Good morning. Welcome to my office. Allow me to ease your worried mind. You tell me that your hockey team is on the skids, and they’re too young. From your perspective, they sound pretty terrible. You also mention that the defense has been terrible, and the mid-level guys aren’t performing well. You also share that you’re already hearing trade rumors.
Well, take a load off, relax on the couch, and have some tea. The doctor is in.
Addressing your concerns about this team being young, and they are, that was known going into the year. When you left me this message, you were sobbing and worrying about Pekka after the loss to the Canucks. You do seem a bit more relaxed today after the Calgary game. Last year, the Preds and Flames played games that would depress even Bob Ross. Yesterday’s was at least a little entertaining. I mean, could you believe how much country music they play in Calgary? Dallas doesn’t even play that much, and they’re the real Texans, not the cheap Canadian knock off versions (oil riggers, cattle ranchers, awesome economy, etc).
Our good friend Mattias Ekholm was sent down to Milwaukee, except he didn’t want to go to Milwaukee. He instead returned to Sweden to play more pond hockey and not grow in the North American game. Swell choice, ers majestät. It’s his career choice, so we ought not stress over his desires as opposed to winning hockey games. (Seriously?)
It’s all a matter of perspective. As of now, your hockey team is at .500. They survived a west coast swing without being completely screwed by salvaging the last game of the trip with a shutout of a team that straight up owned them last year, and the year before. For the first time all year, Pekka looking absolutely dominant and got decent support from his minions in front of him. Blum and Klein played MUCH better in front of him. Laakso and Hillen weren’t terrible. And when you look at all the veterans on the Calgary roster, the kids done us proud. Truly good teams do tend to have a rough patch in which the younger players learn and simplify their game. With the amount of youth being asked to give big minutes, being .500 at this time isn’t the worst thing in the world.
We all know it could be far worse. Columbus is 0-7-1, -12 goal differential, already dealing with similar injury problems, and all of this with the 4th highest payroll in the league with a franchise that’s losing money hand over fist and is drawing around 9,000 fans a night. (SEE, I saw you smile when you read that, or hey, you could have to live in Winnipeg) While we shouldn’t put others down to make ourselves feel better, it is important to remember the track record of those making the decisions, and they pretty much called the trend of the season before it started. How many times did David Poile say “this team will be better in the second half than in the first”? A bunch.
So chins up, golden army. Also remember this is just about the streakiest team around as well, and will be even more so with the amount of kids on the roster. There are several things that are better than last year at this time, but also remember that Lindback was playing more in net since Pekka was hurt opening night. The best thing that could’ve happened on this trip was a defensive awakening, and your team had one. When Rinne was pulled against Vancouver, The usual mantra of “protect the kid” took over. Without that attitude following the Preds to the Saddledome, Blum doesn’t save that goal, and maybe more bad things happen.
OK, same time in a couple weeks? Sounds good. See the receptionist on your way out.