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Smarter/Harder

Sabres @ Sharks, Jan 6, 2011

Yeah, I don’t think I will actually talk about that game.  Sorry for misleading anyone.  3-0 Sabres, end of story.

Finally took the plunge and got a smart phone.  It can do a lot of cool stuff like let me blog from Denny’s after watching practice. But the keys are pretty small and typing is a little harder.  This phone is so smart, I could have been typing while watching practice, but I was busy chatting and also it was insanely cold so typing would have been even harder. 

Also, I did not figure out how to use it as a phone until the day after I bought it, and I still can’t access my messages or turn up the volume so I can hear people talking on the other end.  I got so caught up in the gizmos and fancy gadgets that I forgot to get a grip on the basics of the device, how to use it as a PHONE.

Now that I put it that way, I feel like the Sharks are in a similar muddle: they have a lot of pieces that are cool for their own merits, but the main function has been forgotten: play and win as a team.  I can’t ignore the communication aspect either- it would appear that messages are being lost in transmission.

I wasn’t sure about going to practice twice in one week.  Last night’s game was so depressing that I considered taking some time away from hockey.  Then I remembered the excellent game the Flyers had yesterday, and knew that I could not not think about the Sharks, if I continued to watch the Flyers.

So I pulled on my subtly orange sweater to lift my mood and drove to SJ to see if the Sharks were patching the hull, battening down the hatches, or cleaning the guns.  There’s gotta be an apt metaphor for what needs to be done.  Enough of this talk about individual responsibility and readiness.  Get over it, get on the horse, suit up, get to work.

You cannot just wait for the wind to pick up.  You need to be ready and willing to start rowing.  Apparently Doug Wilson agrees. Whether he will be patching, battening*, or buying oars is not clear.

A couple days ago I wrote about Wednesday’s practice.  I complained about how disorderly and fractured it was.  I did not publish that because it was sort of tedious and negative.  Today’s practice was not like that.  Most of the hour was spent doing drills that used all the ice and all the players.  The goalies were busy, not left standing about.  There was very little idleness, and everyone was mostly engaged in the drills.  From these comments you might surmise the gist of my complaints about Wednesday.

I liked today’s practice better.  I hope it was helpful.

I guess I can hope that since Thursday’s game looked a lot like Wednesday’s practice, maybe tomorrow the team will play a more orderly and unified game.  One can hope.

Because I like it when people say things I am thinking, affirming the validity of my thoughts, I was happy to see this:

*Another cool word there: From Middle English *battenen, *batnen, of North Germanic origin, from Old Norse batna (“to grow better, improve, recover”), from Proto-Germanic *batananan (“to become good, get better”), from Proto-Indo-European *bhAd- (“good”). Cognate with Icelandic batna (“to improve, recover”), Gothic (gabatnan, “to be noteful, profit, boot”), Dutch baten (“to avail, profit, benefit”), Old English batian (“to get better, recover”). (-from wiktionary)

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