The Carolina Hurricanes have returned from the Olympic break with two painful losses on the road. It looks like it’ll be another short season for the Canes as they currently sit seven points out of a wild card slot. Should they just give up and start practicing their golf swing? Faulk, no! They need to play the remaining six weeks with passion and confidence. They need to do this for the fans, but more importantly, they need to do it for themselves.
So, April may mean the end of NHL hockey in Raleigh, but it also means a new season of Game of Thrones. Unlike the Canes, this cast wins every week with clever and captivating performances. Surely, there is much to learn from this HBO show to help the Hurricanes end their season on a high note and not a ‘red wedding’ ending. Although, like the popular George R.R. Martin tale, I have a feeling some players will no longer be with us next season.
Until then, here are five imperative lessons the Carolina Hurricanes can learn from Game of Thrones.
5. Play fearless.
The Canes are a physically small team overall. However, players like Nathan Gerbe have shown us size does not matter (in hockey at least – the other debate is for a different type of blog). What does matter is being fearless and unwavering on the ice. It means fighting in the corners. It means getting gritty. It means aggressive forechecking. It means taking on those who are bigger than you.
4. Remember how to have fun.
It looks like the Canes play like it’s a chore. It’s of the reasons they have been so depressing to watch lately. I know it isn’t fun to lose, and we lose a lot. Therefore, we aren’t having fun. It’s a vicious cycle of loss and despair. If Tyrion Lannister can forget his family hates him and wants him dead to have a little fun, then the Canes should be able to forget the past and try to have some fun on the ice again.
3. Find an intense mantra.
Games of Thrones recently announced their new tagline, “All Men Must Die.” Unlike Canada borrowing “Winter is Coming,” I do not suggest Carolina use this exact slogan. Let’s find something a little less murderous and a little more inspirational. Where went the days of “Pride, Passion and Community?” The Canes need a mantra they can get behind to unite players, staff and fans.
2. Check self-pity at the barn door.
Did Khaleesi cave to self-pity when she was sentenced to marrying a barbarian in a foreign land? No, sir. She rocked that man’s world, set herself on fire and emerged from the ashes a warrior queen. The Hurricanes need to forget feeling bad about a scoreless streak or crappy power play and lace up as warriors.
1. Slay the power play.
The dreaded power play. The team is 28-for-207 on the season which ranks 29th in the league. It’s the monster under the bed. It’s the evil villain the hero can’t seem to kill. It’s the giant brown bear trapped in an arena about to eat a fair maiden. So, how do you kill bad guy? In ‘Thrones, Brienne uses her training to keep the bear at bay until an unlikely friend surprises her with a rescue. The Hurricanes have the basic skill, but they need help from an outside source and that help may need to come from a surprising source.
Ok, so this may be a little ridiculous, but you have to find laughter in moments like this. What humorous advice do you have for our beloved, yet struggling Carolina Hurricanes? Leave a comment and shoot me a tweet at @CardiacCaneKP.
Let’s Go ‘Thrones…I mean, Canes!