I agree with some of your points but I think you have the wrong psychology.
I think the team realised having gone all the way to game 7 of the final that they took an absolute hammering. The realisation set in that the best of 7 format is a whole different game. Why because it wears the less physical players down and in some cases makes them irrelevant. What this leads to is the few physical players you do have trying to make up the deficit.
This team saw they couldn't come up with the game under the present rules and probably without realising it, stepped back.
A smart proactive GM in such a situation prioritises his roster and decides who is dispensable and goes out to upgrade the team.......not all at once but bit by bit.
For example take the 1st line, exceptional in regular season......disappointing in the SC. The Sedins NEEDED a big body who could snipe and not only protect them but to make space for them around the goal. I love Burr but he is NOT that player.
The 2ND line was the same. Kesler wrecked himself fighting his and others battles in that run. Booth was nowhere near the answer. Jagr or Clowe or Ryan was the answer. Especially if we were going to use the attributes of Raymond.
I could go on but I've said it all elsewhere. We needed a blood transfusion and we got a manicure. Gillis asleep at the wheel. The guy's sights are trained way too low for this team.
"This team didnt have the grit or determination to beat the bruins but gillis has stayed with the same coach, same system, same core relatively."
This is what annoys me. How can you say these things and NOT lay the blame at Gillis door? How the -------- can the coach insert grit, or change the core?
They had determination in spades by the way and plenty of grit they just didn't have enough big physical bodies.
Let me ask any of you who follow English Premier League soccer.
If Sir Alex Ferguson had been coach AND gm of the Canucks and they had fallen at the last hurdle in 2011 and shat the bed in 2012 how many of this team would be getting a third shot? Not damn many.
I wouldn't be as extreme but I am starting to agree with you in a sense. A GM's job is to assess his talent, compete level, leadership, chemistry, and mix of talent/roles on a team. Further, his job is not only to assess whether the coaching staff can get talent out of players, but use them in a manner to get even more than they are capable of/ aware of out of them...
If we look at Burke. I've said his error was made on day 1 in Toronto, not 2 years down the road etc. When he came in, he didn't want to accept that the team was not a couple trades away from the playoffs - perhaps ego or more likely, misjudgement of the talent, mix, all the things above. As a result, rather than gutting the team (which exhausted Toronto fans would have accepted and were actually calling for after the mess Ferguson left, he makes a decent but ill timed trade for Kessel. Ie giving up alot of the future, for a terrific hockey player but a guy who couldn't carry a team - great #2.). They could have had top 5 picks for years, years where guys like Tavares, Stamkos, Seguin, etc (all from Ontario as well) could have potentially been a leaf. Sorry to digress but this is related to MG.
MG did the very same thing after the finals. He overestimated his team, rather than really looking at why we lost. Yes we had a terrific run and how can you argue that the team wasn't amazing if it got to game 7? Only 2 teams did, so change? Well someone suggesting would say that's insane. However.
Error number 1:
Ehroff was a major part of that run. While I agree he was not worth what Buffalo paid him, MG did nothing to fill that void. Now Edler was looking like he could take over that role but he certainly has never shown that he has Ehroff level offensive skills - when he's on his game (and I think it will come back, I am an Edler fan), he is a terrific 2 way dman, but Erhoff added the closest thing we've had to a real offensive DMan this team has ever had. Never replaced.
Yes we were injured so that HAS to be a big part of any assessment/analysis. But I was at game 7. The compete level was not there. I played hockey competitive till 21 yrs old and honestly, it was depressing being in that building when Boston got up 2-0. The fans knew it was over and the TEAM did. They quit. That is the biggest thing MG did not recognize, hurt or not, you are at home, game 7, you break bones trying to win if you have to bc there is nothing left. MG didn't recognize that the character of this team was not strong, it was ok and one could argue weak but the team got hot at the right time. There is a big difference between character and hot. Character shows when you're down 2-0 in game 7, hot disappears.
After the LA series, not moving Lou immediately, getting rid of this circus for his and the team's sake. No need to get into that.
Adding fringe guys who don't fill the holes we need filled - reclamations vs being bold. Booth, Ballard, Sturm, on and on. This team has needed a 2nd line player with size for 5 years and yet nothing. You need to give something to get something but MG seems scared to make such a move. Instead he tinkers, looking for reclamations, and uses the SCF appearance as the rationale for tinkering. Well if that team had the character he's assuming it did, different issue but again he's misread that. So all he is doing is compounding his errors via taking on salaries not playing to their levels.
Not paying Torres. Here's a guy that brought emotion, a physical game, could score once in a while and hit. But we don't pay him 750 k more and then are trading for Dale Weisse? Tell me Torres doesn't bring more than Weiss? to a VERY important role. Again, understanding the character and makeup of his team, talent assessment. Wrong.
Thinking that 'quiet' leadership is all you need. The Sedins are terrific leaders, terrific people and terrific competitiors. But that is not all you need on a team. You need the intimidator, the guy who commands respect because of his grit, effort, determination. The Stan Smyl, the Linden, the (don't flame me) Messier. That emotional leader, the one who can push a guy into the locker with a look and make players accountable is what's missing. MG assumed that to be Kesler. But Kesler is proving to be a prima donna, I don't think the team would listen to him today because of it, they likely look at him like a whiny btch. His series against Nashville was supposed to be a coming out party, and I can see why MG thought, hey we have that emotional leader, but he is not a leader. His reaction to AV pressing him to get better, (compete level every night, passing etc) the fact it upset him says one thing (and don't for a second believe that all this stuff with his agent and the team / injury comments etc didn't start there), that he's not focused on continous improvement, he believes he is the man. You ever hear Crosby talk? he says stuff like "I need to work on my faceoffs, I need to work on this or that" . Kesler on the other hand - "AV can say what he wants about my passing" - see the difference? Leader/competitor/best in the world vs Prima Donna.
So error MG - assesment of Kesler.
End of this rant - simply put. MG has not assesed the makeup of this team correctly. He has misjudged its character, misjudged the roles players have played/importance and as result, you are now seeing a team with little chemistry, out of sorts and not enough character to compete at a level it should be able to compete at.
Edited by BuretoMogilny, 08 March 2013 - 11:15 AM.