ClamRussel wrote:You are confusing toughness w/ thuggery; 2 totally different things. Name one SC winning team that wasn't "tough". I can't think of many save Colorado or Tampa Bay. To imply Detroit or Chicago weren't tough is deluded...or Pittsburgh. Anaheim & Boston may be the model "tough" teams in that they some goons involved...but if Vancouver was as tough as Chicago or Detroit I think most fans would be on board. Do you really think those teams would have allowed Zetterberg or Toews to be speedbagged w/ no response?
I'm not equating toughness with thuggery, but I admit I'm relying on fights/PIMs to quantify toughness, I just don't see any other way. Hits are too subjectively counted to be any reliance.
But I disagree with you, I'd say the other Cup winning teams won on skill not toughness. You may be able to point to one or two players on the other Cup-winning teams that were tough, but for the most part they were not key players that led to that team's success. The exception would be Stevens in 03. But I would definitely not put the Wings or Penguins in the category of tough teams, and both those teams went through tough teams on their way to the Cup (Pittsburgh through Philly and Detroit through Anaheim and Chicago). How do you see them as tough teams? Do opposing forwards stay out of the corners because of punishing Dmen? Do players avoid the puck along the boards against them because they don't want to be creamed? Do their star players get a pass because opposing players are too intimidated to check them?
I will say that Chicago is an odd one. They are a team with key tough players like Keith and Seabrook, as well as greasy headhunters like Bolland, Ladd, and Byfuglien. And yet they won the Cup with the 3rd-fewest PIMs/game and no fights. Maybe that just says they were getting away with murder? In any event, for all their toughness (such as it is) its clear none of the other recent Cup winners were in the same league as Boston and Anaheim.