There are so many adjectives and words to describe these Stanley Cup Playoff Finals that could be put down on paper but I would like to stick to only a couple: Adversity and Belief.
As time marches closer to game time for game 6 we just need to look at the past playoff rounds for the LA Kings. Their first 3 series they were able to jump out to 3-0 leads in games and easily (at least it looked that way) handled the opposition never to go past a fifth game to get to the next round. It continued this way going into the finals against the NJ Devils until the forth game where the surprising Devils decided that that was enough of this ‘Cinderella’ type performance coming from the Kings.
The Kings have not come to the crossroads of Adversity yet in these 2012 playoffs…until now. They have not had to ‘Look into the Mirror’ and do a self-check of themselves. Nor have they had to ‘Dig Deeper’ for every shift and win all the little battles to come out ahead after the final buzzer. But now they do! Don’t take this the wrong way either, it hasn’t been a total ‘Cake walk’ for the Kings Of LA, no, no, no. They have had their battles, they had to pick themsleves up and dig deep to pull off some remarkable wins but nothing like what they need to do tonight, game 6, at home in front of all the LA LA Land fans that can be packed into the Staples Center. No pressure here at all right! All the pressure is on the other guys, they need to win to stay alive to fight another day. But the unfortunate part of all this is that the Kings are now up against a team who are not only on a 2 game winning streak but a team that believes.
‘We’re still alive, so we have a chance’ quotes goalie Martin Brodeur. ‘We could of packed it in two games ago but no, we believe in each other here. These guys want to make history and try to win the Cup, we’re not going to give up.’
Let me tell you, it’s very scary when you have a mind-set like that and it’s even more frightening when you have 23 plus players who have the same frame of mind, same way of thinking, the same belief all in one, it can be pretty powerful.
This belief really starts to build when you see differents things happening through out the games that were not happening at the beginning of the series. Bounces are going your way, pucks are hitting posts where before they were squeeking in. You have to remember three out of the five games have been decided by one goal and a forth by a two goal margin which was by an empty netter. The only one game was a blow out in LA. These two teams are very close , nothing really seperates them.
But the tides are a shifting as they say. Call it mind games, call it whatever you want but it’s happening, no doubt about it.
You see once belief sets in it can be unbelievable for the ones carrying the belief. One of the parts of belief is that when you see the breaks of the game going your way when before they weren’t. Then you notice the other team becoming a little nervous, some anxiety sets into them, a psychological switch goes on and ‘Wham-Bam’ different things in the game change. The state of the mind or at least of the New Jersey Devils players mind is that they don’t think they are going to lose. Where one team thinks going into the game thinking they are going to win while the other thinks they are not going to lose, sounds the same but for the mind it isn’t really.
Now, as Hockey Enthusiasts that we all are and we all have our favourite team that we want to win, it’s all so easy for us to just sit back and watch and cheer them all on right and just say let the better team win. But there is more to it that just that to the players in this game. You need to have the right mind-set, the right attitude and the belief in all that you are capable of doing and plus much more important then anything, a little ‘Lady Luck’ behind you won’t be a bad idea either!
Enjoy tonight’s game, I know I will!