What about them? They've never been the best team in the regular season and never have entered the playoffs as the favorite, imo. And, they've never won the Cup. Whats the problem? They've been a good team for awhile and have never cashed in on their opportunity. But, they never were favorites or never should have been the favorites. If they were consistently the best team in the regular season and never won the Cup, then that would be one thing. But, they've never been the best team in the regular season and they've never won the Cup. That is not exactly unlikely or improbable.
For the most part they do. Certainly not all the time, but what they tell the media is not necessarily what they actually believe or plan on doing. The same goes for GM's and players.
This is arguing semantics. Grit, toughness, will to win, wanting to win, battling, etc. Same thing. Fans and media talk about whether or not teams are hungry enough or "want it" every year. You are just arguing word choice there.
I don't think its silly. I'm getting a PhD in psychology. But, people are pretty bad at reading body language, gauging one's "heart" or their emotional drive to win. Most people think they have a pretty good grasp on that stuff and think they have a good read on people, but research suggests something else entirely. Our eyes lie to us, we construct events in our minds differently than how they actually happened, we are incredibly biased, our memories are faulty and we have little idea what a person is really thinking or how hard they are really trying on the ice. A will to win is certainly very important, but it is also pretty futile to think that we can accurately gauge that in another individual or team. Judging teams based on data, past performance and scouting will give much more accurate results than judging players and teams on something like a will to win. Its important, but you will be proven inaccurate more often than not if you try to do that. Steve Yzerman is basically the poster child of that. He was ripped apart for years for not winning the "big one" and people questioned his mental toughness. Years later, that looks silly. But, back in 1995 when people jumped to conclusions despite our obvious human limitations, it didn't seem silly to a lot of people.
In my experience, people are pretty good at reading body language.
How is it that SOOOO many people notice when the Wings are playing with urgency and when they aren't?
How is it that so many people could tell when goalies like Osgood or Legace or Hasek had lost their confidence?
In the old days, you could tell a lot about the Red Wings by the work of the Grind Line. If they got in and laid a hit on the defense before the puck was moved up the ice, it was a sign that the they were here to play.
Granted, we can be fooled. As someone who plays hockey, there are days when I play and I am busting my a&&, but I just don't have the jump. (Man, if you're going in the psychology, please, please, please get me an answer to the "jump." I've never, ever, ever been able to tell, until I get out and play, if I'm gonna have "jump." I'm not sure how much is mental and how much is physical, but considering I've had the jump while super tired, injured or playing with pneumonia, I'm guessing there is a big psychological aspect to it.)
So there are times, I am sure, when cetain Wing's don't have the jump.
But as observers on the team, we can usually sense the energy coming off the ice. Game 3, there wasn't muich of it. In fact, I wasn't all that impressed with the team's work in game 4. Defensively, they limited mistakes. But I still sense this team can work harder and smarter.