Until they get punched in the face.
That one quote says a lot about working under pressure, in any context.
We all like to make grand plans, rarely do they come off as expected. When things go too well, we think the plan is too conservative. We begin acting as though we’re bullet proof, taking more risk, and paying less attention to the details.
When things go badly, we naturally blame the plan. We begin trying to make in-process fixes, that more often than not just lead to more problems, with less clear causes.
In the worst of cases we behave with reckless abandon (as did Ireland), when things are going too well, or abject panic, when things have gone horribly wrong (as is Greece).
Yes, until you’ve been put to the test…you just have a plan.
The Sens went into this season with a plan. They intended to get their young prospects some ice-time, see if their AHL successes could translate to the NHL for some of their lessor prospects, and hope that a rag tag group of veterans could sufficiently rediscover their games to provide this squad with an ounce of competitiveness. They cast the die, and hoped for the best.
Going 1-5 to start was a shock, and had management wondering what lay ahead for the remaining 76 games of the season. But the players turned it around, they didn’t panic, they knew it was a long season and they had to get better to stave off abject embarrassment. They shook off the first punch, and stuck to the plan.
Then things went (too?) good. Some of us wondered if the un-expected success would lead to a break from the plan. I myself refused to believe that what I was seeing, albeit consistently, was the real measure of this teams ability, and was concerned that too much of the future might be traded in return for present day impact. That was my concern with the Turris deal.
I’m now glad to say that management didn’t step away from the plan, as Turris seems to be worth every asset that went to Phoenix in return for his rights. This kid is legit, and has a long bright future.
But now the fortunes have changed, and the Sens have taken another massive right to the jaw. Worse, they had been dominating their opponents to this point and got caught unaware. Can they recover? Are they able to accept the dual impact of a losing streak and a blow to their ego’s?
It’s one thing to improve on a 1-5 record, with a whole season to go, with little or no real pressure, but something altogether more difficult to find your legs, late in the fight, after thinking you were just going to cruise your way to the finishing bell.
The Sens have been rocked, badly, and the opposition knows it. The opponent sees them staggering on their feet and will be going in for the knock-out…now the Sens have to come up big, plan or no plan.