There is an NHL team that has averaged over 100 points a season since the lockout and has won its division four times. Yet, when it came up against inferior competition in the playoffs in each of those seasons, it crumpled, resulting in a 15-22 record and zero appearances in the conference finals. Its starting goaltender has a very unclutch 12-21 record in OT playoff games and has embarrassed himself in important games with his lack of focus.
Yes, the story of the San Jose Sharks is a well-worn one...
Oh, wait, I was talking about the New Jersey Devils. For all of their past playoff success, they have been absolutely awful over the last five years:
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The Sharks, for all of their well-documented failings, are 23-23 in the playoffs over the same period of time. So why hasn't the story of the Devils' lack of intangibles been written? Why hasn't the failure of the Devils' seven Stanley Cup-winning players to succeed in the playoffs for five years become evidence of their weak 'makeup'?
You can come up with your own answer. Mine is simple: when people say that a team lacks the 'intangibles' to win, they are *making shit up* after the fact to match the results. But the Devils won three cups in eight years, so they can't possibly be lacking, can they? How many years of failure does it take to erase past successes?