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Proof of Intent


Canucks @ Sharks, Jan 3, 2011

One of the things that is really hard to prove in a court is intent.  If someone starts their car and accelerates and runs a person over, the only intent you can reasonably prove is the intent to start the car and accelerate.  Even that could be challenged what with all the cruise control problems over the years.  So it involves a lot of guess work.

What is funny is that a lawyer is not supposed to ask a jury to put themselves in someone else’s shoes.  How else do you evaluate intent?

So when Clowe started venting on the air about some unnamed teammates not being prepared to work hard enough, I thought “gee, that’s sort of what I think sometimes but I try not to say it because I’m not on the team, I don’t know what’s going on in their heads…”  Of course Clowe can’t know exactly what’s going on in anyone else’s head either but he sure has a better idea than I do.

Also, I am inclined to think it is not intentional laziness.  Mostly laziness does not exist.  Lack of proper motivation does.  Some people just get rattled and discouraged easier than others.  Very observant people can be easily distracted by too much input.

Tim Thomas was asked once if he did anything specific to defend against some player he was familiar with and he said that if you know what he’s gonna do, he knows you know it, he does something else.  So don’t think about it, just react to what he does.  Or something like that.

That is an excellent example of mental filtering.  Know everything, think about nothing.  Be in the moment, yadda yadda.  Some people are just better than others at doing that.

I fear that some of the leadership on the Sharks roster is not so much good at mental filtering.  There seem to be a lot of melt downs at inopportune times.  I don’t know if the burden of leadership has a direct impact on how the leaders perform, but having your leaders melt down must eventually demoralize the non-leaders.

So again I wish for a mutiny.  Shouting is well and good, but sharks need to keep moving forward at a steady pace or they will drown.  The stops take more out of the team than any long push would.  Getting started again is not easy.  The problem is that, like occasional angry shouting matches, a mutiny cannot maintain control unless a new order can be established.

On the other hand, this was better than the previous game against the Canucks, and better than many games the Sharks have played this year.  The Canucks are most likely the best team in the west, so maintaining any pressure at all against them is a sign of improvement.

Clowe and hopefully other Sharks are not satisfied with that, they want to win.  But I take a little comfort in any sign of improvement.

Maybe I am making excuses because I think I forgot to tweet Coutch and Seto yesterday.  Since the streak maintenance tweets to Coutch failed (small sample size, he would have to be a Canuck for the experiment to have been done with any scientific validity), I started sending inane little well-wishes the day before the games.  I did not keep track of the success rate of that.

I know, that is lunacy of the most blatant sort, not even covered by the blanket defense of superstition.  I will not take responsibility for this.  (But I will of course tweet them Wednesday.)


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