You don’t just love someone when they are at their best. You show love when they are also at their worst.
I don’t remember the movie, the actress, or if that was the exact quote. But you get the picture. It was easy cheering for this team when they were kicking everyone’s ass. Now they are down 3-0, and casual fans are jumping off the bandwagon. Why? If you like hockey, what do you get from not watching, or hoping they lose? What’s the point in giving up and not watching? Are you benefiting yourself in any way? How? This isn’t a team that is in the midst of a tough season, and that needs to tank to get a good draft pick.
We’re in the midst of a playoff run. I’m not saying we should hope for 1 or 2 wins. That doesn’t accomplish anything. I’m saying that you should hold out hope for a series win. What do you have to lose? I’m not saying it will happen. But it can. You know it can. Not because of last year. But because of this year. You know this team can play lockdown defense. You know this team can light up the scoreboard. You know this team has more potetntial than anyone else in the league to rattle off strings of wins, no matter who the opponent.
Here’s another way of looking at it. Some of you are parents, some aren’t, but just go with it. Let’s say you have a 10 year old, and you’re on your way to a game. You know your kid is good, but whoever they are playing against is good too. What are you going to say when you’re in the car? Words of encouragement, some praise, a few tips. You don’t want the kid to be nervous, you want them to be confident. You want them to feel support. You won’t say anything negative. When the game starts, you’re going to cheer. Again, for those same reasons that you said good things in the car. Let’s say you’re kid messes up. Are you going flip shit on them? If you’re a crappy parent, you will. But if you’re a good parent, you’ll give a few stern words to help get your kid focused. You don’t want to baby your child. You want to nurture them, but you want to show some tough love too, make them learn to battle adversity.
That’s the approach we need to take with this team. Cheer for them, scream for them, hope that they can win. I’m not saying don’t boo. That’s your right, and something I fully support and understand. But if they’re blowing it, they don’t need us to tell them that they’ve fallen short. Lavy won’t be telling them off at intermission if something is wrong. He might scream at them. But he’s going to do whatever he can to motivate them, keep them together, and get them to win. And that’s what we, the fans, should be doing. We can’t score for them, play defense for them, or cover the net for them. The only thing we can do is make them feel our support, and hopefully that gives them some confidence and energy to go out and perform to the best of their abilities. Because if they play their best..then history will be made.
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