What A Long, Strange Journey It Has Been.


First off, I apologise for the lack of posts.

For a few weeks now I’ve been a bit too busy to post easily, and this, combined with the Richardson tragedy, has left me not knowing what to write, nor the time to figure it out.

I’m also not so sure I should have begun writing at b/r. It began to feel like a commitment, not a passion. Again, I get nothing from this endeavour but pleasure, and when that goes…well, so do the posts.

But, with some time on my hands, and the benefit of time since the tragedy, I’m ready to begin anew.

Here’s hoping the Sens can do the same.

Since the strong win in Boston, the Sens have been entirely lacking in focus. We all know why, and it is easily understood.

The hockey community is small. A local hockey community is even smaller. The loss of Daron was a personal loss to every player on that team, and a deep personal loss to some, particularly those closest to the family, or with children of their own.

There have been scattered cries of “professionalism” from the critics of their play of late. These “critics” foist some sort of theory of mindless skill more indicative of Gods or robots than mere mortals. Yes NHL players make extreme money, but this is for hockey talent, not sociopathy.

Extreme money does nothing to mitigate for extreme emotion.

The margin between winning and losing in the NHL is so slim, even the most minor imbalance from player to player will cost you a puck battle. When it’s every player, it costs you games.

But with time will come a re-balancing of the teams mental state, one more able to precisely focus on the task at hand without distraction. The individual players likely didn’t even recognize the lack of focus from moment to moment, but this is the degree of precision these players must perform at in order to succeed, virtually imperceptable…almost instinctual, like ones heart beating on its own without so much as a thought on its doing so.

Ask a player how they do what they do…and they can’t answer you, they just do it, like making your heart beat.  THIS is why they make extreme money.

Unfortunately, on the ice, not a single opponent gives a damn. They’ll console off the ice, as any good community would, but when the lights come on, and the puck drops, it’s a different world, a world the Sens just couldn’t fully get into.

When will the lack of focus end?

For this there is no answer. Only time will tell.

Worst case scenario, the lack of focus results in other secondary issues that plague the team beyond the point of dealing solely with Daron’s suicide. Losing confidence, frustration, injuries. These are the natural results of losing, no matter the cause, and it is this the Sens need to most worry about.

The only way to avoid this “secondary infection” is to win, and the sooner the better.

Tonight the Sens play at home for the first time since the long strange journey began. They’ve had time to hug their loved ones, gain some quiet moments to reflect, and “get back to (new) normal”.

This, to me, is a very, very important game.

If they play with focus, solid systems play, and confident, the future looks bright, win or lose.

If the continue to look unfocused, dis-jointed and fragile, the future is blurry, at best.

GN

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3 Responses to “What A Long, Strange Journey It Has Been.”

  1. It’s funny that I don’t see more people talk about the artist in the athlete. Intellect + body + emotion are a difficult trio to harmonize. Sort of like those Russian Troikas, the ones with three horses harnessed abreast. You can’t have one fall behind, or charge ahead without the others: you’ll crash your wagon. Synchronizing all the parts goes beyond rational thought, not something people can articulate easily. Thanks for bringing it up.

    • Very Tao of you P.S.
      Frankly, if your spirit is not fully engaged in the task at hand, you cannot be 100%, and being less than 100%, team wide, is a sure loss.
      GN

  2. […] Much is made of the importance of confidence for the player and the team.  SenSay talked about the challenge the Senators are facing, trying to play hockey while coping with personal tragedy in their midst.  Now that is a load to […]

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