I am not going to back this up with stats. I am merely going to voice an opinion. Every damn year any team's fanbase that did NOT win the Stanley Cup looks at the champion team and starts dissecting. "What if the Canucks had a guy like Dustin Brown?" "Oh geez, the Canucks lack size...Gillis get on it!" Blah blah blah. Now that the Kings have won the Cup in convincing fashion I see a lot of comments about how big they were and that the Canucks couldn't match/compete with that size. What angers me even more is when people say that they don't feel so bad about the Canucks losing to the Kings because everyone else that faced them were demolished as well. Bullshit!
Vancouver lost to the Kings because
let's face it, they did not want to win as much as the Kings did. Were the Kings an uber physical team against us? Yes. So what. The Canucks lacked intensity and goal-scoring several weeks before the playoffs even started. The Kings won the Cup, but Vancouver could have made it to the Finals as well. They just didn't want it as much as LA did. I remember all this "oh damn, gotta have more size to win the Cup" talk when the Ducks won the Cup a few years ago. Then what happened? The Penguins and Wings won Cups. On size??? NO! On DESIRE. Desire is what it takes. It takes every single player in that locker room to believe in themselves as individuals, as a team, and the system put in place by the coach to win it all. That is something our Canucks lacked this year.
I give credit to the Kings for being as good as they were in round 1 but really....the Canucks hardly even showed up. It shakes my foundations as a Canucks fan. Why do I give a shit so much when it seems like they do not. But this is the complexity of team chemistry. Dean Lombardi gets praise for some of his additions to the Kings team. So does ex-GM Dave Taylor. But you can't just pick all the best players available (via trade or free agency) and win the Cup. Not in the new cap era. No, dynasties are dead and you have to carefully select players onto your team that are going to gel in that locker room and fight for eachother. That is no easy task. By the way, this is why I like Mike Gillis acquiring character guys...or at least saying he does. He wants guys that are leaders. But even that in itself can self-implode because you can't have too may leaders in the room. You also need followers and guys that are influenced by the leaders. Pluggers. Chemistry. Fack..that is a tough one. You can rarely foresee it as a GM. The GM just fills in the pieces the best that he can and hope all the shit sticks. Really that is what it is all about.
The Kings had a solid team to begin with, underachieved during the season, but really came alive when they brought up the right guys from Manchester to solidify their bottom 6, made a coaching change with Darryl Sutter who implanted a solid system and BINGO it worked! It's not as easy as it sounds though. It looks easy when they win the Cup but that could easily have crashed and burned. It did not because that team all pulled their weight in the roles given and believed in each other. A GM STUMBLES across that.
Why do I know this? Because I look at the Canucks of 2011. Not as big, but played like they were big. Got tonnes of breaks because every single fukker played his ass off and they earned those breaks. Had excellent goaltending which is always the biggest key. Or is it? You need every player on your team to ALL believe in each other. From the goaltending - out.
This season Kesler's shoulder was fucked and he's possibly not ready/willing to play hockey into June? Sure. But right there you have one of the biggest pieces of your team that may not be ready to show the desire and compete to play hockey into June.
It really is as complex/simple as that. Whatever wanker roster you / we assemble as fans through message boards and NHL 12 means NOTHING.
You could assemble all of the best Canadian players onto the Canucks team and LA still may have beat them. Why?
Desire. Luck. Desire. Chemistry.
Roll the fucking dice I guess. Isn't that what it's all about?
Well if that was not the case then we might still have dynasties out there, cap restrictions or not. But those days are over. Think LA is a dynasty team? Think again. Back to summer time and assembling your team. Hope your shit sticks, Gillis.