Anger is a normal, healthy emotion. However, some people encounter situations that are so frustrating that it can be difficult for even the most zen-oriented person to control their anger. The Montreal Canadiens could have served themselves better in Game 2 by employing some of the anger management techniques I'm sharing in this pre-game write-up. They may also be a handy device for Habs' fans who are starting to lose both the faith and their cool as the Canadiens try to come back in this series against a team they have lost 7 times to in 7 games this year.
Dealing With Anger: Recognize the Signs
When Brandon Prust was getting an earful from referee Brad Watson in Game 2, he should have recognized the signs of the welling energy inside of him and released his anger with a big, legal hit on the ice after he was done serving his penalty. Instead, he spoke back and sparked later controversy by speaking out to the media. For the Habs to overcome this deficit, even within a single game, a single period, a single play, the entire Canadiens' roster will need to maintain a sharp focus on executing their game plan, a plan that got them 50 wins this season and a first-round playoff victory, and practice patience when they encounter adversity.
Dealing With Anger: Breathe
Do not suppress your anger, but also, do not submit to the belief that when anger is felt it must be expressed. The idea that felt anger must be expressed and not "bottled up" is false and can cause you to lose focus on what you actual want to happen. Likely, your anger was caused by something not going as you expected it to. In the case of the Montreal Canadiens, scoring goals is a huge source of frustration. The Habs have scored 3 goals in this series - 2 coming off the sticks of defensemen. In order to come out on top in this series, the Canadiens must win 4 of the next 5 games against a team they haven't beaten in 7 tries and haven't scored more than 3 goals against in a single game (the Canadiens have scored an average of 1.43 goals against the Lightning in 7 games this year). There are a lot of sources of frustration, and they are legitimate causes of anger. But to go overboard and seek revenge on the ice in anger, or to ignore the causes altogether will only make things worse.
When a person is experiencing a high level of stress, breathing can become restricted, disrupting the flow of oxygen to your heart and brain, affecting both physical and mental abilities. The Canadiens need all of their abilities firing at full capacity tonight to succeed in this game. The Lightning are appearing to feel no pressure, with coach Jon Cooper being his amiable self over the past couple of days and reminiscing about how his team was already on the golf course this time last year.
The series could swing tonight, or continue on the same dismal trajectory for the Canadiens. It will all depend on the focus of this team and their ability to channel their emotions to execute a game plan that has next to no margin of error.
The puck drops at 7:00 PM EST. David Desharnais is back in the lineup tonight, meaning Brian Flynn will be back in the press-box.
In Canada (French): TVA Sports
|Max Pacioretty||Tomas Plekanec||Brendan Gallagher|
|Alex Galchenyuk||David Desharnais||Dale Weise|
|Brandon Prust||Lars Eller||P.A. Parenteau|
|Jacob de la Rose||Torrey Mitchell||Devante Smith-Pelly|
|Andrei Markov||P.K. Subban|
|Alexei Emelin||Jeff Petry|
|Tom Gilbert||Greg Pateryn|
Scratched: Mike Weaver, Manny Malholtra, Sergei Gonchar, Brian Flynn
Injuries: Nathan Beaulieu (upper body)
|Alex Killorn||Steven Stamkos||Ryan Callahan|
|Ondrej Palat||Tyler Johnson||Nikita Kucherov|
|Brian Boyle||Valterri Filppula||Jonathan Drouin|
|Brenden Morrow||Vladislav Namestnikov||J.T. Brown|
|Victor Hedman||Anton Stralman|
|Jason Garrison||Braydon Coburn|
|Matthew Carle||Andrej Sustr|
Scratched: Mark Barberio, Nikita Nesterov
Injuries: Mattias Ohlund (knee), Cedric Paquette (undisclosed)
Check out the enemy over at Raw Charge.