Anyone who didn’t realize by the end of December that this was exactly how this season was going to end was either blindly optimistic or hopelessly naïve. One thing is certain, those folks haven’t been watching very closely.
We never got it back. This team lost everything, its confidence, its swagger, its resilience just before Christmas and we never got it back. It’s as simple as that. And everything The Bryan tried turned to shite. Fire the coach? Nope. Trade for Commodore and Stillman? Nope. Finally send Rayzor into the dark hole of obscurity he so richly deserved. Nope and nope.
We can try and use Paddock, or injuries to key players or any number of bad breaks as ready made excuses, but that’s all they are. Excuses. The truth is they weren’t good enough. They didn’t skate hard enough. They didn't hit hard enough. They couldn't score, and they couldn't stop the other team from scoring. Despite all of the platitudes repeated over and over all season long, the same mistakes were made by the same people over and over again. And they were our supposed “stars”. Redden, Meszaros, Gerber, Emery…
There will be time enough in the next few days to pick at the scab and come to grips with the question of how exactly a season that started so strong could come to this. But for now, we’ll have to settle for the obvious. A group of incredibly talented athletes started to play badly, and none of them thought to work hard enough to fix it. Worse, they didn’t seem to care enough to try.