Monday, April 14, 2008

When you think you are down and out, NEVER give up and when you are up and think you are untouchable, NEVER get complacent!

Playoff Hockey - You can't ask for a better time of year! This is when the men are separated from the boys and when the concept of "all or nothing" is taken to a whole new level...

This would have been a good topic for Stan to write about but I couldn't help myself...

2 glaring lessons stuck out from last nights 1st round playoff game between the San Jose Sharks and Calgary Flames at the Saddledome:

1. When you think you are down and out, NEVER give up!

After being down 3-0 in the first 3:33 minutes of the game last night, Mike Keenan pulled his star goalie Miikka Kiprusoff and forced his Calgary Flames to re-group, re-focus and start playing their game. Low and behold, they ended up coming back to beat the San Jose Sharks in dramatic fashion in overtime by a score of 4-3!

How did it happen?

They found a way to dig deep, believe in themselves, put the first 3 goals behind them and started to execute the systems that they know work (hit hard and often!) After a thunderous hit on the Sharks captain Patrick Marleau by Cory Sarich, the Flames (and their fans) were suddenly re-ignited and gained momentum they needed while not looking back scoring 4 unanswered goals.

2. When you are up and think you are untouchable, NEVER get complacent!

Take away:

When you are in the lead, or at the top, you can not stay stagnant. By doing this, you become complacent and vulnerable to people who are more hungry, more passionate and driven to see you fall. That is exactly what happened to the San Jose Sharks last night. The interesting thing is that now the underdog Flames have home ice advantage, a 2-1 lead in the series and all the momentum.

Leads change in hockey (and in the game of life) so quickly and an entire season (or year) of hard work and perseverance can be lost due to taking your foot off the gas for one second. It is an important lesson in realizing the value of not sitting back and always continuing to push ahead.

The next game should be very interesting to see which teams come out to play. Will Calgary keep the pressure on or will San Jose learn from this lesson mount a come back?

Stay tuned...

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