INTANGIBLES!!! “We’re a better team now than we were earlier and it’s a lot of times it has to do with the grit some of these guys bring to the game every night. The work ethic is there. They will do anything to stay. Sometimes you can have skill people who don’t play with enough grit or second-effort along the boards that can cost you games. And these guys they know if they cost us a game that they’re probably going back. There’s no fall-back plan for them. They’re not natural goal-scorers or types of players that bring people out of their seats so they’ve got to bring 100% effort every night.” Effort like that is contagious. “It’s rubbed off on Phil Kessel,” said Wilson, noting increased assurance playing Kessel in late-game situations when the score is close. “You’re seeing Phil’s stick-to-itiveness improve a lot over the last couple of weeks.”

-Ron Wilson