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Sturm Blog: Right In The Middle

Thursday, 12.10.2009 / 6:43 PM / Bob Sturm Blog
By Bob Sturm
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Sturm Blog: Right In The Middle

Bob Sturm
I know it has been a few days, but let's not let that happen again, ok?

Sorry about me. I will try to stay on top of things so that we can continue to talk on a regular basis. Let's focus on an email today, which is something I need to do more often-

A Season Seat Holder sent me this after the loss in Anaheim on Tuesday Night:

Bob,

As I always do I stayed up to watch the Stars game last night. It was difficult to get to sleep once the game was over. My hope for this team is beginning to fade. When will they learn how to close out an opponent (especially the worst team in the Conference)? When will they learn how to forecheck for a full 60 minutes? Their play this year is SO frustrating due to its inconsistency, which is best illustrated by the play of Marty Turco - incredible one day, lackluster the next.

I'm just one fan venting my frustrations. I'd love to hear your thoughts about last night's game and the current status of the team.

Bob

Well, Bob, I know how you feel. Also, I think your name is pretty solid.

So, what do we do with these frustrating 2009-10 Dallas Stars?

We are at the 30 game mark in the season. The Stars are 8th in the West, with 7 teams in front and 7 teams behind them in the standings. That is neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm.

Not a bad team, because if they were you would start to wonder if we should consider blowing it up. Also, though, not a great team, lest we think this team might need to add that final piece of the puzzle to make a real run at the cup.

But, as much hope as I have for the Stars, I do want to point one thing about his email that I hear/read all of the time about a team that is right in the middle.

Bob complains about "inconsistency". The idea, I believe, is that if this team stopped being "inconsistent", then it could quickly be what it should be, which is "excellent". But, inconsistency is not an attribute that should be overlooked when asking why you cannot put good hockey together for any stretch of time. It is the very essence of mediocrity. In any sport, teams that are in the middle of the road are accused of being plagued with inconsistency.

But, see, inconsistency is not something that sabotages your quality. It defines it. Inconsistent would be defined as "lacking harmony between the different parts or elements". One night, you are a great offense, but then not the next two. One week, you can kill penalties or hold a lead. The next time, you cannot.

Consistency is as vital to Excellence as Skill, or Work Ethic, or Determination. If you cannot do what you do on a night to night basis, then that is not your identity. Your identity is inconsistency, and therefore, because you never do find that cohesion you so desire, you find yourself stuck in the middle. Not good, but not bad. If things go right for an extended period of time, you can creep to the top of the standings. But, things will never go right for an extended period of time, because you are not good enough to maintain that level of excellence.

Hopefully, that is all not too confusing. I basically mean that this team is OK. Not good, because if they were, they would win more than 13 out of 30 games. But, not bad, because if the playoffs started today, the Stars would be in the post-season.

The Stars must spend the next stretch of games figuring out how to become a more consistent team. All that means is doing what you do well - more often. Consistent is simply another way to say good. Unless, of course, you are consistently bad. And then nobody wishes you were more consistent.

Look on the brightside: The 9th seed is Detroit.

Email Bob at Sturm1310@aol.com and follow him on twitter at www.twitter.com/bobanddan






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