Everyone Has a Plan

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.



6 Responses to “Everyone Has a Plan”

  1. The standings in both conferences are so close.. any type of losing streak can put a team in a place of not making the playoffs.

    As Pierre McGuire has said.. going into the 2nd part of the season.. the Sens will no longer be taken for granted. Teams know what they are capable of and will bring their ‘A’ game.

    The defense looks lost right now. The forwards not much better.

    It appears they got away from their game. The other night.. there was almost no hitting on a Leaf player. No hard forecheck.. which is what this team lived by in the first part of the season.

    Did they start getting too complacent? Thinking they were better than they really are? Getting to ‘fancy’ with their plays instead of just playing ‘simple’ hockey.

    They still have a chance…

    I don’t want Murray to be a buyer at the deadline. Just status quo. He did the Turris trade.. which I also was against when first heard it. But Turris fills that hole the Sens had in the lineup. Rundblad is about 2-3 yrs away from playing decent defense.

    The Sens don’t need offensive help right now… they need defensive help.. someone that can actually skate. It showed the other night that Philips, Gonchar & Carkner can’t deal with speed.

    • To be fair, few defenceman with size can handle speed, but that is neither here nor there.
      The Sens will show who they are from now to the end of the season, but fortunately the options are a strong team with a bright future, but not ready for the post season, or a team ahead of expectation and a few players shy of being legit contenders.
      Many (detractors and over-hypers) are trying to paint this down-slide as some sort of failure, but the this couldn’t be further from the truth.
      This season has been a MASSIVE success, post-season be damned, and that is what must be remembered above all.

  2. GN and Sandy:

    Guys, “Andy” is over tired, Jason is hurting, Alfie is gased, Turris is not used to this much ice and our defence is not bad but they are old and slow by the standard of the day.

    I agree… stick with the status quo, keep building…but it sure looked for a while like a few playoff games for Eugene.

    • Nik, Nik, Nik…It ain’t over by a long shot. That being said, I never (and still don’t) consider them a post season team. But, they played a hell of a lot better than I expected, so wht the hell, maybe they can do it, despite my doubts.
      Buck up big guy, it’s been one hell of a great season, no matter the end result!

  3. These losses are the best thing to happen. The warts have been exposed, and they’re ugly. Murray can hunker down and go into asset acquire mode and dump the UFA’s and some of the supporting cast. This team still needs to get younger, and roster spots need to be cleared for some of the kids coming in next season. Gonchar, Kuba, Neil, Carkner, Phillips and Alfie (gulp) should all be moved for as much as possible, so we can move into the true rebuild phase. This’ll never happen with a half dozen 30+ years olds on the roster.

    • Just don’t buy the whole sale change theory. I like the experienced core (Phillips, Alfie, Neil) and would retain all of them for the guidance they bring.
      That being said, the rest need to go, if there are takers.
      Boro is ready to play, as is O’Brien and maybe even Petersson…but wait until the chips fall (Feb. 27) to decide how much to move and bring up.
      Next season will see Boro up for sure, maybe Grybs and Wiersy, so there;’s room on the blue line.
      Silf and Zbad will be in NA, if not the NHL, and a decision will need to be made on DaCosta and Regin.
      The team has a lot of assets that still need maturing, no need to rush out everybody, IMO.

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