Have patience and endure; this unhappiness will one day be beneficial.
-Ovid, Amorum, III. 11. 7.
It has been a rough road, from the first game of the season against Carolina to tonight’s match-up against the Kings of Los Angeles; injuries, suffering from high expectations, the Silly String Scandal that rocked the world, the Legend of Evan Oberg, so forth and so on… We all know the story here. We all know what’s at stake. Another shot at making it to the playoffs again. Right? No! What’s at stake is tonight’s game, nothing behind, nothing ahead. Come tomorrow, it will only be Thursday’s game against the Rangers. We have shown enough patience to wait out all the injuries and poor play to get to where we are, do not discard it now.
It’s a mountain-climber attitude, don’t look up [at the standings] and don’t look down. You can’t be afraid of heights if you are too high and can’t be afraid of the height that’s up there because it’s discouraging. Stay away from it. That’s the rock-climbing attitude. – Coach Guy Boucher
Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.
- Jean-Jacques Rousseau
It has certainly been a tough time battling through 51 games with an injury roster half the size of the game night roster, but through patience we were able to see the silver-lining. That of course are the efforts by others to step-up their game and the still ripening talent of our American League skaters. Since GM Steve Yzerman came aboard, he has made it his plan to turn this franchise into a perennial contender and that starts with depth, and lots of it.
Steve Yzerman told me when we started, before the first season, that this would be a long process — there are a lot of things to do, depth to build, all kinds of things, so I wasn’t in it for the short fix. I was in for the long run and understood the need for patience. – Coach Guy Boucher
He that can have patience can have what he will.
- Benjamin Franklin Poor Richard’s Almanack
Now I’m sure you’re asking yourselves what this patience has brought us. It has led to what we have wanted since October, wins and lots of them. The key is to continue to be patient with this process, and more and more wins will come. While it is definitely easier to be a fair-weather fan, it is far more rewarding to stand by a team through thick and thin. It makes every win that much more sweet.
A hockey season is tough enough without having difficulties. Everyone in the League faces some difficulties. But, for us, they have lasted a long, long time. Our guys are still playing, and playing well, and I think what’s important for our players and our staff is to show the fight — and we’re fighting. – Coach Guy Boucher
Beware the fury of a patient man.
- John Dryden Absalom and Achitophel
Lastly patience is what has defined our team throughout this season. And it is for that same reason why the league should beware the fury of the Tampa Bay Lightning. For that patience has helped to imbue the Bolts with a relentless style of play. That style of play being Tampa Bay Hockey!
Gentlemen, we are going to relentlessly chase perfection, knowing full well we will not catch it, because nothing is perfect. But we are going to relentlessly chase it, because in the process we will catch excellence. I am not remotely interested in just being good. – Vince Lombardi
Be the THUNDER! Be RELENTLESS! And most importantly of all, be PATIENT!
Take care and take it easy,
- Jim Courteau