I still say that the Richards acquisition wasn't made with the intent of fast-forwarding the team's development as much as it was an indictment of the players that fell apart over the course of the previous two playoff years. There had to be some grit and win-at-all-costs attitude at the top of the lineup that was either flat-out missing or needed to be coddled out. Maybe Schenn would have brought it eventually, but there had to be a personality change, more of a respected killer instinct attitude that was missing in Kopitar and Brown. Maybe Dustin had it all along and just didn't know how to channel it, maybe Richards' presence allowed him to ease into that kind of approach, or maybe the trade rumors woke him up. Probably all three. But I don't think the previous series losses were valuable as "experience" as much as they were a course in What Needs To Change.