Now that the Stanley Cup Playoffs are over and a champion has been crowned, Bernie Parent would like to use his My Life Is Better Than Yours column to congratulate the champs. Bernie opened his column like this:
“The Los Angeles Kings have won their second Stanley Cup in three years. That’s a hell of an achievement.
Each of the Kings’ playoff series were a huge success. Even the first series, when they were down 3-0 and came back with four consecutive wins. They fell behind a couple times after and still made it back to the top, including three overtime wins.
There’s a great message here to apply to life. How many times would people quit when they get behind and hit a low? If you don’t quit and carry on with persistence, you will persevere. And from a guy who has been in their position, I recognize that it takes a team to win: the players, coaching staff, management, the crowd, etc.”
From there, Parent did what a former goaltender — and anyone with eyes — is going to do: He talked about how great both Henrik Lundqvist and Jonathan Quick were throughout the playoffs. And yes, they both played at the level they needed to play at. But in the last three grafs is where Parent put on what Kyle would call his “Flyers glasses,” letting the orange hue perhaps skew his perception a bit:
“There’s been a big influx of comments about the three ex-Flyers – Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, and Conn Smythe Trophy winner Justin Williams – all leaving Philadelphia to go on and win the Stanley Cup elsewhere. First, there are a lot of factors that have to be taken into consideration when assessing a player’s ability to fit within a system. It’s not just the physical attributes and skill set of that player that has to work with the team, it’s the personality, the chemistry in the locker room, where they are in the development of their play, etc.
Most importantly, a team is a puzzle. You could have three great pieces in the wrong puzzle, and no matter how you try to twist and turn them, those pieces won’t fit. But when those pieces move on to the puzzle they belong to, they fit beautifully. Just because they were good somewhere else, doesn’t mean they would have won a Stanley Cup here.
If the piece doesn’t fit, you have to move on. If you have three circles but you need three squares, you’re wasting your time.”
There’s no argument that those three players didn’t win a Stanley Cup in Philadelphia, but have since won multiple in Los Angeles. That’s just a fact. But the idea that they couldn’t have won the cup here, and they only have in LA because of some magic “atmosphere” or “chemistry” is flawed. Two of the three did play in a Stanley Cup final here in 2010 and a conference final in 2008. From 2008 to 2011, Carter put in three-straight 30+ goal seasons (46, 33, 36), while Richards put in 28, 30, and 31 from 2007 to 2010. The talent was there. It can’t be guaranteed they would have won the Cup if they hadn’t been shipped off, but maybe what this shows is that they weren’t the ones who needed to go, but those who made that decision were.