Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Perspective: 10 games down

We can all agree that starting the 2008-09 season at 0-4 is not a great start. It may have looked gloomy at first; but let's put it in perspective.

First, it is to be expected in minor league sports that the year after a championship virtually always a rebuilding year. With a strict salary cap and predominantly 1-year contracts, not only are other teams in the hunt for champions, but the champion players can get a good raise.

Second, we must remember that champion teams are a very special, even magical achievement. It combines raw talent/personnel, leadership, teamwork, the bonding of players, and ultimately the proverbial "total is greater than the sum of the parts." And then it even takes a degree of luck. We had all that last year. It was an alignment of stellar proportion that is not easy to repeat. Take out any one brick, and the wall is not as strong.

What that gave us last year was, obviously, the best ECHL team of the year. When you look deeper at the records they set, they were arguably the best ECHL team in many years, if not ever. Really, what we saw last year was a team on the bubble of AHL talent.

Now, while this season got off to a rough start, it is clear that they did not waste time getting on the road to recovery. 0-4 to start but 4-0-2 in the last six, bringing their winning percentage back to 0.550. Very early at the inception of this blog I took the position that anything over .500 is good. Fans deserve to expect at least a 50% chance of seeing a win. Last year's .799 regular season record was incredible but anomalous. I think we can safely expect better than .500 but it is unreasonable to expect .800.

Basically, we're back to having a regular ECHL team instead of an inhumanly awesome, on the bubble of the AHL squad.

That's OK.

We should keep it in perspective. In the words of Alfred E. Newman: "What, me worry?"

I'm not worried. In fact, I'm really impressed with what we have seen since the poor start. I like the character I'm seeing. I like the corrective coaching. I like the way the players are developing.

All the pieces of the puzzle are in place. We have a lot to look forward to this season.

Go Cyclones!


Anonymous Paul Chambers said...

Good blog man. Completely agree with you on the new talent this year. It will take some time to settle into the new look, for the players and the fans, but we have strong leadership and that will "trickle down" into everything else. We are truely blessed to have experienced the 07-08 squad and Im just happy to have my 'Clones back. From the guy that drives the Clone-mobile -


11:11 AM  
Blogger WendyB said...

This is where heart and character come in. I would rather watch a team struggle to succeed than roll over every opponent in their path. It means so much more that way. True, adversity can topple a team, but it can also make it stronger. These Cyclones have what it takes. There is no one they can't go head to head with. They just need to believe.

Go Cyclones! And go Mitch! You can do it! :D

10:56 PM  

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