I've let the last couple of days sink in since Dustin Brown raised the Cup and dropped an f-bomb on national TV. It was a loud release of all the "weight" off of the shoulders of a franchise that had been waiting for a champion since expansion began in 1967. I put weight in quotation marks for a reason: Like in a lot of aspects of life (snicker if you want), size does matter whether people want to admit it or not.
The Stanley Cup is approximately 35 pounds and bigger than the counterparts of the other major sports. It's almost symbolic of one key element the Los Angeles Kings had in their journey through the postseason. LA had a lot of beef up front, able to not only dish out but withstand the punishment of two months' worth of playoff hockey (three if you count the final charge in the regular season to get the 8-seed).
Look at the Kings' roster. Note the height and weight of some of their forwards. Kopitar. Brown. Penner. King. Stoll. Nolan. Perhaps height isn't as much of a factor, but when you ice front-liners who weigh in north of 220 pounds who have skill, that's a tough combo. In Game 6 against New Jersey, the Kings iced six forwards that were 6'0" and 200-plus pounds, with four of those on the scale past 225.
Now, go check out the vitals for the Preds' forwards. Take out McGrattan and not a single forward reaches the 220 mark (though we may not know for sure if Rads was at that mark if he was overweight, but I digress). It's a noticeable difference between the size of the Kings' forwards and those in Preds gold. Folks, you can't eat enough Ball Park franks to make up the difference between the two squads. (And if you can, head to Coney Island on July 4 for the big hot-dog eating contest. You'll destroy the world record, I promise.)
It's one thing to be big, but players have to play big in order for their size to have any real impact on a game. Martin Erat checks in at 200 pounds, but does he generally play like it? Raise your hand if the answer is yes. Seeing none, I'll move on.
This roster might work well in the regular season, but when the calendar hits April, the beef had better be there or they'll get pushed around and right out of the playoffs again. This team needs size like Aunt Jemima needs Dustin Penner to do their promos.
Wendy's asked "Where's the beef?" Well, it's not on the Preds' forward lines, and that's another reason they're not ready for a Cup run.
When you ask the question about getting scorers, make sure they're not going to get pinballed around when the going gets tough. This team needs more size up front. The Kings are the prime example of a team who not only wanted the Cup, but had the means and the mean streak to go get it.
We need scorers, sure. But there also needs to be more size up front to help out. If we're going to keep being called "Smashville," the guys up front had better be equipped to smash and not be smashed.
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