...to realize it's still early.
The Chicago Blackhawks have played 21 games thus far, the most in the league. A fourth of the way in is not far enough to start the panic or assuming a trip to the conference finals is inevitable. Obviously, struggling teams have the more emotional reaction at this time as fans begin to feel like every game is a must win. The Blue Jackets, Islanders, and Hurricanes have gotten off to the worst starts in the league this year. Yes they need to start winning soon, but don't throw in the towel yet.
Just look at last night as a great reflecting moment. There were a couple of unexpected blow outs. The Hawks lost in Edmonton by the score of 9-2 bringing their record over the last 10 to 5-4-1. They are still leading their division. The Capitals lost to the Leafs by a count of 7-1 bringing their record over the last 10 to 3-6-1 and are rumored to be shopping Alex Semin. Yet they still have all world Alex Ovechkin and a coach who has won about 70% of the games he has coached. Toronto, Minnesota, and Phoenix are all near the top of their respective division. Vancouver is eight points behind Minnesota.
Some will say that every team will have one game that defines their season. For most NHL teams, that game has not occurred yet.
...to realize that criticizing your team is fine, but it's best if it's constructive.
Of course you want to criticize your team. It's the nature of a dedicated fan. It sounds a lot better if you add something constructive to it. There are many folks that move away from social media when the games are on just to avoid the off the cuff reactions that signify the end of the team as we know it. They are emotional and quick reactions that can be written off, but if you have a day to think about it, make it sound like it. Let's all be critics, but not sound ignorant.
...to enjoy this great game.
It might not be easy to see the correlation, but the last segment goes well while thinking of the fans impact on this great game. Showing class and knowledge can help attract others to the sport. This is a small piece, obviously, as the amazing skill on the ice and the personalities of the players and coaches play a bigger part. It looks less and less like the NBA will be filling any gyms this year so it's a great year to attract more fringe fans. If the play can get them interested, the atmosphere, fans, and rivalries can keep them entrenched.
Yesterday the league averaged about seven goals per game. Other days the games are low scoring and tension rises as time passes. Young superstars create plays every day that make most do a double take. Save of the year candidates seem to come every other day. It really is a wonderful game isn't it? I know it plays with your emotions, but that is part of the beauty.
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