Some motivational gym bro once noted that
Discipline is doing what needs to be done, even if you don’t want to do it
Said motivational gym bro was right; sage in his steroid-spurred words, this advice can be applied across all aspects of life. It works if you’re in the gym. It works if you’re on a diet. It even works for school, and work, and sitting on your ass watching How I Met Your Mother on Netflix. It’s a dirty job, but somebody’s gotta do it.
You know what else applies? MOVING YOUR DAMN FEET AND NOT TAKING PENALTIES EVERY GODDAMN SHIFT.
Let me follow that rage-fueled quantum leap with a bit of context; recently off of a four-game road trip, the Florida Panthers managed to glean six points out of a possible eight, shutting out the lowly Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center before taking their next three tilts to overtime. Sandwiching a 4-3 win against the struggling Colorado Avalanche with 2-1 losses at Washington and Arizona, the Panthers-for all intents and purposes-have shown improvement, even if marginally. The offense has stepped it’s goal-scoring output up to 1.75 markers a game (oh my lanta), with the defense allowing the same across this four-game sample. An uglier problem, however, has reared its ugly head, potentially costing the club valuable points-discipline.
Per the NHL’s Team Stats webpage, the Cats have committed a total of 45 penalties, saintly only in relation to the big, bad Boston Bruins. 41 of those have been minors-a league-leading figure-and while the team has remained relatively clean in terms of majors and game misconducts received (two and zero, respectively), the sheer volume of petty violations has plummeted the team to the bottom-third of the NHL’s PIMs leaderboards (21st overall with 96) and the bottom-five in PIMs-per-game with an average of 13.7 minutes. Couple that with a beleaguered penalty kill unit, and you’re gonna have a bad time roughly 27% of the time. See Exhibit A-costly penalty number 69359683756, Aleksander Barkov on Shane Doan (high-sticking), 10/25/2014
It isn’t as if they’re isolated events; they occurring at an alarmingly high rate, and are directly contributing to lost games. As of today, the Cats have lost five games in total, four of which have come by a single goal. One of the aforementioned four was decided via shootout. The rest? By a game-winning, power-play goal. In my mind, losses are losses, regardless of the “loser-point” that providing the fans with free hockey gives you. In the end, a measly point can make or break a season. There’s a question often posed in rowing, that goes along the lines of “does it make the boat go faster?”. It boils the sport, and ALL of it’s intricacies, down to a singular focus-winning. A similar question can be asked to hockey players: will it win us the game? It doesn’t take a former pro to understand that penalties are not included in that particular list.
A lone goal makes all the difference, and call me crazy, but losing by one hurts infinitely more than getting blown out.
In other news, YAAAAAAAAAAS WE’RE FINALLY PLAYING BRANDON PIRRI.