Okay....So here we go, Blog #2.
I want to start off by thanking all of you for your comments. I appreciate the feedback, both positive and negative, so again, thank you.
I will try my best to work on my word count here as much as possible, but I often get carried off topic, so no promises. But on another note, this is my blog, and if nothing else over this period of "blogging," maybe you can get to know me a little bit more, and my tangents may be the best way for that....
Since I spoke to you last, we have had two weekends of games. The first trip we went up to Hamilton/Toronto for two games. It is always nice to head up to Canada because we have so many Canadians on our team and I know from speaking with them that their trips home are few and far between. Unfortunately though, we came back a little empty handed, 0 pts.
The first game against Hamilton, I thought we played pretty well and did a lot of things that could have won us the game, but obviously we didn't do enough. A couple letdowns early in the game and before we knew it we were fighting an uphill battle trying to get back, which has seemed to be a reccurring theme this season considering our opponent has been scoring the first goal quite often.
This is something we definitely need to work on because when we are down by a goal, sometimes we have to overextend ourselves offensively, veering away from our game plan, in order to tie the game back up.
The following night in Toronto, I didn't think we played our best. We were having trouble settling the puck in a lot of different areas and were not creating the scoring chances we needed in order to beat a team like Toronto on the road. On a more positive note, I think that we are a better team than both so come playoff time, assuming that everything goes as planned, we may very well see one of those teams again and I like our chances.
This past weekend, we won two out of three, losing the one game to Milwaukee in Milwaukee. I thought that we outplayed Milwaukee in that game, but because of a few unfortunate (for lack of a better word) goals, they got the two points.
As a team though, I think we are starting to find our identity, which is so important if we plan on finishing this season and beginning playoffs on a positive note. It has taken us a little longer this year to find this "team identity," but better late than never.
If I had to describe our "team identity," I would say that we are a team who is going to have to pride ourselves on the defensive aspect of the game, accepting the fact that we are going to be in a lot of close games and without hard work, a strong forecheck and a immaculate defensive zone, we will not fulfill our expectations. So those are all key points for us to concentrate on moving forward.
Off the Ice, we had a Super Bowl party on Sunday, and as expected, the Pittsburgh Steelers won their sixth championship. I only expect this because they are the second best franchise in sports, (haha), only to the Wolves. Or third to the Thrashers and Wolves for my Atlanta based audience, haha.
It was a great day for myself, friends and family, and everyone from Pittsburgh though. While the Penguins and Pirates have both had their moments, I think in the end, we are a football city. Everyone always follows the Steelers with a very keen eye and with the Rooney family as owners, the family atmosphere has trickled down throughout the city.
So Congrats to the Steelers, they have represented the Black, White and Gold very well. On a side note, and please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that Pittsburgh is the only city where all of our major sports teams wear the same colors. So it is very appropriate to say that being from Pittsburgh, we all bleed Black, White and Gold.
Our party was definitely a success though. Everyone brought a dish to eat and we supplied the beverages. I think the wives and girlfriends made most of the food because they were nothing short of amazing, and if I know my teammates as well as I think I do, none of them were cooking these extravagant dishes.
Mike Hoffman and Jamie Rivers get the award for best dressed. Although I may have been a close second with my Troy Polamalu jersey, the two of them came in "nightgowns" that only the most extreme and egregious hockey mom could ever be caught wearing. These "nightgowns" were by no means average and were nothing short of ridiculous and to see those guys prancing around in them was very amusing. One of them had hockey sticks and pucks covering the entire nightgown from head to toe, so if you could imagine seeing Mike Hoffman squeezing into this, you can understand how humorous this really was.
We also were fortunate enough to meet the newest addition to the Brett Sterling household, Cooper, an English Bulldog I believe. After living with my parents' Miniature Doberman Pinscher, I have developed somewhat of disliking towards these animals we often call domesticated.
By no means do I see a purpose for my parents having this Min-Pin, nor any sort of coexistence between the two; the dog does whatever it wants, and my parents have no choice but to feeder towards its needs. Hopefully Brett's English Bulldog is different and they can live together in happiness, but I feel that most small dogs have developed Napoleon Complex, or Small Man Syndrome, where they feel that they run "everyone's show." Let's remember that in the end, THEY ARE DOGS; without them, we can survive, without us, they cannot. haha, I am joking around when I am writing all of this so I hope I didn't hit a soft spot with anyone. Cooper was actually a very friendly dog, very well behaved and a major hit at our party so I appreciate Brett and Lizzy bringing him over.
I know it's getting a little long, but I wanted to touch on a more philosophical point before I leave you. I am very appreciative of all of your comments, but one comment stuck out the most and I have been thinking about it quite a bit since I've read it. The comment came from Nikki the Red Head, speaking about a "choice to be happy."
Ever since I was a little kid, I have carried a smile on my face, but it wasn't until later in life that I realized this characteristic of mine. At one point in my college career, I was struggling, not only with my workload and hockey, but my life. I was often searching for my purpose and worrying so much about the future that I was missing the present. I was missing all of the small, everyday enjoyments that all of us experience, but often take for granted.
During this time, I spoke to someone, I can't even remember who, whether it be Lindsay or Lauren (my two sisters), my best friend or my dad. Whomever it was, I spoke to someone and they told me that my mom had asked them if I was ok. She was upset because she mentioned that she hadn't seen me smile in such a long time. She went on to tell them that for as long as she could remember, I had always had a smile on my face, and that she had no longer seen that smile. It was then that I realized, not only how much I really did smile, but also the problem. I was concentrating on all of the negative aspects of life. It wasn't that the positives weren't there, but I was not recognizing them when they arrived.
To somewhat wrap this up before it gets WAY to long, the moral of the story is, maybe Moms do "always know best" (My Mom's going to love reading this), but also that we all have a choice to make everyday when we awake, to be happy or sad.
We can all sit there and dwell on the negatives, for that's easy; we can go to work, complain and tell everyone about how "the world is out to get us." Or we can celebrate, enjoy and be thankful for the positives, but unfortunately, this often seems to be the road less traveled for many of us.
The decision is not mine, for I like to think that my decision has already been made, but yours. I'd like to say that we can either see the cup half full or half empty, but the truth is, it is so much more than that. In every situation in life, there is a positive and a negative. Try finding the positives in everything and it becomes easier and easier as time goes on.
Positive energy is the most important part of life and it's contagious. So if you can't find it for yourself, find it for your kids, your family, your friends; because you would not believe how many people in this world just want to see you happy and that could, in turn, be enough to make them happy.
Remember, "Reality is only a matter of perspective." So when you wake up tomorrow morning, see today as a gift, not a grind; and when you are leaving the house, forget your keys, forget your wallet, forget your purse, forget your phone, JUST DON"T FORGET YOUR SMILE!!
See you soon......