably the Los Angeles Kings, Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild, were hoping for a different outcome when it came to their playoff performances. The Kings and Ducks were both swept in the first round of the postseason, but the Vegas Golden Knights and the San Jose Sharks respectively, and now players and coaches need to face the music and make sure the mistakes are not repeated in the coming season.
One veteran player was quick to point out one mistake that was made by his club. Ducks defenseman and enforcer Kevin Bieksa only took part in one playoff game this spring, and was not happy about the team's decisions were made concerning his status. Bieksa indicated Saturday that he ruptured a tendon in his finger during a fight with Phialdelphia Flyers goon Radko Gudas, which resulted in him missing time at the end of the season, Eric Stephens of The Orange County Register reported.
Bieksa missed the final 12 regular-season games, when the Ducks had an impressive record of 10-1-1, after he had surgery March 16 to remove scar tissue from his left hand. He returned for Game 2 against the Sharks, had a turnover that led to the first goal in the 3-2 loss, and was a healthy scratch the final two games. The veteran enforcer has been furious about it and let the team know on Saturday in an interview.
"It kept me out of a lot of games down the stretch, which I'm sure factored into the decision not to play me as much in the playoffs, which is very disappointing."
"It didn't turn out to be a good-looking decision," he bluntly said of the Ducks' choice to sit him out.
While his finger injury will not prevent him from being an impactful player next season, the 36-year-old blueliner is set to hit the open market, and with his latest comments on the Ducks, it is easy to imagine he will not return to Anaheim.
"We're two days after the season, so that's something that you always take some time," Bieksa said per NHL.com. "You don't make any decisions right after the season. You take some time, decompress and spend time with your family. Get healthy and then you decide after that."
Let's see where he ends up for next season.