Wow, that could spark a massive response. The bottom line is the season isn't over yet and there is a few more chapters to be written on this one still.
Overall, it has been a tale of two seasons. With a great start at 5 wins against 3 playoff teams for four wins, we felt very good about our start.
The rest of the season was marred by inconsistency, we played some outstanding games and then also played some stinkers. I would tell you that we have been challenged by great adversity throughout the season with injuries and family emergencies, all excuses, but challenges nonetheless.
Every team has faced injuries this season so this is not unique, however, the fact that we clinched a playoff spot before everyone else was a blessing where we could go deep into our lineup and battle test the entire 23 man roster. When you get to the playoffs, this is an important process to have the confidence level of all players at its peak. Despite last week's loss, this team is focused on the playoffs and winning when it counts.
After reading many of the postings by fans on this very message board, I think its very important to say, Bob McMahon is an outstanding leader. I have watched him all year and understand now more than ever why players love to play for him. Much like Gary Gait, he doesn't yell and scream on the bench, have you ever seen Phil Jackson lose it on the bench?? Bob has the confidence of this management staff and has the confidence of his players. I beleive he is the right man for the job as I did when I hired him prior to training camp.
This league is about execution. We talk about parity every day, any team can win on any given day. Lots of leagues want to boast about this and suggest they have it, the NLL in fact has it, whether by design or by fluke, look at the number of one goal games over the past 5 years, look at the number of so called "upsets". This is a game where players play for pride, pride is manifested in work ethic. Every team plays hard not because of anything other than pure dedication to their own self worth.
With all that being said, I believe that in order to win games in the NLL you have to not only show up and work hard, you must execute. The best players must be the best players on every shift. 8 teams will now battle to show they are the best of this year's crop, one game elimination suggests that you can't be mediocre when the time comes. The bottom line here is that the players have to play the game.
Looking back across the last few seasons, since the creation of the western division two 10-6 teams and two 9-7 teams have represented the west in the championship, the divisional winner has never advanced to the championship. Last season, the Arizona Sting advanced to the final after closing the regular season with three straight losses. In the NLL playoffs, anything can happen. Hold on to your hats!
I believe in the charachter of this team, I believe in the chemistry of this team, I believe in every player and coach on this team. A new season starts Saturday!!