What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bookboy007. Show Bookboy007's posts

    What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    As unlikely as dynasties are in this era of a hard Cap, the Kings are pretty freaking close right now.  They have two of the last three Cups and lost in the Western finals in between.  Chicago took it to them in that series, but you can imagine how the legend would grow if Kane's double OT had been a game 7 winner and the only thing standing between the Kings and three consecutive Finals appearances.  Looking at the ages of their key players, it's not hard to speculate about how many more runs they might take in the next few years.  You can't even say they have impending Cap issues, though Kopitar will be UFA after two years and could push for Toews-like money. 


    But then there's...the rest of the story.  First Cup, the Kings were an 8 seed; last year, 6th seed.  The middle year is actually the highest they've been seeded at 5th.


    Last year, the Kings were 26th in goals for, 27th in PP%, but first in GA/G (only the Bruins were even close to LA's 2.05 GA/G) and third in 5 on 5 differential.  Think about that for a second.  They were so good on defense that they were third in 5v5 goal differential despite scoring the 6th fewest goals in the league. (some of that will be a question of PP; total goals, they were 7th at +32).  Kopitar led the Kings in scoring with 70 points.  Carter had 50.  Williams and Mike Richards had 43 and 41.  No one else cracked 40 points.  (In comparison, the Bruins had Krejci with 69, two other players with more than 60, three more guys over Carter's 50, and then three players in the 40s including two defensemen.) 


    Things changed a bit in the playoffs: the PP% shot up 8%, they topped the chart in 5v5 differential, but they also led in raw goals/game, though they dropped to 4th in goals against/game.  They nearly crapped out against the Sharts, but once they reminded the Sharts who they are, the Kings remembered how to be a dominant playoff team.


    From what I've read both at the time and since, the conventional story here is going to be about three things: the acquisition of playoff scoring sensation Marion Gaborik (I think he's going to have to change his name to "PSS Marion") and the contributions of young guns Pearson and Toffoli, and elevated performances from Carter, Williams and Muzzin.  I wonder, though, if this is looking at the Trees and missing the forest.  This is the second time in three years that the Kings have added a guy who would be one of their leading playoff goalscorers late in the season (and both from Columbus...).  The odds are against that formula working once let alone twice.  Other teams have gotten a boost from rookies in the past, but again, the odds are against rookies having a significant impact in the playoffs.


    If I'm a GM looking to the Kings as a model, the lesson I'm taking away is: build big, build young, build a defensive identity up the middle and put the emphasis on playing a high energy, high "compete" game.  You won't score enough to win a President's Trophy or be a top seed, but you'll make the playoffs, and you'll be able to beat anyone on any given day.  Then, address clear limitations at the deadline.  Both times the Kings won the Cup, they couldn't score goals. I don't mean the way some people say the Bruins can't score because they don't have a 40 or 50 goal guy; I mean outside of Carter and Kopitar, only Justin Williams (19) had more than 15 goals on that team.  The Bruins had 8 players with 16 or more goals, including 5 with more than 20.  So, at the deadline, if they were going to add players, what else would they have pursued other than scoring?  This is fundamentally different from a team like the Bruins or Blackhawks looking ramp up their offense even more, and probably more likely to succeed.  And the most common commodity on the trade market leading up to the deadline is almost always a guy known for scoring some goals.  Iginla and Jagr; Vanek, Moulson, Gaborik just the last two years.


    The media and fans tend to fixate on goalscorers - stars, faces you can market - but I think the lesson of the Kings is that you need to build a rock solid, high energy team first because, if you have that, you actually can acquire and more easily integrate a goalscorer or two late in the year.  That's the biggest difference between the Bruins model of 2011 (very similar) and the Kings.  Even though Jagr was a terrible fit in a CJ team, and spent 20 minutes a game using his butt to maintain possession of the puck along the boards, he's the only genuine goalscorer the Bruins have added at the deadline in the Chiarelli era, and coincidentally, they went to the finals.  I think the Kings might just be showing why it worked, and it might just be something you can use as a blueprint.  Step 1 is the hardest: a top 5 goalie, a Norris calibre D, and a Selke calibre C*.  But from the perspective of managing your way toward a Cup winner, letting goalscoring be your (regular season) weakness might be the new trap. 


     


     


    *obviously, this is also the Bruins and the Blackhawks, so no surprise these three teams are dominating the Finals over the last 5 years.


    Are you not entertained?!?!

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from wallydouglas. Show wallydouglas's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings


    I am not sure of the stats of, and too lazy to look them but anytime i watched any LA games, it seemed they rolled there 4 lines more evenly, could that be the difference between the kings and other teams, not burnt out come playoff time.

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from lucdufour. Show lucdufour's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    Tremendous luck goes a long way too.  The Bruins were a Ryder save away from getting bounced and needed 3 game sevens to win their Cup.  The Kings were down 0-3 and were very fortunate to get by San Jose, but hardly a blueprint I would follow. Heck, if the Bruins did not hit 14 freaking posts this year, my money had them going to the Finals again.  I get what your article is saying but I would argue that the blueprint is any combination of Kings, Bruins, Hawks with Chicago being the front runners.

     

    Luc Dufour was as tough as Nails.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from shuperman. Show shuperman's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    The Kings would be my example as to how to build a team as well.  But a good chunk of those players were brought in via trade.  In fact without looking im gonna guess over 1/2 of that lineup was brought in via trade.  Developing home grown talent is important but knowing when to add key pieces and possibly giving up good players in those deals goes a long way.  Stoll/Grenn started it.  carter/richards. Gabby.   With making deals comes risk as we have seen with the NYR.  Had the Bruins addressed their need for a dman and possibly another fwd at the deadline in the last 2 yrs its possible we have more championships.  

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from SanDogBrewin. Show SanDogBrewin's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    Don't be afraid to take on salary at the deadline, give up a 2nd rounder or trade for a scoring forward 34 years old or younger. Not care that the forward, might not fit "the system".

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from 50belowzero. Show 50belowzero's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    In response to SanDogBrewin's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Don't be afraid to take on salary at the deadline, give up a 2nd rounder or trade for a scoring forward 34 years old or younger. Not care that the forward, might not fit "the system".

    [/QUOTE]


    Exactly, for the sake of a 2 month Cup run,who cares if the player fits the system as long as he is providing timely goals,ala Gaborik for the Kings.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from SanDogBrewin. Show SanDogBrewin's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    "But..but you'll have to up give a lot for that player and he might sign somewhere else after the season!"

     

    See Gaborik

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from shuperman. Show shuperman's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    In response to SanDogBrewin's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    "But..but you'll have to up give a lot for that player and he might sign somewhere else after the season!"

     

    See Gaborik

    [/QUOTE]

    Im not sure why pc didnt go all in on the list of good players available.  I dont think there is a team in more of a win now mode then the Bruins.  Especially last year where they had Iggy on a one year deal.  

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from 50belowzero. Show 50belowzero's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    In response to shuperman's comment:
    [QUOTE]

     

     

    Im not sure why pc didnt go all in on the list of good players available.  I dont think there is a team in more of a win now mode then the Bruins.  Especially last year where they had Iggy on a one year deal.  

    [/QUOTE]


    IMO, i think PC thought the B's had enough to get to the ECF without making a move for a D-man to replace Seidenberg and hindsight being 20/20 this was a mistake. I think he knew Dennis would be back for the ECF and thought that they had the horses to get by whoever they met on the way,as we know it didn't work out that way but thats why i think PC didn't make a move. As far as forwards go i think PC again thought he had a healthy forward group that would surely have been enough firepower to win the Cup, which i think the B's did have.

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from jmwalters. Show jmwalters's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    Kind of reminds me of the oilers with their last few cups where they had less than impressive regular seasons only to turn it up a notch in the playoffs. If ever a team best personified that rationale it was them. Kings do this pretty well too.

     

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from SanDogBrewin. Show SanDogBrewin's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    In response to shuperman's comment:[QUOTE] I dont think there is a team in more of a win now mode then the Bruins.  Especially last year where they had Iggy on a one year deal.  [/QUOTE]


    Gaborik got a ring, like Muzz and Voynov, Iggy did not.

    Yep all in!

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from shuperman. Show shuperman's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    In response to 50belowzero's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to shuperman's comment:
    [QUOTE]

     

     

    Im not sure why pc didnt go all in on the list of good players available.  I dont think there is a team in more of a win now mode then the Bruins.  Especially last year where they had Iggy on a one year deal.  

    [/QUOTE]


    IMO, i think PC thought the B's had enough to get to the ECF without making a move for a D-man to replace Seidenberg and hindsight being 20/20 this was a mistake. I think he knew Dennis would be back for the ECF and thought that they had the horses to get by whoever they met on the way,as we know it didn't work out that way but thats why i think PC didn't make a move. As far as forwards go i think PC again thought he had a healthy forward group that would surely have been enough firepower to win the Cup, which i think the B's did have.

    [/QUOTE]

    Not when looking at the west.   

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from SoxFanInIL. Show SoxFanInIL's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    In response to lucdufour's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Tremendous luck goes a long way too.  The Bruins were a Ryder save away from getting bounced and needed 3 game sevens to win their Cup.  The Kings were down 0-3 and were very fortunate to get by San Jose, but hardly a blueprint I would follow. Heck, if the Bruins did not hit 14 freaking posts this year, my money had them going to the Finals again.  I get what your article is saying but I would argue that the blueprint is any combination of Kings, Bruins, Hawks with Chicago being the front runners.

     

    Luc Dufour was as tough as Nails.

    [/QUOTE]


    I agree with this strongly.  The Bruins and 2014 Kings Cup winners were 1 bounce several times from playing golf very early in the playoff season and being referred to as the last "model" anyone would use to win a Cup.

    The resulting firings of goalies, star players, coaches and GMs would look very different than the history we look back on now.

    Even this year, the B's played terribly vs Montreal, had zero luck with posts, and still went 7 games... they could have won the thing with some 2011 style luck.

    I still agree with Book's main thesis, that a rock-solid D and Goaltending can get you to a playoff spot, maybe not as a top seed, and that can be improved at the deadline.  That team can always be a threat in May/June.  i just dont know how much of a dynasty you can build that way.

    I also have a little trouble using the Jagr acquisition as an example of going to the Finals after obtaining a "goal scorer," the only time under PC.  Jagr did very little down the stretch and basically nothing in the playoffs. An ordinary performance by Seguin should have resulted in a Cup that year.

     







     

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from stan17. Show stan17's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    In response to lucdufour's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Tremendous luck goes a long way too.  The Bruins were a Ryder save away from getting bounced and needed 3 game sevens to win their Cup.  The Kings were down 0-3 and were very fortunate to get by San Jose, but hardly a blueprint I would follow. Heck, if the Bruins did not hit 14 freaking posts this year, my money had them going to the Finals again.  I get what your article is saying but I would argue that the blueprint is any combination of Kings, Bruins, Hawks with Chicago being the front runners.

     

    Luc Dufour was as tough as Nails.

    [/QUOTE]

    Agreed

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from kelvana33. Show kelvana33's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    In response to lucdufour's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Tremendous luck goes a long way too.  The Bruins were a Ryder save away from getting bounced and needed 3 game sevens to win their Cup.  The Kings were down 0-3 and were very fortunate to get by San Jose, but hardly a blueprint I would follow. Heck, if the Bruins did not hit 14 freaking posts this year, my money had them going to the Finals again.  I get what your article is saying but I would argue that the blueprint is any combination of Kings, Bruins, Hawks with Chicago being the front runners.

     

    Luc Dufour was as tough as Nails.

    [/QUOTE]

    Agreed, the Patriots started their run with a whole lot of luck.




     

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from stevegm. Show stevegm's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    In response to 50belowzero's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to shuperman's comment:
    [QUOTE]

     

     

    Im not sure why pc didnt go all in on the list of good players available.  I dont think there is a team in more of a win now mode then the Bruins.  Especially last year where they had Iggy on a one year deal.  

    [/QUOTE]


    IMO, i think PC thought the B's had enough to get to the ECF without making a move for a D-man to replace Seidenberg and hindsight being 20/20 this was a mistake. I think he knew Dennis would be back for the ECF and thought that they had the horses to get by whoever they met on the way,as we know it didn't work out that way but thats why i think PC didn't make a move. As far as forwards go i think PC again thought he had a healthy forward group that would surely have been enough firepower to win the Cup, which i think the B's did have.

    [/QUOTE]

    While it's always nice to see someone with notoriety come in at the deadline, I can't say hindsight shows us the defense position derailed the team.  Virtually every "good" player on the team was in a funk against Montreal. A Seidenberg replacement wouldn't have changed that...unless maybe it was Bobby Orr in his prime.

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from stevegm. Show stevegm's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    What about Daryl Sutter?  What does he bring to the table?  How much does a coach "really" contribute to the overall success package.  Is he as good.....better than CJ? 

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from OatesCam. Show OatesCam's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    I think the size part is a bit over-rated.  But the Kings (and our own Bruins) have depth, great coaching and some key players in key roles.  With four solid lines you can wear down teams and out-last them.  And you need guys who perform as good or better under pressure than they do in game 53 of the regular season.  Some guys do, some guys don't.

    Coaching, depth and character are the current trend that I see.

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from 50belowzero. Show 50belowzero's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    In response to stevegm's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    /QUOTE]


    While it's always nice to see someone with notoriety come in at the deadline, I can't say hindsight shows us the defense position derailed the team.  Virtually every "good" player on the team was in a funk against Montreal. A Seidenberg replacement wouldn't have changed that...unless maybe it was Bobby Orr in his prime.

    [/QUOTE]


    I'm not saying it derailed the team but surely there were better d-men available that would have played more reliable minutes than Mezaros,Bartkowski & at times Miller. I agree it was a team wide "funk" that did them in against Montreal but a solid d-man at the deadline might have helped. 

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from SanDogBrewin. Show SanDogBrewin's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    In response to stevegm's comment:[QUOTE]  without making a move for a D-man to replace Seidenberg and hindsight being 20/20 this was a mistake.[/QUOTE]


    While it's always nice to see someone with notoriety come in at the deadline, I can't say hindsight shows us the defense position derailed the team.  Virtually every "good" player on the team was in a funk against Montreal. A Seidenberg replacement wouldn't have changed that...unless maybe it was Bobby Orr in his prime. [/QUOTE]

     

    Having better depth than Mezaros does not mean Orr. There were defenseman that were available at minimal cost.  

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from shuperman. Show shuperman's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    In response to SanDogBrewin's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to stevegm's comment:[QUOTE]  without making a move for a D-man to replace Seidenberg and hindsight being 20/20 this was a mistake.[/QUOTE]


    While it's always nice to see someone with notoriety come in at the deadline, I can't say hindsight shows us the defense position derailed the team.  Virtually every "good" player on the team was in a funk against Montreal. A Seidenberg replacement wouldn't have changed that...unless maybe it was Bobby Orr in his prime. [/QUOTE]

     

    Having better depth than Mezaros does not mean Orr. There were defenseman that were available at minimal cost.  

    [/QUOTE]

    I concur.  Our boy Tallinder woulda been nice.  Mezaros was odd man out in phillys less then stellar def.  We should have been all in to improve both positions.  Def and scoring depth. 

    Oates, i just dont see the depth you are talking about.  It was a major fail against chicago in the finals.  And it was tested last year as well.  Now on top of that we have lost some fwds(leading goal scorer) with no one to replace him outside of Loui.  The Kings are stacked!  

     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bookboy007. Show Bookboy007's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    I want to clarify one thing here: the difference between the Kings and the Bruins at the deadline is that the Bruins didn't have a glaring deficiency and the Kings did.  Yeah, Seidenberg was out, but they went on an historic run without him, and there weren't a bevvy of Vanek/Gaborik/Moulson level players available at Honest Ed's Discount prices the way there were for scorers.  It's kind of a funny thing if you think about it: the guys getting the huge bucks get it for scoring, but the price to acquire scoring at the deadline (as a rental, anyway) is dropping.  If you wanted to distinguish the two teams around this, I would say the Bruins came into the year very balanced; the Kings came in focused on that physical, defensive foundation, and you saw it when they had Jones and Scrivens putting up sub-Quick numbers in net when Quick was injured.  I don't know if I'd go this far...and it's another of those points that, if everyone does it, it works for no one...but it's almost as if the lesson is "don't worry about your offense" - that you can inflate cheaply with rentals at the deadline and you can throw your high skill/low experience draft picks out there too.  Put your eggs (Cap Dollars) in your goaltending and defense baskets, especially if your best defensive forward is also capable of 30 goals and your best defenseman will net you double digits.

    The other thing, and I said this on the holy trinity thread, too, is that I'm trying to focus on what you can control more than what you can't. Yeah, luck makes a huge difference, but you know, appearing in 40% of the Finals over 5 years is more than luck.  May make the difference here or there, but there's a "make your own luck" dimension here.  You can look at the Flyers in 2010 and say "they got lucky" because the top seeds in the East that year all took the pipe, but that team also had one of the most dominant defensemen in the game in Chris Pronger and Mike Richards was 7th in Selke voting.  Where they got lucky was that their journeyman goalies played like Selke winners aided by the good fortune of not having to face the top teams in the East.  Boston's offense that year was almost historically bad and then they lost Krejci.  Who can forget thinking washed up Satan was the slickest drip since Middleton...because he looked so much more skilled than the rest of the Bruins who seemed to be playing with their sticks butt-end down.

    Coaching you can control to some degree, but then Darryl Sutter's been fired a number of times and he hasn't always had the success he's had in LA.  Depth you can control, but I think it isn't generic "depth" if you look at LA.  It's depth in terms of guys who can play that foundational game - big guys who skate and have a high motor (to import a football term - sue me, all I hear on the radio is NFL camps and Lebron).  And that kind of depth is easier to amass than depth in terms of speedy scoring wingers or guys who can step in for Crosby or Getzlaf.  Similarly, history shows that drafting for character is a good way to throw picks directly into the fire.  Even attempting to acquire "character guys" can be a recipe for disaster if you over-pay.  This might be the impact of a Sutter.  Get guys young enough, or sufficiently scared by some serious career adversity, that Sutter's farmhand approach to hockey as work doesn't shine off quickly.  Teach them to be character players to whatever degree something like that is possible.

    I guess the short version is: everybody will pay lip service to coaching and character, but what do you do to make it work?  What's the way to go get it?

     

     

    Are you not entertained?!?!

     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from stevegm. Show stevegm's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    In response to SanDogBrewin's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to stevegm's comment:[QUOTE]  without making a move for a D-man to replace Seidenberg and hindsight being 20/20 this was a mistake.[/QUOTE]


    While it's always nice to see someone with notoriety come in at the deadline, I can't say hindsight shows us the defense position derailed the team.  Virtually every "good" player on the team was in a funk against Montreal. A Seidenberg replacement wouldn't have changed that...unless maybe it was Bobby Orr in his prime. [/QUOTE]

     

    Having better depth than Mezaros does not mean Orr. There were defenseman that were available at minimal cost.  

    [/QUOTE]

    Yes it does, if you think a dman pickup at the deadline would have made the difference against Montreal.  Of course there were better options outside Mazarros, but it seems that point is moot when we go back and watch what "did in" the Bruins.  It certainly wasn't the contribution that would have come from 1 better dman.

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bookboy007. Show Bookboy007's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    In response to shuperman's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    I concur.  Our boy Tallinder woulda been nice.  Mezaros was odd man out in phillys less then stellar def.  We should have been all in to improve both positions.  Def and scoring depth. 

    Part of my point is it's a lot easier to go all in to address a clear need than to acquire depth or a potential upgrade.  I think that's what burned them.  Most of the defensemen available didn't seem necessary, just potentially nice to have.  When I go to a guitar store, I usually walk out with my wallet intact because, while that Gibson firebird sure would be nice to have, I don't really want to pay what it will cost me, and I only have one set of hands and three guitars already....  Now, if I could upgrade the skill of my hands, that's another story. 

    Oates, i just dont see the depth you are talking about.  It was a major fail against chicago in the finals.  And it was tested last year as well.  Now on top of that we have lost some fwds(leading goal scorer) with no one to replace him outside of Loui.  The Kings are stacked!  

    [/QUOTE]

    This is part of the point, though, shupe!  DON'T go running around trying to replace Iginla.  You don't win the Cup in August or even in December. Give whoever is Boston's Toffoli or Pearson a chance to get the kind of experience that may make them valuable in the playoffs.  I mean, hey, Spooner was drafted after Toffoli but has out-performed him in the AHL.  Dwight King's performance in the AHL wasn't much better than Justin Florek or Matt Fraser (but he is 230lbs...).  That's how the Kings have developed the kind of depth they have.  If you look at that roster in terms of scoring depth, it's Kopitar, Gaborik, Carter and none.  Williams is good but aging and not a 20 goal guy in the regular season any more.

    So, if they follow the Kings' model, the Bruins should sign no one, trade a prospect and a pick to Ottawa for Bobby Ryan at the deadline, and win the Cup.  You could easily argue that, with three guys who have had 30 goal seasons in recent memory, plus Krejci, Marchand, Smith and Soderberg, the Bruins have more scoring depth right now than the Kings.

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  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from Bookboy007. Show Bookboy007's posts

    Re: What Teams Should REALLY Learn from the Kings

    In response to stevegm's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to SanDogBrewin's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to stevegm's comment:[QUOTE]  without making a move for a D-man to replace Seidenberg and hindsight being 20/20 this was a mistake.[/QUOTE]


    While it's always nice to see someone with notoriety come in at the deadline, I can't say hindsight shows us the defense position derailed the team.  Virtually every "good" player on the team was in a funk against Montreal. A Seidenberg replacement wouldn't have changed that...unless maybe it was Bobby Orr in his prime. [/QUOTE]

     

    Having better depth than Mezaros does not mean Orr. There were defenseman that were available at minimal cost.  

    [/QUOTE]

    Yes it does, if you think a dman pickup at the deadline would have made the difference against Montreal.  Of course there were better options outside Mazarros, but it seems that point is moot when we go back and watch what "did in" the Bruins.  It certainly wasn't the contribution that would have come from 1 better dman.

    [/QUOTE]

    I think the idea is that they should have pursued a guy who a) would have kept Bartkowski or Miller on the bench so that b) that guy would not have taken a stupid penalty in OT game 1 or left Dale Weise uncovered on the far post in game 7 or fumbled the puck to the top of the crease in game 6.

    Eliminate those gaffes alone and the Bruins might have won a series they were often sleepwalking through.  So the D acquisition doesn't necessarily have to address the malaise.  The counterargument is Kaberle.  He was a much higher profile acquisition - probably the best offensive defenseman available that year - and he was often odious.

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