As we found out after the Canucks season ended Kesler was not 100%.
Yes Danial missed the first 3 games & when he did return the Canucks looked so much better.
Possibly after the long battle last season & winning the 1st two games in the finals & getting game 7 in Vancouver etc & still losing out.
With the dis appointment for the players on the team & hurt they then had to hear about the craziness of the major riot.
Just do not think they had the will to make another major push to grind it thru.
Plus 15 other teams are very determined to go to war.
But think of the good teams who got kicked out.
Detroit Red Wings one of the most winning teams in the play-offs over the last 10-15 yrs.
S Crosby & Pens ( they have lousy goalie )
Chicago Blackhawks kicked out
Boston Bruins out in a very very very fantastic series.
All games ended within a goal.
Game 7 also went to OT.
Mistake for Bruins on the play or break for Caps got them the winning goal!!!!
( Mistake also by Canucks ...Hamus sp? our D man held on to the puck too long just outside our blue line & lost the puck & a perfect shot to th top corner beat Cory S. our goalie.)
We need players that show a little more passion & aggression if other team trys to take liberty.
Henrik S is too layed back to be a Capt.
Remember when in last yrs game in Boston he got the glove in the face about 6x & he basically just took it & stared at the ref.
I mean if he did not want to punch the guy back no problem BUT at least scream at the ref & wave your arms in protest when the Boston guy was not given a penalty.
LA has a fiery Captain & coach. Passion.
They have a very good team & skate very well.
When they get possession of the puck in their zone they in a snap of the finger have 5 guys racing the other direction. They bunch up the middle of th ice in their end & kept the other team to the outside.
Plus lets not forget their goalie Quick who covers angles well & has good reflexes.
Canucks just did not have the horses to have the "will" to try to make it to the finals.
Personally think the Canucks at not going to be very good for the next 2-3 yrs or more at least in the play-offs.
They have a lot of yappers & players that cannot take the physical stuff should the game become hard hitting.
Give them credit though they nearly did it last yr.
So so so close.
I'm really amazed how the Caps fought big time to get past the Bruins !!!
Plus the Bruins really played hard. Each game was a WAR.
Ironically there was a Washington player totally in the crease of Tim Thomas thus the goal by Ward should of been not allowed according to ex NHL player Butch Goring a Stanley Cup winner from the 1970s team NY Islanders.
He said that he was very very very surprized that Tim Thomas did not go "rank" or crazy & protest the goal right away to th refs.
Infact if Thomas & the other players & Boston coach protested the goal the ref may of did a vid review & dis allowed the goal.
Happy though that the Caps did win & now they are tied with the Rangers with each team 1 win each.
I think Caps or Devils or LA will be this years champs.
Flyers goalie gets too mad & yappy with Phillys media & his neg emotions are an anchor to his team.
Hope either LA or Caps become champs.
Neither team has a Cup.