Yup, we've been banging that drum for a while now, and I think slowly many are coming around to it.
It really is a well reasoned article. I found myself nodding as I was reading it, which is more than I can say about many of our own local media and bloggers. Although to be fair, there is some good stuff being published locally, but it tends to be tainted with emotion or special interest.
Really on point about the Hawks and Wings, especially the Hawks who decided to go with more peripheral toughness instead of speed and skill.
The media does seem to be coming around a bit though.
After the loss in the finals all we heard about was how the team lacked grit and toughness, we were basically portrayed like a passive group of bunnies that would fold as soon as some big mean hockey players stepped on the ice.
The broken record was played so loudly all summer that even some teams bough in and tried to push us around.
The Hawks were the best example of a group that bought into the myth. They dump Campbell add a couple of goons, then in their fist game against us they play like a bunch of dummies and get hammered by our power play. In their second game against us they play a total clean no hitter and win easily.
We are now more then half way through the season and I can only think of 1 game were the "pushing us around" game plan actually worked to the other teams advantage and that was the game in LA a few weeks back.
I'm not even sure it was the physical play as much as the fact that the Canucks simply didn't match the Kings effort.
From everything I've seen of the Hawks this year, they're certainly one of the top teams in the West,
Of course they are.
Last years poor regular season was a total anomaly IMO, that Hawks team is good and will be good for a long time. I do not however consider them a favorite in the west and I think they hurt themselves a lot by Trading Campbell for a bunch of riff raff.
That team is good because their core is excellent and they have other good talent coming through their system. There attempt to "get tougher" was quite misguided and poorly executed IMO.
I said this earlier, when the Canucks are relatively healthy and play their game, they're easily the best team in the league.
One of the things that rang true in the Blog was how the Bruins matched up against us once Kesler was injured.
He said he wasn't sure about the outcome of the final because he felt the Bruins could shut down the Twins and that the rest of the canucks roster wouldn't be able to score enough.
That is basically what happened although we also had some defence / goaltending issues as well.
If you look at what Gillis has done since the final it would seem that he echos the same concerns.
Gillis really hasn't added toughness what he's done is make the second and 3rd line a lot more offensively potent.
He added a player in Booth who cant fight a lick but can battle in front and score goals in traffic, and the 3rd line is now a scoring line vs the physical checking unit we had last year.
Chara is the best defensive player in the game right now but when he is off the ice the Bruins defense is really nothing special. Guys like McQuaid, Ference and Boychuck, are quite tough and physical, but their defensive game isn't gret.
This BTW is part of the reason Boston just feasts on bad teams, Chara shuts down their best players and there isn't a lot of depth to exploit their 2nd and 3rd defensive pairings. The teams with scoring depth haven't had much of a problem against the Bruins this year.
A healthy Kesler and Booth should have a field day against the second pairing, not to mention Hodgson and Raymond.
You want to beat the Bruins forget trying to hit and fight with them. You beat them on the power play and by getting scoring from the 2nd, and 3rd lines.
That's why mediocre Tampa team had them on the ropes last year.