Saturday, January 05, 2013


The Dog Ate My Breakfast!

That is up there with the best excuses a teacher hears when the job does not get done.

As a Canadian hockey fan, I have heard a few good ones over the past few months. Some have emanated from the so-called negotiations for the National Hockey League. Other excuses come as a result of the recent performance of the Canadian National Junior Team at the World Championships in Ufa, Russia.

                                                                                         Seth Jones

The team breezed through the preliminary rounds to earn a berth in the semi-finals, and drew the American team as an opponent. The Canadians were eliminated by Seth Jones and the Americans in a game that was never in doubt. Final Score 5-1. Adding insult to injury, they dropped an overtime decision to the Russians 6-5, and will not mount the podium this year.

As expected, a host of authoritative voices has been heard these past few days, explaining the loss. There have also been many excuses thrown out there. Some of the following may apply. Others have come from the depths of my imagination.

1.       We were fatigued by the trans Atlantic flight, and we did not have adequate time to adjust to our surroundings.

2.       The food was terrible. Many of our players had serious food poisoning before the big game.

3.       We did not have enough time to get to know each other, to learn the nuances of each other’s game.

4.       Our skates were tied too tight.

5.       Our skates were too loose.

6.       I lost an edge and let that guy get by me.

7.       We had too much time after the preliminary rounds, and we were rusty.

8.       We did not have enough time after the preliminary rounds to analyze the Americans, and make adjustments.

9.       The ice was poor.

10.   The referees were terrible.

11.   The referees had it in for us. They would not let us play our game. They called everything.

12.   The referees let the game get out of hand. They had their whistles in their pockets.

13.   We did not get any breaks. The puck just did not bounce our way.

14.    We had far more injuries than they did.

15. Our biorhythms were not perfect.

16. Our astrologer indicated the stars were not inproper alignment.

 I think I have just begun to scratch the surface. Moving on…..

 There might be another, perhaps more meaningful list:

1.       They were better than we were. Perhaps bigger, stronger, faster.

2.       They had better coaches than we did. At least their coaches made better decisions.

3.       They were in better condition.

4.       They finished their checks better than we did.

5.       They protected their lead very well. We did not have a chance to do the same.

6.       They got better goaltending than we did. The played better on defence. Their forwards capitalized on scoring chances. We didn’t.

7.       We may have been slightly overconfident.

In order to create a suitable spin, it is suggested that pundits take a couple of items from Column “A”, and mix them with a couple from column “B”.

As has been the case in the past, we need time to lick our wounds, and prepare for the next competition. We will do our best. It is, after all, our game.

James Hurst

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