OK, so you're a defending Stanley Cup champion that looked like a Pee-Wee team in the first two games of the playoffs. Sure, a roster with no less than three sure-thing Hall of Famers couldn't elevate Anaheim over the Dallas Stars, a team that's been the equivalent of a playoff bye in the West since Eddie Belfour left town. Yeah, Scott Niedermayer and Teemu Selanne will now temporarily retire weeks before they were scheduled to next temporarily retire. Cheer up buckaroos, it could be worse ... although there are only about five Ducks in recent memory that had a more embarrassing and shameful demise than this year's squad from Anaheim:
The Duck from Duck Hunt. Getting shot over and over again by millions of suburban American children is no way to go through life; especially when your buckshot-riddled death is so effortless that a giggling dog mocks the shooter if he or she fails to bag any fowl. (If you ever wanted to shoot the dog and have Flash installed, head here.) Bonus pity points for the fact that Nintendo may have created an entire generation of real-life duck hunters, who will now bitterly cling to their guns because the economy is so bad.
The Duck in "The Pacifier." The upside: Having the opportunity to bite co-star Vin Diesel. The downside: Co-starring with Vin Diesel.
Duckie Dale, "Pretty in Pink." Had an obsessive crush on Molly Ringwald, but much like Anaheim it was grounded in a sense of entitlement: He put in the time, he put in the energy and he had to overcome the odds of class distinction and institutional ugliness. Duckie thought the fates owed him one, just like the Ducks believed the Hockey Gods owed them for having to travel all that way to London to start the season. In John Hughes's original script, Duckie gets the girl; in the movie, he tells her to go hook up with the rich dude, which made him a heartbreaking nerd icon but did little for his sex life. Duckie ends up being asked to dance at the prom by an attractive blonde. It was Kristy Swanson. How long do you think that lasted?
Kevin Duckworth, Former Portland Trailblazer. Much like Anaheim, a model of squandered potential: An all-star caliber forward during his 11-year NBA career, he simply couldn't overcome a predisposition for being too fat and happy. Well, more fat than happy. Really, really fat. He was also incurably soft and untrustworthy defensively, much like Mathieu Schneider.
"Howard the Duck." A stunning array of talent, behind the scenes and in the action, manages to squander earlier success with poor execution and terrible decision-making. Yep, that was the 2007-08 Anaheim Ducks; "Howard the Duck" was just a really crappy movie. Although they might end up sharing one interesting connection: Executive Producer George Lucas would go on to oversee several other unmitigated disasters, and Brian Burke could still become the next GM of the Leafs.