CONFIDENCE. It’s what’s missing from so many teams and players in the league lately. When you see the likes of Lecavalier and St. Louis who are extraordinary, playing the worst hockey of their careers, it raises questions. Who is at fault… is it the players, for not stepping up and working hard? Is it the coaches for not instilling enough respect and confidence in their players? Is it a mix of the two?
Alfreddson, Spezza, Heatley, Modano, Richards… I mean how often is it that you see Dallas and Ottawa in the bottom 5 teams in the league? It seems that organizations tend to have star players, and the problem with this is that when it doesn’t work for your stars the whole team seems to crumble, and it’s like this across the board.
Tonight Montreal, who usually has 3 scoring lines but whom last year heavily relied on Alex Kovalev, lost a game against the Hurricanes. Now I’m not knocking the ‘Canes. They has an okay game, as did the Habs but honestly something knocked the wind out of the Canadiens’ sails recently and they just can’t score… in the past 4 games we’ve scored an abysmal 6 goals… 6 GOALS! You can’t win when scoring less than 2 goals a game… especially when your goalies aren’t playing to their potential (granted Price was amazing tonight)!
Even Crosby and Ovechkin aren’t producing… at least in terms of goals… with 13 between them, it’s a bit ridiculous. Yes, they both are at more than a point per game, but with their talent, they could be scoring more. What happened to those competitive rookies who fought for the Calder to the bitter end? I haven’t seen either of those players this year.
But on the flip side, there are some tiny rays of hope that are poking through… Let’s take the Devils. Good team, known for their utterly boring style of play, but also known for their utterly amazing goaltender, who gives them the chance to be a contending team every year.
He goes down. → Everyone thought the team would too. → They did.
But they are slowly turning things around, trying to adjust to life without Marty and thankfully are still #8 in the East.
Another bright spot: Detroit. Either Mike Babcock is the greatest coach of all time, or his players just happen to be the greatest… he gets them to compete ever year bar none… they are talented yes, but they work hard and are a brick wall to opponents during the season.
Other teams need to take a page out of the Babcock / Brodeur book and get working. The talent needs to be there but if the workhorse personality is not than the talent is useless.
Kovalev stepped up last year, and we grew to rely on him. He either needs to step up again, just like the other “star” players around the league need to, or maybe instead, the rest of the league should finally to learn to rely on themselves – because no matter their talent level, if they put in enough work and give it their all effort-wise they’ll get the results.