For anyone who is not a hockey fan, you might as well look away…
With the second round match-ups set in the Western Conference Playoffs, I’m sure there are many of us (including myself) who didn’t predict St. Louis, Phoenix, Nashville and Los Angeles would still be on the ice instead of a golf course. I’ve watched portions of a lot of the games (some go WAY past my bedtime) and although the Western Conference has not gifted viewers 13-goal games, they have been very entertaining. One thought that continually comes to mind is that it seems the parity that used to exist between the “top” and “bottom” teams are gone. It has become difficult to predict who will advance and who will be sent packing.
So what does it take to win a close game? Goaltenders Mike Smith, Pekka Rinne and Jonathan Quick have arguably been the difference in the first round for Phoenix, Nashville and LA respectively. I believe the NHL is becoming more competitive and teams need difference makers more than even if they want to be successful.
As it’s always been, the play of an individual or individuals have propelled a team over the top. The heroes of the playoffs are well-known and legends have been made of their clutch performances: names like Gretzky, Messier, Lemieux, Orr, Beliveau, Trottier, Brodeur, Yzerman, Sakic, and recently Crosby, Zetterburg, Toews, Thomas, I could go on for years… My point is, when competition is at its peak, there are those who are going to do whatever it takes to get their name on the cup.
How does this relate to our life, those of us who are not fortunate enough to get paid millions of dollars to play a sport that we love?
In a world where information is plentiful and easily accessible, how do we stand out from those around us? How can we make buyers look at us, our product, our service? What’s the difference between me and everyone else? Am I doing everything I can to make sure my team gets a head up on my “opponents”? Each day we are presented with new objectives, new challenges, and it’s easy to turn away in the face of adversity. The opportunity to make a difference doesn’t present itself everyday; ask the hundreds of players who have never played in a Stanley Cup Final game. What does making a difference look like to you? Personally? Professionally? Do you rise above and push yourself to be the difference between winning or losing?
Thanks for reading!!