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Thread: Musings of Lemieux

  1. #1
    IHF Member NyQuil's Avatar
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    Mario's Musings

    http://slam.canoe.ca/Slam/Hockey/Wor...08/620512.html

    Mario Lemieux, speaking in French, opened up a little more than he sometimes does in English.

    "This is Canada," he said. "This is hockey. The goal is to finish first. Finishing second is not good enough. That's the way it is.

    "Whether it's the World Cup or the Olympics, finishing second is no good. It has always been like this for Canada and that's the way it always will be."

    There was a time when Lemieux was not much of a team leader.

    But he was a lot younger then.

    Now he is an icon to the younger players, a man who has triumphed at every level and who possesses skills that his peers not only respect but also envy.

    Nowadays, Lemieux is very much a leader.

    He speaks quietly, but he has that aura around him that other hockey icons such as Gordie Howe and Jean Beliveau have had before him.

    When he talks, people listen.

    "This is a high level that we're playing at," he said. "For this team, for all the players, the pride that everyone carries is important. It's important not only for our team and our organization, but for the people of the country.

    "The whole country is behind us."

    Then, in English, the phrase that became the credo in Salt Lake City was put to him.

    "Losing is not an option."

    He nodded his head in affirmation.

    "Not in this room," he said.
    Last edited by NyQuil; 09-09-2004 at 15:22.
    "Maybe it wasn't talent the Lord gave me, maybe it was the passion..." - Wayne Gretzky

  2. #2
    IHF Member mpdman's Avatar
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    I used to curse Mario in the old days.
    I think firstly it was borne out of that jealousy every frustrated wannabe athlete has; here was a guy with more skill than anyone else in the world, who really seemed to be going through the motions.
    Secondly, it was because he eschewed playing for the national team on more than one occasion (I’m talking about when he was healthy). That pissed us all off.

    Now, and since his Stanley Cups, it’s a completely different story. He has matured immensely, and IS a bona fide leader. It’s amazing how other superstars are starry eyed when he’s around.

    Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the hands to beat guys one-on-one anymore, and he couldn’t put a puck “in the ocean” last night.
    Did you see that partial breakaway? – in the old days he would have shaked and baked a cake before removing the goalie’s jock. He just fumbled with it.
    Then he was on for 3 solid minutes during that late power-play with everyone putting it on a tee for him.

    Thankfully for Sakic and Iginla, his passing is still second-to-none.

    Gonna be interesting to see him go head-to-head with his prodigal pupil, JJ.

    As to Mario's musings, it goes without saying that when it comes to hockey for Canada, coming in second is the same as coming in last.

  3. #3
    IHF Member NyQuil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mpdman
    I used to curse Mario in the old days.
    I think firstly it was borne out of that jealousy every frustrated wannabe athlete has; here was a guy with more skill than anyone else in the world, who really seemed to be going through the motions.
    Secondly, it was because he eschewed playing for the national team on more than one occasion (I’m talking about when he was healthy). That pissed us all off.
    As a kid, being a Gretzky fan, I saw Lemieux as the big rival and didn't want him to succeed. I was moderately happy when he was injured at 199 points and never reached 200. In retrospect, that was pretty mean, but what do kids know anyway?

    Seeing him blossom into a true leader, with the Pittsburgh cups, was startling. No longer seen as cocky and arrogant, he had a reserved air about him, as if he'd learned his lesson about mouthing off to the media.

    Now of course, with the SLC Gold, he's been completely vindicated in the hearts of Canadian hockey fans.

    Quote Originally Posted by mpdman
    Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the hands to beat guys one-on-one anymore, and he couldn’t put a puck “in the ocean” last night.
    Thankfully for Sakic and Iginla, his passing is still second-to-none.
    Well, Iginla may be one of the top 3 most dangerous goal scorers in the world, and he couldn't hit the broadside of a barn before yesterday's game. I'm willing to give Lemieux a little slack while he finds his timing. Remember, he's been out of action for 10 months!
    "Maybe it wasn't talent the Lord gave me, maybe it was the passion..." - Wayne Gretzky

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