06 March 2011
When a player speaks of momentum, when a journalist nods and his reader nods with him, what each understands is an almost tangible feeling, in that player and in his team, that a season moving in a clear distinct direction will not easily change. But while momentum comes and goes with wins and losses, it follows a player and team when a game ends, and returns with them stronger for the next game. For off the ice, surrounded by suddenly smiling faces, everything seen from the angle of victory, everything easier, happier, every next thing easier still, living itself seems easier and fuller, and brimming with energy confidence; playing does too.
- Ken Dryden, The Game
I'm not even looking for a silver lining. Don't need one. This little losing streak is good for the Flyers, required even.
In life there are only two things I honestly believe in when I get down to my apple core:
1. The sweet and the sour.
2. Practice makes perfect.
And the Flyers, beneficiaries of a three game losing streak to Ottawa, Toronto and Buffalo, three teams not currently in the playoff picture, now sit in a position to dig deep into both of those mantras after a season on cruise control.
We said it when the Kris Versteeg trade happened - it was a reason to get back into a Flyers season where rampant success had left us relatively little to discuss besides Danny Briere and Claude Giroux's Crosbian living arrangements. This team was Charie Sheen'd out. What happens when you stop winning? Losing.
And now I'm interested again and I'm sure the Flyers are too.
You don't want to be the team that forgot how to lose and rebound from failure going into the playoffs. You don't want to be the team that never upped gears when the sprint to the finish line started because you forgot you were being chased.
The Flyers had been overdosing on the sweet for 3 months with out even realizing it, and now they know what they had. They also now know what they need to focus on - the powerplay, conditioning, and burying teams before they can come back on you like Kathy Bates in Misery.
I don't see a problem with them losing today, to tell you the truth. With them falling out of 1st in the Conference. Having to fight to win back the championship belt.
If they haven't learned yet from this tiny, minute little skid they surely will from a 4, 5, or 6 game losing streak that has everyone outside their locker room questioning everyone and everything inside it.
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