Re: This Place Is Starting to Suck
posted at 3/8/2013 10:02 AM EST
The whole problem with bringing up the Washington loss is that there is no way to insulate yourself against puck luck, cold streaks or the hockey gods. No team is perfect. The best option any team has is to build a model for how best to use the talent it has. You can have all the talent in the world and still lose to a team that has half the talent but all the momentum. More talent doesn't always mean more success in the playoffs, but it often means more success in the regular season which can help set you up for the playoffs.
Look at Calgary in the 90s. They finally broke through and won a Cup in '89, Gretzky and Coffey were both gone from the Oilers, and they had a roster led by a slew of Hall of Famers - Gilmour, Nieuwendyk, Mullen, MacInnis - and guys who might have been HoF under slightly different circumstances like Sergei Makarov and Gary Roberts (neck injuries cost him three of his prime years - when he was scoring between 38-51 goals per year - so it's not hard to think he would have cracked 500 goals and 1000 points, and maybe 3000 Pims). Oh, and three time Cup winning goalie Mike Vernon, though I never thought of him as truly a top notch goalie even if he did win a Conn Smythe.
Calgary didn't win a playoff series for years after their Cup win. Fleury cracked 50 goals two years after the Cup win, and that still meant a first round exit. Things started to unravel three years later when they traded Gilmour and then future playoff talisman Matteau, partly because they didn't want to pay Gilmour given that the team was failing in the playoffs. Five years later, the team was almost completely turned over, with guys like Robert Reichel now in top 6 roles, Fleury as the face of the Franchise, Suter gone to Harford for Zalapski, MacInnis for Housley, and after the work stoppage, Nieuwendyk for Iginla. A rebuilding move. You wonder if they could have made a few smaller, smarter moves to support that talented core rather that let Fletcher shuffle the deck trying to make big moves to upgrade the talent when talent wasn't the problem.
So given that no team is perfect, a little realism in balancing what a great team the Bruins are with the places where they're not firing on all cylinders would be nice.