Ducks-Stars: Three things to watch

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Following the Ducks’ win over the rival Kings Saturday night, captain Ryan Getzlaf yelled at defenseman Stephane Robidas from across the room.

"Well Robi, at least we’ve got you on our side now, eh?" Getzlaf said. "I like our chances."

The veteran defenseman had previously spent nearly nine of his 14 NHL seasons with the Dallas Stars — Anahiem’s first-round playoff opponents —  the day before March’s trade deadline. And while Robidas will undoubtedly be an X-factor, a few other aspects will factor into the series as well.

Here are three things to watch for in Ducks’ first-round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

1.     Robidas

He doesn’t want to make this series about him vs. his former team but it is notable the way it worked out.

First-round playoff schedules, including TV listings, for Kings and Ducks


Stars GM Jim Nill wanted to Robidas to go to a contender and made no secret of it. It seemed odd for Dallas to deal him while still in playoff contention itself but Nill wanted the 37-year-old to not only make the playoffs but advance and win a cup in the end as well. 

"At the time of the trade, Anaheim was first and Dallas was eighth, and the GM and the coaches [in Dallas] said, ‘€˜We might face you in the first round,’" Robidas said. "The way I understood it, they really did me a favor. I was coming back from injury, and they didn’t know if they were going to make the playoffs."

He won’t be taking a back seat to his first trip to the playoffs in five years.

Robidas has been playing a little over 20 minutes per game since coming back from a leg injury and has been an integral park of Anaheim’s penalty kill unit.

2. Rookie goaltending

The Ducks have a pair of rookies that could make some waves.

Goaltenders Frederik Andersen and John Gibson would turn some heads should head coach Bruce Boudreau appoint one of them to start in the net over longtime staple Jonas Hiller. 

Hiller struggled down the stretch and the Ducks had so much confidence in Andersen, who finished 20-5 this season, that they traded away stud backup Viktor Fasth. 

With Gibson winning the Second Star of the Week after a stellar debut week, Boudreau said no decision has yet been made.

"We’ve got three good goalies and these are tough decisions," Boudreau said. "It’s not that one is doing bad or the other one is doing good. They are three good ones and I have to make a choice. Whoever I choose, someone is going to say, ‘Why didn’t you chose the other guy?’"

3. The Seguin Factor

Tyler Seguin isn’t a factor that can be easily eliminated.

Seguin, only 22-years-old, had a monster season finishing fourth in the league in points (84) and sixth in goals (37). The center teamed with captain Jamie Benn and the duo led the Stars to a 8-4-0 record over the last 12 games to clinch the wild card spot. 

His playoff performance last season in Boston with the defending Stanley Cup Champions was lackluster, but he’s in a new system under first-year Stars’ head coach Lindy Ruff and has a clean postseason slate.