…the 21st day of September….

30 Oct

About nine games into the season at this point….no wins, no ties…NO POINTS.

If you have been on a losing team before, you know how this feels.  On my junior year football team, we won two games.  My undergraduate rugby team….the same…two or three games.  You can’t help but feel for these guys.  I worked my way into the locker room for the post-game chats.  The coaches are feeling it, right….one match there was the “atta boy”, you guys are playing better.  The next match a frustrating game leads to a broken garbage bin, post kicking.  Another match, the exhausted parent giving the talk about what went wrong tonight – no yelling, no screaming, just exasperation.

The players….not much emotion.  I was surprised!  I am surprised.  After one of the speeches a player asked about the sauna and treatment schedule for the day off the next day.  I wanted to hit him with the damn goalie stick…

I remember at the beginning of my data taking experiences I tried to count hits…then I stopped…there weren’t any.  Zero.  Zilch.  Hockey, professional hockey and no hits…

So I remember Don Cherry saying a European-led NHL team couldn’t win the cup because they were physically soft compared to the rough and tumble Canadians.  I remember that during the last NHL lockout the discussions to try to attract more viewership to hockey; making it a more open game like the Europeans play.  I honestly thought this might be how Hungarian hockey looked like.

Then I started to notice the Ujpest team shying away from contact.  No forechecking.  It is HOCKEY for god’s sake!

The 21st day of September, no wins, no ties, no points……

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