I want my favourite NHL team to win consistently and play well consistently.
I have had a feeling that the team has had "something" wrong with it for several years now, dating back to about the time of the season right before the 2004-05 lockout. If not earlier. All I am sure of is that their last playoff appearance felt 'off' to me too.
People blame goaltending. If that's the case, then they do not take into account the rest of the team.
They blame "other" elements, especially other players, for being a disruptive influence. That is likely true. Losing constantly is a frustrating experience.
However, some people do not seem to think that the ownership and the media have anything to do with it. When, sometimes, that has EVERYTHING to do with it.
Last season, the NHL team's AHL affiliate (which is based in the same city as the NHL team) had a FANTASTIC season, winning the division and getting as far as the conference finals in the AHL playoffs before losing to the eventual Calder Cup winners. Yet... no one knew about that and when it was mentioned that there was still good hockey to be seen IN said city, the typical answer was "there is?! Yeah, right. You're lying to me!"
This season, both NHL and AHL teams are having a little bit of difficulty staying consistent BUT the AHL team is doing a better job of it. How else is a 6-1-1-1 record in their last 9 games explained?
There is very little media attention given to the AHL affiliate, yet if the NHL affiliate even THINKS it is going to sneeze, sharp negative criticism is thrown out and people all say that the team is a bunch of losers who can't do anything right.
What I want to know is: Who can play in that sort of environment?!