I am not an old man, not by any means, but it has been awhile since I played on an organized hockey team. I remember winning, and I remember losing. I remember the joys and the pains of a long season, even though they weren't all that long looking back. I remember the elation in the locker room after a big win, and I bitterly remember the somber pain of a bad loss.
And I remember this.
Our team was up something like five to nothing going into the third period. My dad happened to be the coach that season, and I remember at the bench between the second and third him telling us that if we completed the shutout, there would be no practice that week, and if we happened to give up a goal, but won the game, there would be no practice the next day.
We lost. 7-5.
In the locker room, he walked in and everyone shut up. Kids, parents, everyone. He looked around at every single person in what I imagine was his own little Herb Brooks moment and said:
"Ya done fucked up boys."
Then he walked out the room. As we exited the building every player and parent was told there would be a practice everyday that week, and there would be double length practices at that.
Russo has some strong words up on his blog, you should check them out. Here are my favorites:
How about this damning quote from Niklas Backstrom, who was pulled after two... “We were up 3-0. I don’t know if we were really that much better in the first. We just scored goals.”
Agreed Backs, agreed. Looking back at the play in the first, it was exactly what it was the rest of the game. It just happens that Ottawa's coach adjusted for it. Ours didn't.
Jacques Lemaire was screaming mad, and I mean screaming, in his postgame.
He should be mad. He got out coached by a guy who has been behind the bench for as long as Jacques elbow has hurt.
But the Wild still melted down. Amazingly, Josh Harding faced only two shots in the third — the Alfredsson winner and a Fisher save off a shorthanded 2-on-1.
Two shots he faced. Two. One went in, and both were short handed. Sad.
When the dressing room opened up after the game, every player was still at his stall in full equipment untaping their socks. Why does this matter? Normally when the room opens to the media, half the guys have already bailed for the back.
This time, nobody had undressed because, I was told, some very upset players had some things to air in a short meeting.
The Wild — and me — had a scheduled day off Sunday. Not anymore. The Wild must show up at the arena at noon for a mandatory meeting, and there will be no days off this week, Lemaire said.
In other words:
Ya done fucked up boys.