Eighteen skaters, two goalies and a coaching staff suit up on nightly basis with two points on the line. This happens 82 times during the regular season for a particular team. This then continues on past mid April if those 82 games go particularly well. This unit has a common goal. They want to win 16 games beyond the regular season and win a big trophy for a starving community. What do those champions say night after night?
“We got a good group a guys in this locker room.” “You know everyone’s fighting for each other, one guy goes down, then another guy steps up.” – Every championship team ever. For those that really mean it, does that have any impact on the team’s ability in capturing those 16 wins?
No team ever understands why they don’t win unless they blatantly don’t have the talent. You always see the players crying and saying how much they love their teammates in the locker room after they lose four out of seven in a playoff series. “But, you can’t just say it man..you gotta feel it in your blood and guts,” (Dewey Finn/Mr. S/Jack Black).
One for the first finger on the next hand?
The Penguins seemingly have so much fun. They have a reality show for their fans, and were the happy go lucky opponents on the first “24/7: Road to the Winter Classic” show on HBO in 2010-11. Have they won their cups because they really do “fight for the guy next to them”?
Ryan Reaves came into the league with the meanest look on his face and seemingly broke every face bone on his fighting opponent. He had ten times more hair, and his role for awhile was get the St. Louis crowd hyped up with a big hit or fight much like a Cam Janssen would. By the time he left St. Louis, he had become an every day NHL player and a fan favorite. Reaves became best friends with Vladimir Tarasenko who has been the most consistent goal scorer in the NHL since Ryan became an every day fixture in the Blues lineup. Something did not bring it all together as Reaves joined the Penguins after seven years with the Blues and no cups.
Phil Kessel wasn’t one of the brightest of bright stars early on his career. He did not find much team success in Boston and Toronto. The Toronto media was particularly rough on him (as they usually are). The 2013-14 “24/7: Road to the NHL Winter Classic” saw Phil perceived as very chill wearing beanies much of the time. Was this because of the quantity of hair he possesses? These days you see Phil happy as can be in an environment with seemingly no worries where success reigns.
I don’t know what has brought it all together in Pittsburgh the three times they have won the cup. I do know every news story with them is rarely even about how the team plays early on this season. The talk has been the rising bromance between these two players and how they have flourished on the ice and as teammates. I hope the Penguins don’t it again, but I’m scared there’s something going on here with this apparent insanely good team chemistry.
We all are aware the Blues have never won a Stanley Cup in their previous 50 seasons. No one knows why or wants to talk about it in St. Louis. I sure don’t. They have gone through many team slogans that the fans have rallied behind and are always all in. What about the entire group of players?
Dimitrij Jaskin came into the league on draft day with a smile on his face. He was coming off a 99-point season in the QMJHL while lacing up in just 51 games. People were excited about his arrival after scoring his first goal on December 28, 2013 against the rival Hawks. He celebrated just as you would if you had never scored before and was embraced by all of his teammates. Jaskin has since scored just 18 goals in his young NHL career, but still has assured himself a spot in the lineup night after night under Blues Head Coach Mike Yeo.
The 24-year old still celebrates as hard as anyone in the league. Everyone loves to score goals in the NHL regardless of how often. Players also enjoy when the team scores because (as referenced earlier) everyone wants to win the Stanley Cup with the team they are on. Jaskin scored just once last season and had a 1.8 shooting percentage. He was seen ready to embrace his teammate after a goal scored against Boston on November 22, 2016. Dimitrij then proceeds to either run into the ref or his teammate just skates by him, I don’t know.
I don’t know what will make my Blues finally capture a Stanley Cup or if they ever will. I do know the bottom six forwards have scored just seven goals this season while the top of the lineup is on fire. The teams that win the Stanley Cup usually have all four lines producing. It could be something else though. I’m not in the locker room, I’m just an observer.
“we want the cup, we want the cup”
Gordan Bombay told all viewers of the Mighty Ducks that “a team is something you belong to,” and “something you feel” (Gordon Bombay/Emilio Estevez). We know everyone in the NHL has talent and can play hockey better than almost anyone. We know that the teams playing, the organizations, and the communities behind their squads want to win “Hockey’s Holy Grail”. Believing in destiny and curses won’t do any of the people trying to accomplish that goal any good.
LeBron James is in the NBA Finals basically every year because he’s never satisfied. He knows he’s the best basketball player on the planet right now. But, LeBron wants to be the best ever. He’s even vocal about the idea. There’s no way to know if he will ever be, but he will do everything in his power to make you and himself believe it is him.
I want to win the Stanley Cup. However, like I said, me the fan has no control or effect on the games played. I just know it’s never happened for me and my fellow supporters. When I hear them say “come on boys,” I do hope everyone on the bench and in the locker room truly feels a part of that brotherhood.
“From Our Haus to Yours”