The Kings steamrolled all comers en route to the Cup. That they were able to do this with a less-than-spectacular D corps indicates they had (and have) other things going for them. And they did (do). They have the best goalie in the league. They're young, tenacious. Their forecheck is nuts. They known how to crash and bang and put the puck in the net. And they know a thing or two about defense.
We have skill. With the puck. When we have the puck. And that's not getting it done in the postseason. This has been an issue for some time now, but Holland refuses to full-on address it, never mind rectify it. (Meanwhile, Datsyuk and Zetterberg get older, and Franzen becomes increasingly ADD.) Our scoring lines simply cannot get it done in the clutch against a big, mean, mobile opposing D that knows how to shut them down and exists to do so (i.e. has their number). Our soft, smallish Euro playmakers can pass the puck like no one's business and swarm around the perimeter and shoot from the circle-tops. They do these things very well, especially when their season hangs in the balance. But the whole outscoring the opponent thing? Not so much.
So it's on our defenders to lead us to Glory.
Which is why I facepalm @:
Kronwall - White
Quincey - Ericsson
Smith - Colaiacovo
Not. gonna. cut it.
The Kings weren't steamrolling everything all the way to the cup. They certainly struggled in the regular season and had to change up their system to be successful. They also rode a VERY hot goalie that could change a game all by himself. Not every team has a big, mobile, destructive defense so we can't pretend that's all that exist in the NHL nowadays. Are teams getting bigger and are players harder to play against? Absolutely, but let's not make it out to seem like all 29 teams are going to be wiping us up and down the floor with their giant defense. Now, as much as I don't like our defense, I think many are underestimating what we have in our hand. We got rid of Hudler and Emmerton and replaced them with Sammy, Brunner, and Tootoo. I like this. We took someone whom can produce, but is horrible at backchecking and has no size. We added someone whom loves to miss the net, but can actually backcheck and will be in position more than what Hudler was ever capable of. Brunner brings more speed to the team, and in todays NHL speed can and will kill. Emmerton didn't do s*** last season, and if it wasn't for losing him to waivers we probably would've thrown him back into the system in Grand Rapids. Tootoo brings much needed size, with added production over Emmerton. Brunner is going to be the risk, but he's already working with Zetterberg. They're destroying it over there, and getting much needed confidence. This will translate back in America (their confidence and chemistry, brunner will still have to convert over to smaller ice). As much as our defense goes, yes we lost Lidstrom but we didn't lose Lidstrom in his prime or in 2008/9. We lost a 2012 Lidstrom. As much as it hurts to say, you could see his game starting to decline and mistakes were being made, someone unheard of and out of character for the non-human defensemen and captain. We added Carlo, to take over for Kindl. Ericsson has been improving, regardless of how much we hate him or not, each and every season. He will have more roles added to him now with the diminished core. To the people to say he is worthless and sucks, look at how much our PK hurt when he was gone. Even Mike Babcock himself made the notion on how much he missed his presence. It's the small things gents, and they add up. We may not have the big names, or the superstars filling our lineups but all of this stuff tweaks an already solid lineup. Players will need to step up, and they will make mistakes, but we're not in that big of a hole as everyone wants to make it out to be.