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Accountability Guys

As the San Jose Sharks continue to lick their wounds (can Sharks lick wounds?) after another playoff series loss without even getting close to hockey's promised land, head coach Ron Wilson was reluctant to offer a knee-jerk reaction...
But he did cite one ingredient he thought the Sharks lacked in the postseason, something his 1998 Washington Capitals — Stanley Cup finalists — had: Players who didn't care what their teammates thought of them. Accountability guys, Wilson called them.

"They were mirrors," Wilson said, later identifying forwards Brian Bellows and Esa Tikkanen by name. "They stood in front of people and made them look at themselves."
Interesting that Wilson named those two short-term Caps rather than guys like Dale Hunter, Steve Konowalchuk, Mark Tinordi, Calle Johansson, etc., but he was in the room that Spring and I wasn't.

The bottom line is that that team had more character and accountability in a dozen or so players than most Divisions have these days, and no amount of Joe Thorntons and Patrick Marleaus (or Daniel Brieres or Thomas Vaneks, for that matter) can make up for that deficiency if it exists.

Oh, and Esa - thanks again for missing that open net in Game 2. It would have been awful to come back to D.C. tied at a game apiece. It's good to hear that at least you were "accountable," if not "able."