NHL teams and fans: Chill out
A couple early losses no big deal
The Agents of Change
The premise of hitting the proverbial panic button is being thrown around a lot in this shortened NHL season.
Before the puck was even dropped, players, managers, coaches and the media alike were stressing about the importance of getting off to a quick start.
In a 48-game season, it can be extremely beneficial but isn’t necessarily mandatory.
There is, however, substantially less time for teams to play catch-up.
And it’s on that premise that people are freaking out and calling for changes half a week into the season, where some teams have gotten off to less than stellar starts.
Is losing your first two games a reason to panic? To throw away all reason and logic and submit to the fact that your team is destined for the basement?
I don’t think so. It’s two games of 48. It’s less than five percent of the season.
So, give it time and if the losing continues into the 20th game of the season, then it might be time to hit the panic button.
Look at the Vancouver Canucks; they began the season with a goaltending controversy that won’t go away. They lost their second line center Ryan Kesler for a month and most recently they lost David Booth for another month. They got destroyed by the Anaheim Ducks 7-3 in their home opener and then lost to the lowly Edmonton Oilers the following night in a shootout.
For a team that is used to winning and winning often (back to back Presidents Trophies), losing doesn’t come easy to them or their fan base.
My belief is that if the Luongo situation doesn’t get solved soon, then it could hang over the team the entire year and spin itself into a circus that might just devour the entire 2013 season for the Canucks. It’s up to GM Mike Gillis to solve this issue and help the team move forward with their season. If not, it could be time to panic in Vancouver if this persists.
The New York Rangers, Washington Capitals, Carolina Hurricanes, Phoenix Coyotes and Los Angeles Kings have all begun the season with two consecutive losses. The Philadelphia Flyers have done one better, going winless in three straight to start the campaign.
Three of the four teams, the Kings, Coyotes, Rangers, made the conference finals last season. Chances are most, if not all, aren’t worrying too much just yet. Teams that good simply have a mental capacity to handle situations like these.
It’s the opposite of the feeling of winning your first couple games and planning the parade route after game two. Something Toronto Maple Leafs fans tend to do when the Buds win a couple games a row. Remember last season Leafs fans…? Do you still have your seat reserved on Yonge Street?
All I am getting at is that everybody needs to settle down when rushing to judgment on any team. Remember, it’s not even a week into the season and there is lots of hockey to be played.
Don’t panic just yet.