John Garrett: Living in the right now
The Vancouver Canucks have been an up and down team from the start of the season. They have been unable to get on a real roll and have had to fight back from a disappointing 0-3 start.
At times the Canucks have looked very good, their 5-2 win in New Jersey followed by a 3-0 shutout in Philadelphia, and at times looked very bad, a 7-2 loss in Anaheim and trailing 4-1 at the end of the second in Carolina to the worst team in the league, only to lose 5-3.
Their power play has had multiple goal games on a number of occasions but has also had a couple of streaks where they have gone 1 for 18. They have, for the most part been good but not that good.
The Canucks are presently in the middle of an eight game home stand. They know they have an eight game road trip before the Olympics and a six game journey right after. If you asked the players who they play on those trips chances are they would not know. Are they worried about that 14 day absence from GM place? Not now!
Players have the ability to live and thrive in the moment. That is how they are able to maintain the focus required to play at the highest level of their sport. You worry about the next game after this one is played. The Washington Capitals are in town and the media is looking forward to a rare appearance by Alexander Ovechkin. Willie Mitchell will see a lot of him on Friday night but that is what he will worry about it.
People say the Canucks have to worry about not looking past certain opponents and losing games because they are not focused on the task at hand.
When the Canucks lost in Carolina some fans said they took the Canes for granted. The Hurricanes had lost eight of nine and had four days off to work up a fire for their next game. They were hungry and more importantly due.
The Nashville game was another one where critics said the Canucks were overconfident. The Predators had won seven of ten including a win over Chicago and a win over Detroit. They were playing well and the Canucks were trapped in Music City for three days.
The team is not going to win their next 50 games but when they do lose you can rest assure that is was not because they were worried about what was going to happen next month, next week, or next game.