Monday, December 07, 2009
THE BIPOLAR BEARS
This is about the Bruins and their manic-depressive swings in quality of play, not about sexually curious polar bears.
The Bruins played two games this weekend. On Saturday, they played hockey against the Maple Leafs. I'm still trying to figure out exactly what kind of sport they tried playing Friday in Montreal.
It's time to build your vocabulary...
Hubris (hju:brɪs) -Noun:
Overbearing pride or presumption; arrogance
The Bruins' arch-rival is hubris, not the Canadiens. This is what led to their downfall in Quebec. This is what turned a 7-0 game into a 7-2 game on Saturday. Overconfidence, resulting in relaxation.
To be fair, when the Bruins are at their best, they're calm and collected. Calm isn't a long trip away from relaxed. Calm hockey is winning hockey. But relaxed hockey is losing hockey.
The B's made countless mistakes on Friday, and they paid for them. They got a wake up call, showed up on Saturday, and scored 7 goals. Then they relaxed a bit, and let Toronto score twice in 2 minutes.
I remember last season, I'd kind of dread the Bruins going up by 3 goals in a game. It seemed like when they were tied, up 1, or up 2, they played excellent hockey. Up 3, and they tried to play "prevent hockey" which absolutely does not exist. And after sweeping Montreal in the playoffs, their overconfidence seemed to hurt them in the Carolina series.
The good news is, the Bruins are having to deal with hubris. Hubris is a byproduct of winning, and that's what the B's are doing. It's sort of like going broke buying condoms because you're getting laid more than Wilt Chamberlain. It's an enjoyable predicament, but it still needs to be addressed at some point, or tragic downfall in the Greek theatrical sense will follow. For that calmed confidence that results in win's like Saturday's can also lead to relaxed losses like Friday's
In a weird scheduling quirk, the Bruins host the Maple Leafs again on Thursday.