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Enjoy the game rather than grumble



We have seen briefly a bunch of wild debut games by two of the most spectacular talents so far, Patrik Laine and Auston Matthews, or should we call Patrik by the latest nickname: Hatrik Laine?

I do find it quite cool, and time will tell if he’s able to live up to the name with more hat tricks this season or if it was just one single moment of brilliance.

Auston Matthews, on the other hand, has scored a few goals as well, if we put it that way. But Laine had a shiny moment when Jets and Maple Leafs faced each other in Winnipeg, with that incredible hat trick that gave his temporary or lifetime nickname.

The crowd in Winnipeg chanted that “Laine is better”. The chanting pointed out the crowd’s opinion that Laine is, of course, better than Matthews.

I don’t know, to be honest, is he really? The career is far from over hopefully.

And is it fair to compare two players with a different style but equal amount of god-given gift to play hockey?

I don’t know that either as I am not in the position to judge as some seem to be.

However, I don’t find it necessary to make comparisons between players, because each player has their unique qualities that make them qualified enough to play in the NHL or at least at Pro level elsewhere, the KHL for example.

Moreover, I did find it at least unnecessary to mock another player like that, like the Winnipeg crowd, did with Matthews.

He’s a tremendously talented player as Laine is.  Both of them have enormous capacity and the good thing with these players that they are most likely getting better and better all the time.

So, there are no limits how good they can be, and we can just sit back and enjoy the show, so long as they keep playing.

The latest games have also brought some new questions to light.

We have seen plenty of stars through the years, as many including myself still remember Gretzky, Lemieux, Kurri, Modano, Hull etc.

But was the game really so much better back then? Perhaps in some aspects, it was, although, I toss out the possibility that this might be the best era in the hockey history so far.

My argument, such as it is, for that conclusion or test of an idea rather, is that we have seen the last 5 years for instance Jagr, the professor, break record after record, as have Ovechkin and Crosby.

And, we have so many talents coming up and those who are on their breakthrough moments that I can’t recall that there have been this much ever before.

We can at least see a very different type of hockey that I am fonder of than what was presented during previous eras. There’s definitely more space for playing hockey rather than the endless kerfuffles that could occur during the 1980’s and 1990’s.

My point is that I really do enjoy the game more than before, thanks to the new way of playing by the young super prospects that have arrived in the NHL and other parts of the hockey world.

The thing most of all that I like is that you really have to be a hockey player with a capital H. Be only a yapper or a fighter won’t bring anyone as far as it could 20-30 years ago, which is a good thing for the game itself.

So, what can we expect from the gentlemen, Matthews and Laine for example?

I can just pray to the almighty that they stay healthy and free from injuries, which will give them a long, long career, and plenty of golden hockey moments to remember.

In the long run, we are about to see a hoard of super talents in different teams, and I find it better to just enjoy and feel gratitude.

No matter if someone makes a hat trick or a point record game against the favorite team.

Much better to do that than grumble and mock, simply so that every moment is more or less unique and we can see such super players as they all are, Matthews and Laine included.

Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game.

Michael Jordan






Arto Palovaara, Sunday Chronicler for Sports Rants Europe. Previously, he contributed for the betting company Betsafe, Svenska fans, Get real hockey and Ice nation UK. He is also an educated archaeologist and life coach who loves literature and history. Not to forget: probably he is the only sportswriter that plays the banjo.