Steelers deliver another title, and a smile

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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......

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You can train yourself to smile more often. The best smile, of course, starts on the inside. In fact, the Scripture implies that our joy can overflow. That means we should have so much joy that when other people are around us, it rubs off on them. When they leave, they should be happier, encouraged, inspired, better off than they were before."

WOW! Very impressive writing Grant and are you sure you were not an English major at Dartmouth? I think this is why you will be a good psychologist when your playing days are through. With the economy down and people losing jobs left and right it is hard to try to put on a brave face. It's tough indeed but you said it best about seeing tomorrow as a gift and finding that positive energy. Life is hard but be grateful for what you have because it could be gone before you know it. Believe me I have my job and my family not to mention the Wolves and my bands which I am so glad to have because they bring joy and happiness in my life. You have a great smile don't ever lose that. Of course I have to tell you I am so glad the Steelers won the Super Bowl and I know your family is happy as well. But a word of advice tell Jeff Reed not to dye his hair blond anymore LOL! But you know I watched that game and even though Arizona took the lead late in the 4th quarter the Steelers never gave up. Big Ben and the boys got the job done and Holmes with his winning catch propelled the Steelers to their 6th title. I hope the Wolves will follow in their example of never giving up no matter what and keeping the winning tradition alive. Here's a toast with some Iron City Beer on a Super Bowl victory GO STEELERS!!

Mr Lewis,

First off, let me start by saying congrats to your Steelers...AGAIN!! I've always followed the Steelers since my best friend Julie was from Marysville. I also liked how you started your latest blog by putting your foot down and stating how it is YOUR blog. That was classic. For the record though your blogs are VERY short compared to how I write. You should see the letters I write to friends or ask some of my old college professors about the papers I'd turn in. Now THAT would be considered long.

The fact that you express yourself in a very well intelligent and well thought out manner should make not only YOUR professors happy, but would make Mr & Mrs Allan and Diane Lewis VERY proud of you. Don't let anyone take that from you. Your blog(s) have been by far very insightful as well as intriging.

I found your response to "Nikki the redhead" very interesting to say the least. I couldn't agree more that 1)you have or make a choice to be happy and/or smile more and 2) You have make the choice of whether you're going to go through life seeing the positives or will you dwell on the negatives all the time. I can relate to that better than anyone. After having 50 surgeries and being in the hospital 164 times the average person would have crumbled under the constant challenges and limitations that come with something of that magnitude. I could either sit in a corner and feel sorry for myself with all the bad cards I've been dealt.
Anyone that knows me can tell you how they always see a smile on my face and some of them even ask the question "With everything that you've been through how do you always manage to have such a pretty smile?" There comes a time when one must make the decision to either accept life and roll with the punches or curl up into a ball and give up. My friends would also tell you that curling up into a ball is far from the option I've chosen. I zip around the Allstate Arena probably better than some of the more able bodied people there. Which brings me to another point.

I truly believe that one makes a choice either professionally, personallyr or both of whether or not they have fun within their daily actvities. I think you have to have the whole package in order to be successful. Some view being successful in terms of the financial situation or some other form of status quo. However, if you don't allow yourself to look at the fun aspects of your life and work you just end up ending up in a rut.

The Wolves obviously had been in a losing slump recently.It became VERY apparent the team was not having fun out on the ice. There were times I could swear I could see the frowns on all of your faces and could actually read your individual minds. You all were screaming defeat in more ways than one. You ALL seem to have just given up. Maybe not at first, but by the time the third game came and went The team began to spiral downward it was very hard to watch. There were many a times I wanted to jump out of my seat, come down to the bench and just kick every last one of you. It was also apparent that no one seemed to be having fun. You lost focus somewhere of what the game really means to you. What brought you here and why you truly not only love hockey, but chose to make it a career choice. That was missing. When the team would come out near the West Gate after a game no matter how hard you guys all tried to smile, being cordial to the fans and taking the pictures, signing the autographs the sense of "I so don't want to be here" was running rampant and VERY well felt. The team seemed to have let the little monster of negativity in and boy did it take hold. Once you all got back into the groove of not only playing with a purpose, but you truly look to be gettting back to where you actually were having fun. The team began to then turn the losing streak or slump around into something more positive. It shows in how the team manages to work together.Working towards not only finding that "identity", but shaping it into a well oiled machine. The passing is better. The communication between players is better. I think I've even caught a few more smiles on the ice as of late. How sweet that is.

Granted the Wolves lost in Milwaukee but it was NOT without a very strong effort. The fact that the team snapped into action and were playing true to form. The Wolves were back to playing serious, well executed and well thought out honest to goodness hockey. The outcome may not have been what you all had hoped for, but the fact that the effort to try was finally back. The team obviously dusted themselves off and took on a different mind set. That same mind set is what wins campionships. We saw that last season and it CAN be done again this season.

Sometimes you got to dance with the devil to be kissed by an angel. When you're face to face with the raging bull it's not always the best answer to run and hide. You got to know when to stand up to life's challenges and jump on its back and tackle it. Just remember to have fun with it no matter what and laugh yourself silly.

By the way... I think may have beat you in the word count this time :O)

You can smile....or you can dance the Cotton Eyed Joe. One day, you will dance for me Grant.

This blog made me smile

There are five components that make up a SMILE. The same five components each play an important part in how we carry ourselves
thoughout our dalily activities and lives in general.

S-Simplicity; sometimes the simple
things are the best and
most effective of all.

M-Motivation; The very act that gets us up in the
morning and helps carry us through the
rest of our daily tasks or activities.

I-Inspiration; The act that sets the stage for us to
not only be creative but also to make
the right choices that ultimately in
the end define just who it is we are
striving to be each and every day.

L-Laughter; The very thing that helps you see the
lighter side of life. Not every thing
has to be tackled with such deep
seriousness. Otherwise you set
yourself up to a life of living in a
haze of complete misery.

E- Effulgent; The most positive and effective
ingredient which first must come
from within.

Gee, the way your blog reads it sounds as if Pittsburg dominated on Sunday, but that doesn't quite match the game that I remember watching! I am glad that the team comes together for events like that. The time you spend off the ice helps to form that team identity - and builds the bonds that will make you each give your all for your team mates. Don't you find that when you are playing for your teammates as much as for yourself, you can do so much more, that you have more in the tank and overcome pain easier?

Yes, happiness is a choice, and you alluded to a critical element - no one else can make us happy. If you are an unhappy person, your parents can't make you happy, your kids can't make you happy, and your mate can't make you happy. They can share moments that bring you short term boosts, but it won't last unless you decide to be happy in your core. Furthermore, if you aren't happy, their attempts to make you so will only cause stress in your relationship. On the other hand, if you are happy, those moments are much more special and the blessings of having people involved in your life can fill you with so much satisfaction, you feel powerful and impervious and you want to share that feeling with them. Someone else cannot make you happy, but when two or more people choose to be happy and they share it with one another, the sum is greater than the happiness they each put in. Happy people are less selfish, as they learn how much better it can be when they share.

So what in the hell does this all have to do with hockey? If you understand the choice to be happy, then you understand the importance of self-reflection and knowing your identity. With greater self-awareness, teammates build an understanding; rely on one another to give their best and to execute in the game as they have practiced, to cut each other some slack when they make mistakes, and to celebrate each other's success & victories. Happiness builds upon itself in hockey, too. Just think of happiness' connection with game great team goal can change the whole momentum of a game in 2.3 seconds. The celebration is shared; the goal means more and more confidence builds to rise to the next challenge. Many fans don't understand how much better it feels to score when one or two teammates are involved in the play, then it feels to get a breakaway. I’ve seen lines follow up with multiple goals because the guy who got the goal wants his teammate to get one, so he works hard for the next assist…sharing the celebration is so much sweeter.

I love the correlation and your focus on team “identity”, because just like happiness, with team identity, you must know who YOU are… before you can understand who each of your teammates are… before you can understand who you all are as a team. Fantastic!

Mr Lewis,

I'm guessing first and foremost darling that you are DEFINITELY feeling pretty happy and smiling a LOT after Wednesday's win...and you should. You all deserve that bit of happiness. The team is working very well right now with working towards climbing back into their rightful position and before long you will be there. Right where you belong.

Yes, happiness is a choice and I truly believe that we control our own destinies but I have to disagree with Nikki the Redhead in regards to the idealogy of thinking that no one can truly make us happy. The elements that make up or contribute to the very components that make us who we are comes from what we gain or reflect from other people we happen to surround ourselves with. Therefore, "NO" I do not believe in the statement that " Only you can truly make yourself happy."

Alot like the four words that happen to share a common ground. Those words being Friend, Companion, Relation, Leader. All of these words not only end in "Ship", but each involved their fair share of work. Which in turn happens to include and rely upon the actions of all the parties involved.

Like the before mentioned words the act of being happy and positive also takes work. That is not something that one can achieve soley on their own. It's not truly possible. One can make a conscience effort to be happy and positive, but when dealing with others it takes a joint effort to be cooperative and understanding of each other's strengths and weaknesses if either side expects to gain any form of applicable common ground. It takes team work- if you will.

Granted the act of deep and meaningful happiness does in fact start from within. I get that. However, when it comes to your career for example in order to achieve the overall unequivocal sense of sheer bliss and happiness it does in fact require some form of a shared camaraderie among others (i.e. other members on the team). Therefore, the sense of absolute happiness and the smile from within is a cause and effect brought on soley based upon the actions of not only from just yourself but from the acts of others.

The Wolves have done very well this season to bring forth that very important element and I further believe that you can and will continue to achieve your quest for the happiness as long as you don't forget to also have fun. Both together as well as individually. As I have said before you can have all the happiness and radiate your true inner self within the most effulgent manner you can possibly imagine but don't forget what matters most of all.

You can't make anyone happy if you can't first make yourself happy. You can't smile until you learn to shed a few tears. You can't truly be happy with what you have until you've been made to experience a few losses.

Within the scope the professional sense the Wolves have experienced their few losses this season and have shed a tad bit of blood(just ask Mike Hoffman), a little bit of sweat and tears have been thrown in there as well. The Wolves have apaprently come to terms with what they need to do in order to snap this team into the formidable force to be reckoned with.

In addition to screaming over and over SMILE, you must also remember to throw in a bit of FUN as well. When you stop having fun within your job it's time to hang up the skates and move on. When you can wake each day and look at it as a welcoming challenge and not a burden you know you can achieve anything. As long as you continue to smile, take life as it comes and roll with the punches in the best way possible you will always end up on top.

The Wolves are in a good place right now. May you continue to seek and work well with the new found "identity" and continue to shape the team into the type of team that wins championships. Keep up the good work. Keep smiling, keep being true to yourselves and may you and the team achieve the very thing that you each hold dear.

You are a great replacement for Jamie..his blogs were nice but comparatively short..*L*
It is always nice to see you and the other guys smile..and thankfully we've had loads of smiles..Last nights thrashing of the Rivermen was a beautiful sight.Though an empty net when down more then 2 goals still makes me shake my head no matter what team does it..
Granato was driving me insane doing it on a nightly basis when our offense was silent..that brings me to my next comment.

The losing streak we went through was not a happy time..and we could all see the struggle all of you were going through..I had never seen Collin Stuart show much emotion on ice until the one game came back..slammed his water bottle down and showered the guys on the bench..For me that was a clear sign things weren't going well..
I understand it is a developmental year however there is a very striking difference in how the team is being coached and I have my issues with your new boss.
Lack of emotion and support for his team..the reffing has been appalling throughout the season so far..yet Don is silent..I think I have seen him show emotional support maybe 2 or 3 times but not much to convince us fans and season ticket holders that he is a true fighter..J Anderson let us ALL know where he stood on a call..*L*..
I read the boards over at the Wolves site and it was funny how they go after the players for not playing well..thing is it is a completed circle when everything goes right..
Coaches have good game plans and set the right strings together ..we have good communication and puck control..Voila..we have a winning team..
When your circle gets broken..things go wrong..and we watched it all happen before our eyes..I blamed your boss..I could see the players trying..but not quite reaching the's nice to see things calming down and better play calls on the ice..
I think I even saw Granato last night giving some support..A 5-1 win is definitely a smile maker..

Crabb's return seems to have lit a bit of a spark..and so nice to have some defense..Skinner and Wilson have been happy additions.
You've (as in Lewy himself) had better puck control recently too..
All in appears the team is finally starting to come together..and we will continue to show up at the games..scream cheers and jeers when deserved..
You have some smart sisters from what I've read.. I always have time for a glass of wine with friends.. Keep that smile of yours shining..and I love my signed puck from this months fund raiser..who signed it? Why Grant Lewis of course..
Great blog..keep em coming..and as long ( word count) as you feel like writing it!
See you at every home game..

Grant, you may write a bit too much, but you get right down to the point; it is easy to be negative, but it take a lot to be positive. That is why I always made those posters, I wanted to get the team to become positive and know that they need to believe in themselves. But I could definately tell that there was something wrong when you didn't have a smile on your face, that is why I made the poster that said: "Believe in yourself, play with heart." When I had the team sign it, I was looking at their facial expressions, and a lot of them seemed like they had given up. And now that you are on the winning streak I can see the difference in the players faces, a lot of them are more talkative and have a smile on their face. But I was given some good advice in my Health Class: never say I can't, because it stands for something; I certainly am not trying. So make sure that the players never say "I can't" The best of luck in Grand Rapids and I will see you on Saturday. FYI Sam and I are wearing the cheerleading uniforms, so keep an eye out.

I am reminded of a story by Rebbetzin Esther Jungreis from her book, The Committed Life. The story is about an mean and angry man who falls in love with a beautiful, happy woman. She refuses to have anything to do with him because he is so mean and angry. He goes to a mask maker and has this man create a mask that his happy and smiling for him to wear. Angry man goes back to visit the woman who sees his smiling mask and falls in love. They get married and have a happy, loving marriage for many years. Another man who knows Angry man comes to visit and tries to cause trouble. He takes off Angry man's mask to show his angry face beneath, and lo! Angry man's face is no longer angry! Years of pretending to be kind and happy has turned him into a kind and happy man. Basically Rebbetzin Jungreis wanted people to understand the concept of "fake it 'til you make it." If you force yourself to see the good in all, if you work on being happy, eventually it will all come naturally. You will be happy.
Sometimes it's hard to find the good in a bad situation right away, but eventually you can look back at a difficult time or situation and find something to smile about even if the only thing to smile about is that it's over and you've moved on.

Dear D. Grant Lewis,

First of all, let me say that you're a great person and an awesome! player on the ice. I'm glad that the Steelers won the Super Bowl. I was rooting for them because of you.
Second, you did an awesome job on the blogs. Keep it up!
Also, you say you dance? I bet your good.
The way you wrote your blog is AMAZING! I could never write anything so intricate and detailed.
Alright, I'll get to the point 'cause I get lost on my main idea and off-topic A LOT: You're right. Never forget your smile. Your smile is amazing. A smile says a lot about a person. Happy, cheerful people never forget their smile, but people who are struggling with stuff( my ILAR teacher won't like it if I use 'stuff', so I'll use 'issues in life'. There, much better.) almost never smile. People, just know this, even if you're struggling with 'issues in life', always smile, no matter what the situation. Never give up.
A smile is what mostly makes a person who they are. Since you have a great smile, your a great guy (so is Ondrej Pavelec, he's a great guy, too, but I won't get into details.)
Sorry about the loses and congrats on the wins. I'm a die-hard Wolves fan, so I don't like when you guys lose, even though I know you guys try your best.
This, what I'm about to ask, is WAY off-topic, but can you answer it for me in your next blog entry?: Who does Ondrej Pavelec and Arturs Kulda room/bunk with on the road and at home? You, Ondrej, and Arturs Kulda are my 3 top favorites (Ondrej's a bit higher in 1st than you and Arturs, though. No
offense.), so I would love to know. Also, who you bunk/room with would be great to know.
Good luck tomorrow! I'll be cheerin' you guys on! Just look for the girl with the either: ONDREJ PAVELEC'S #1 FAN or ONDREJ Pavelec'S #1 FANOUSEK bright yellow sign. That second saying is the first, but in Czech. Only look at this bottom part if you read this before the game on 2/7/09 @ 7PM.


Dear D. Grant Lewis,

First of all, let me say that you're a great person and an awesome! player on the ice. I'm glad that the Steelers won the Super Bowl. I was rooting for them because of you.
Second, you did an awesome job on the blogs. Keep it up!
Also, you say you dance? I bet your good.
The way you wrote your blog is AMAZING! I could never write anything so intricate and detailed.
Alright, I'll get to the point 'cause I get lost on my main idea and off-topic A LOT: You're right. Never forget your smile. Your smile is amazing. A smile says a lot about a person. Happy, cheerful people never forget their smile, but people who are struggling with stuff( my ILAR teacher won't like it if I use 'stuff', so I'll use 'issues in life'. There, much better.) almost never smile. People, just know this, even if you're struggling with 'issues in life', always smile, no matter what the situation. Never give up.
A smile is what mostly makes a person who they are. Since you have a great smile, your a great guy (so is Ondrej Pavelec, he's a great guy, too, but I won't get into details.)
Sorry about the loses and congrats on the wins. I'm a die-hard Wolves fan, so I don't like when you guys lose, even though I know you guys try your best.
This, what I'm about to ask, is WAY off-topic, but can you answer it for me in your next blog entry?: Who does Ondrej Pavelec and Arturs Kulda room/bunk with on the road and at home? You, Ondrej, and Arturs Kulda are my 3 top favorites (Ondrej's a bit higher in 1st than you and Arturs, though. No
offense.), so I would love to know. Also, who you bunk/room with would be great to know.
Good luck tomorrow! I'll be cheerin' you guys on! Just look for the girl with the either: ONDREJ PAVELEC'S #1 FAN or ONDREJ Pavelec'S #1 FANOUSEK bright yellow sign. That second saying is the first, but in Czech. Only look at this bottom part if you read this before the game on 2/7/09 @ 7PM.


Again Grant, you have outdone yourself with the blogging, another great blog!!!

It was awesome to see Pittsburgh win on Superbowl Sunday, I definitely enjoyed that game! I can obviously read, that you did as well, which is great to hear :]

As for the few losses, they were not fun to watch but that can really show who is a true fan or player. I know my friends and I saw those games as a learning experience, and hopefully yhr guys did too, then you realized it was in the past and started focusing on the future with of course, a smile on your face!

The story you wrote was very uplifting, smiles are crucial to help you get through the day. I don't think I have ever seen you off the ice without a smile on your face, which is fantastic!

So once more, great blog, I definitely look forward to reading your next blog (and hopefully a story!)

Mr Lewis,

It would appear the Wolves are beginning to stumble backwards. The team had gone through a bit of a slump with the series of losses, but managed to pull themselves out of the hole. For which I for one
was very happy to see. The team members were obviously enjoying themselves once again. However, it seems as if the team is now beginning to start losing their focus all over again. The constant
"catch up hockey" is just so out of character for you guys. Don't
lose sight of the very thing that makes the Chicago Wolves such an
amazing team. A team that is a force to be reckoned with. You know why that is? The team has the fundimentals necessary, but have some how forgetten what those key elements are. In case you need a reminder of what exactly it is that makes the Wolves a winning team, here it is

C- CAPABILITY; its what makes up the very core of a winning
team and what makes you who you are as a
team player (defenseman)and part of the unit.

H- HEART; without that what would be the point?

A- AMBITION; desire to gain the ultimate prize or title

M - MOTIVATION; the force that puts you in the right mind
set to go out and win games and win titles.

P- PASSION; the deepest feelings that you possess
which must first come from within.

I- INSPIRATION; the belief that you can and WILL achieve
what you set your mind, body and soul to
not only dream about, but make into reality.

O- OPTIMISM; what you must first and foremost set your mind
to in order to fend off any negativity that
may arise and ultimately wreck havoc on your
quest for your just rewards.

N-NIMBLENESS; the ability to both think and act quickly
as the situation arises.

S-STRENGTH; necessary in both the mental and the physical
sense to see you through the very end.

Mr Lewis,

Even though the game February 11th wasn't exactly the end result the team was looking for the one thing that was very evident was the fact the team was REALLY trying. The passes were much better. The communication was obviously very much there. The team was very well focused for the most part. The only thing I noticed that still hasn't changed is the fact the team is still giving up to soon. When the team is down by one or two points it seems as if everyone throws their hands up and just doesn't go at it with the same heart and determination that is evident during the start of the game.
You guys have to just hang in there and keep at it. Not give up. For when you do that's when the door is left open for the opposing team to swoop in for the kill and run away with the win.

It is good to also see that you are actually getting more time on the ice. There is a definitely some significant progession in your own style or way of playing as of late. I've noticed that you don't appear to be second guessing yourself as much as you seem to before. That's VERY cool. The points average going up has got to be a morale booster to say the least.

The team is still growing and developing into the sort of team they need to be. It's going to still take time to get the right niche. However, it is apparent that you are also growing or changing up your mind set. Maybe you are thinking more positively in yourself and it shows in the way you perform on the ice I don't know. Whatever it is or what ever elements are coming into play it is obviously a very positive thing.

Even with some of the other positive changes that appear to be shaping or taking place within the team the one thing that still needs some work is the part about not giving up so easily. When you give up and start thinking like you can't possibly win the game all you're doing is setting yourselves up to automatically fail. You giving trying. When the first or second goal goes in and you guys are down by one or even just two goals that is not the time to give up. That's when it is time to dig in the heels, play some SERIOUS hard butt- kicking hockey and go at it will all you've got.

Just keep on smiling, have fun with it all. BUT, above all don't lose the focus. Don't stare down the barrel of defeat and give up without even giving it 200%. Be able to walk away at the end of the game "saying we gave it our all." No one can fault you for that. As long as you TRY!!

Good luck with the next few road trips. You guys will be fine.

I would have loved to have seen Rivers and Hoffman in the "night gowns". Did anyone gets pictures for blackmail? It's nice that the team gets together outside the games - hopefully all are included and not just "clicks".

I am happy for Rivers receiving the C, but am somewhat disappointed that Stevie did not get it. Stevie has been with the team longer and seems to give it his all in every game he plays.

It's nice to see how involved the wives and girl friends are in the fund raising. Jon Insana's wife had the baby in the carrier and he was so well behaved, Kelly even said he hardly made a fuss while there that night. I got a chance to see Jamie's baby last week and she is so cute. Matzko's wife/girlfriend was so excited that he scored a goal for the Thrashers his first game playing for them. Jamie's new daughter is so cute. I know he is a proud daddy as when Steph asked to see a picture of her he pulled out his phone and has her as the wallpaper.

Hope you guys have a good road trip and come back with plenty of points. We sure need them.

Mr Lewis,

After the three road trip games it was very apparent that the team has taken on a different way of thinking. It showed BIG TIME after the last three road trip games. Granted the Texas trip ended in a loss, but you can't expect to win them all. It would be nice, but that's okay. The fact the team was hanging in there and truly giving it 200% of honest to goodness serious, well executed hockey made it easier to accept the loss. The team was obviously tired by Sunday's game. No one can deny that you all were working your butts off both Friday and Saturday against Milwaukee and Peoria. The team didn't appear to be more relaxed behind the bench and on the ice during the games over the weekend. Nobody appeared to be all uptight. Above all the team did NOT give up. You all hung in there and kept up the momentum necessary to get the job done. Which was done very well by the way.

I can't help but wonder though if part of the reason you guys all appear to be weighed down at times is because you're trying to live up to to the past. The Championship was LAST SEASON. You can't continue to look back because it will only hender the progress of seeing into the future. The same way I'm sure it must make Jason Christie and Don Granato feel at times. Every time you turn around someone is making mention of last season. How about we talk about THIS SEASON. Give the new team (which it is) a chance to prove what each of you are made of? All of you have very special skills and qualities that you bring to the team, but all anyone seems to want to talk about is last season's team and what the Wolves did last season.

Time to box the memories of the past and let that go. It's time to move forward and let the team stand on their own ground. Make your new memories. You need to be able to take that heavy weight off your individual shoulders and step out of the shadows or ghosts of the 2007-2008 season. This is a new team, new coaching staff and new memories to be had. So far it's been pretty darn sweet.

The new team is growing and shaping into one very well oiled and very fine working machine. Take time to reflect on the past, but don't dwell on it. Move forward and always strive to make things better. The future is what you make of it. I'm betting the Wolves can have some very special memories with this team as well.

Have fun, stay focused, don't give up and above all....NEVER lose heart.

Hello again Grant,

Congrats on the 2 wins over the weekend, esp against the Sadmirals. Always a treat to beat on those guys.
I do have a question for you?
My wife is a huge fan of yours and she asks.....why are you in such a big hurry to get off the ice at the end of the periods and at the end of the game? We notice you are always the first guy off the ice and we are just curious. Thanks.

Need a good push for the play-offs now....keep up the good efforts...

GO Wolves....owwwwwwwwww! look forward to seeing you over the weekend!

Mr Lewis,

I was quite pleased with the game on Feb 20th. Not happy with the loss, but could accept it. Why? The team gave it their all. Gave the 200% and then some that had been previously missing in recent games. The team was down a goal and never gave up once. The frustration was very evident through a quarter of the third period. It was getting to everyone, but still you all managed to hang in there.

I started to wonder during Friday's game if the puck wasn't secretly controlled. There were several times when it was so unbelievable that the puck didn't go in the net. Once when you took the perfect shot towards the goal and the net to the left was wide open. The Admirals' goalie was so focused on everything else and wasn't watching you. When you took the shot and the puck sailed down the ice up to the goal post and at the very last second veering to the sharp left to bounce of the post I (as well as others around me)was utterly stunned at how the puck didn't go in. Same with when Jamie took a shot and then again with Brian. Each time the puck got so close and at the last second would veer off to a sharp right or left and then bounce up off the posts. Hmmm. One had to wonder.

The set ups for taking the shots are superb. Definitely an improvement has taken place. The team appears to be better focused and determined. Don't worry about the last few losses. Don't dwell on the losses or spend a large amounts of energy always looking backwards. Always look to the future. Stay focused on maybe what needs to be better the next game or what needs to be improved upon etc, etc. Not worrying about the would've, should've, could've's. That's not going to get the job done.The team is still in good standing. Remember that. You will be okay.

Mr. Lewis,

Congratulations on landing the tie for second place following the win from Sunday's game. The team has definitely found its "identity". The team did very well the last three games. Granted Friday's was a loss to Milwaukee, but (again) I have to say that the loss was easier to digest because it wasn't from a lack of trying. The team gave it their all Friday and unfortunately it just didn't end up the way we all would have liked. That's okay. Saturday you guys shook it off and obviously didn't dwell on the loss. That's good. The team didn't stay so focused on the past, but the future and moved on to the next day. Saturday in Peoria the team took care of business in true to Chicago Wolves form.

Sunday was absolutely awesome. Everyone was top-notch throughout the entire game. Aside from the fact that you were robbed of the golden opportunity for a goal not once, not twice but FOUR TIMES. Three times in the second period and then once in the third period.
Each and every time you took the shot it got blocked. There was one particular time where you could see it on your face just how disappointed you were that the goal didn't happen. I could tell you were (for a little bit)mentally beating yourself up over it. Then after a little break behind the bench you obviously let it go and was back out on the ice taking care of what needed to get done.

You were skating at such high energy Sunday and all over the place during the game to the point where you were giving the poor Energizer bunny a run for his money. You making me tired just trying to keep up and I was just watching from my seat.

The point is that the team has definitely found the formula necessary to succeed. So now it can only get better from here on out. Not dwelling on the losses or the past and only looking forward to the future will keep everyone on the team focused well enough to continue winning and then ultimately getting into the playoffs.

Hopefully you will get the opportunity to do some SERIOUS resting up and enjoy some of your own down time before having to head to Iowa to take on the Iowa Chops Friday night.

I happen to recall that "two glasses of wine and spending time with friends" is a great way(and WELL deserved in your case)to unwind after a long and very productive work week.

Keep smiling. Stay focused and looking forward. I have no doubt the future is looking mighty sweet from here on out. :O)

I have a question:
What did you learn in kindergarten that you apply in playing hockey?

Congrats on being called up to the Thrashers! We'll miss you here, but we're thrilled that you'll have this opportunity to test your skills in the NHL. Thanks for blogging for us, and thanks for being so friendly and approachable for the fans. Best of Luck in Atlanta!!

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About the blogger

Chicago Wolves defenseman Grant Lewis is playing in his second professional season. The 23-year-old blueliner is a native of Pittsburgh and was a member of Chicago's 2008 Calder Cup Championship team. Prior to going pro, the Atlanta Thrashers' second choice, 20th overall, in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft spent four years playing for Dartmouth College (ECAC).

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This page contains a single entry by Roman Modrowski published on February 3, 2009 2:13 PM.

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