Maybe I'm beating a dead horse (I am on a hockey forum in the middle of July though, so....), but I was reading over the first few pages of this thread -- which date back to the spring -- and reviewing all the cries for vengeance upon Brown, Doughty and whoever else. Of course, at the time, I was screaming for a squadron of pirate ninjas to take to the ice to strike down the Kings as well, but in the cold light of day one thing is clear -- that's all far too reactive. This team needs to be proactive. The Canucks don't need to toughen up so they can decide to play tough when one of the Sedins gets smoked or the goalie gets run. They need to toughen up and play tough all the time so that instances of star players being victimized decreases.
Don't be so damn scared to take a penalty! Set the tone in October and keep it up all year. If someone wants to take a dirty shot at -- Keith's elbow for instance -- one of the Canucks' players, they should pay dearly -- in October, January, March. Knocking Keith's teeth out for elbowing your star player is a good penalty, it's a worthy penalty. It's a penalty you should not be afraid to take and one your team should happily kill. You don't start being tough in April or May when there isn't a team out there that fears you. I said this elsewhehere, but I'll say it again - Building a team to counter toughness with powerplay goals will NOT succeed in the playoffs. NHL officiating is laughable at best and resembles a roulette wheel in the playoffs. If you're counting on the officials for your teams' success, you will fail.