“Never get caught telling a hockey player it’s just a game. Never get caught trying to explain to him all the things in the world that matter so much more. His mind might well acknowledge the truth to your point. His soul will be powerless to accept it, considering the immensity of what he gives to the sport, the immeasurability to what it offers in return. Nothing ever feels as perfect as a moment of flawlessness on the ice. No bond is strong as one that compels brothers to bleed for one another. Not many leaders are this versed in the craft of motivation. Not many pursuits can evoke such visions of brilliance.
This is why it hurts so much when skill falls short of what the will desires.
This is why it’s so unforgettable when absolute passion yields ultimate award. And that’s all still just the start of what the game can do. The stakes rise as their season continues from here. While you watch from a distance, remember what was validated up close. Hockey may in fact be just a game. But it’s also who they are.”