Misery and Passion

I'm a miserable hockey fan and player right now. Our little Devils went 0-2 this weekend, including a 6-0 drubbing this morning that required a 90 minute drive (each way) through fog at 6:30am. Our big Devils went 0-2 this weekend, losing in a shootout at home on Friday and losing in Columbus in overtime today. Tonight my HNA team lost its fifth straight. Three of those losses were one-goal games, as were both of the NHL Devils losses, but they still show up under "L".

After this morning's game deep in Jersey Devil country, my son's coach suggested we come and watch the NJ Devils Youth Hockey Under-16 AAA team (His son happens to be the goalie, and he's a spectator, not a coach during their games). They're undefeated this season, they're nationally ranked as a top U16 team, and, well, they're pretty passionate about their hockey. A 1-0 lead in the first stretched to a 6-0 lead at the second intermission, including power plays that lasted all of 13 and 6 seconds. Two guys were always on the puck, supporting each other. We sat with my son's coach, and he offered a great comment: Good offense creates time and space. Good defense takes away time and space. It was the best hockey I've seen in over a year.

Whatever practice plan the NHL Devils had in place on Saturday didn't work. Maybe they should come watch a dozen 16 year olds who play this game with unequalled abandon. Misery only loves company if you give it time and space. Passion squeezes it out.

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