Andrew Gordon: Statement Game

Gordo's Take after Game 3 - Photo by Chris Knight of The Patriot-News

Andrew Gordon scored two of the Bears’ six goals in last night’s game with the Texas Stars, including the game winner.  In today’s piece, Andrew discusses the win, getting over the bad breaks of the first period, and digging deep in the post season.

I don’t need to explain how badly we needed to win this game. Going down 3-0 with two more games in their building just wasn’t an option. We needed to make a statement about who we are, and we did just that. It didn’t look good early though. After letting up a goal on the first shot of the game (a ricochet off of Boyd Kane’s skate), and a shorthanded tap in after a miscue between Neuvy and our defenseman, I felt like nothing could go right. We were a team stuck in Murphy’s Law: Whatever could go wrong, seemed to.

After the first period, all the talk in the dressing room was about us. We knew we couldn’t take back the bad bounces that happened. We couldn’t play that period over again. But we knew if we used the last 40 minutes to play the way we know how, and stick to the game plan we could give ourselves a chance. From that point forward our attitude was completely different. We started shooting the puck, driving the net, limiting the odd man rushes against and only made high risk plays when it absolutely had to be done. By not giving them anything for free, we slowly started to take over. Every shift was like shooting a little more energy into our veins. We started to believe in ourselves and our abilities again. By the time the third period started, we had our swagger back. We were the Bears again, and when that buzzer sounded to end tonight’s game my thoughts shot back to the feeling I had so often this season. I got a taste of winning again, and as a team I can safely say we liked it.

In my opinion, the playoffs are all about resiliency. In the American League, more often than not, the team who refuses to quit will come out on top. ‘Til the finals that is. The finals are a totally different story. As you go through the first three rounds, winning a series can happen in the first couple games. You obviously have to win four games to take the series, but many times a series is won long before the fourth game comes around. It comes down to breaking your opponents will, and outworking them mentally before they do the same to you. You have to make them believe they can’t beat you, and then their bodies will just come along for the ride. You have to make them want to quit. Make them see summer right around the corner. At that point, a team can be broken even though there is still hockey to be played.

Winning is always a lot harder than losing. To win you have to sacrifice your body, your time and your relaxing summer at home. Some players aren’t willing to make those sacrifices, and those are the players who are easily broken. They can put in a 90% effort and feel good about what they did. But they will never be winners only going 90%. Someone else on another team is willing to go 100% (or better) and eventually they will win out.

A lot of times you see young players ready to quit before the series end. They might have had a good season, and without chance to be recalled to the NHL, their effort drops off. As an AHL player, every day you dream about playing in the NHL and working your way up. Winning the Calder Cup might not be on the “to do list” for some young players. These feelings don’t happen in the NHL. Once you are there, winning becomes the only thing that matters. It becomes your job not just to play, but to win. The ultimate goal, the one you’ve been dreaming about since you’ve picked up a stick, is right in front of you and every game is an opportunity to draw yourself one step closer to achieving that goal. I find the Calder Cup finals have this same feel. There is no backing down in the finals. Nobody’s will is ever broken in the finals. You have sacrificed everything already to get there, so taking your foot off the gas in the middle of June would be a complete waste of two months.

I mentioned in a previous entry that making it to the finals and leaving without a ring on your finger would be a misuse of time, and I feel that’s why you see dramatic comebacks like this year when the Flyers met the Bruins. If the Flyers would have thought, you know, that’s enough for this year, they would have been done in four games and on a beach somewhere in Mexico right now, instead of being two wins away from hoisting hockey’s greatest glory over their heads. It’s your own ability to push harder and tell yourself never to be satisfied that drives a team to succeed. We showed a bit of that championship resilience tonight. I think this series is just going to get better from here.

“A man is not finished when he is defeated. He is finished when he quits.” – Richard M. Nixon

Thank you for your time! See you again Wednesday!

Yours in hockey,
Andrew Gordon

  • WashCapsRock

    Another fantastic article Gordo! Keep it up and good luck tomorrow night. Kick some Texas ass like I know you can!!

  • Sarah

    Great post again, and great game last night!

  • Your Nation’s Capital

    A hockey player quoting Richard Milhous. Now that’s something you don’t see every day.

    Keep workin’ it like you work it, Gordo. And please, keep writing. It is a pleasure to read.

    Go Bears.

  • Pingback: Tweets that mention Andrew Gordon: Statement Game --

  • KellyinDC

    Congrats on a great game, Gordo! It’s so fantastic for Caps fans to be able to watch you guys on CSN, and we’re rooting for you 🙂

    And thanks so much for writing these posts – it’s great to hear about the series from your perspective; you have very insightful thoughts about it!

  • Dee

    Hey Gordo, Great comeback. It’s was awesome to see the Bears find their way back to their style of play. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts….as others have said it is very insightful. GO BEARS!

  • You obviously don’t know Gordo if you don’t know how incredibly intelligent he is! Great piece Andrew! Hope you’re rooting for Andreas & the Flyers like we are!!

  • Heidi

    Really enjoying reading your posts! Great comeback win!

  • Holly

    Great goals last night, Gordo! Someone told me today that it was MY FAULT you didn’t win until you got to Texas because I wrote on my car “The Bears WILL turn the stars out in Texas!” Meaning that you would do this in Texas…LOL! Let’s keep up the momentum for tomorrow and Friday!

  • DRT

    Your blog would make for the start of an awesome book that would keep hockey fans waiting for more. I can’t wait for the next entry! Good luck on Wednesday! Go Bears!

  • Nancy S

    Another great recap Gordo. I have to say: the first period was hard to watch, but way to be resillient! Excellent come-from-behind victory with hard work and mettle. Go bears go-3 more to go! All best—

  • Abbey

    These blogs are a pleasure to read and are really insightful. I enjoy watching you on the ice as your passion for the sport comes through in every play you have. These blogs just emphasize your love for the sport and the organization that much more.

    Thank you, from a dedicated BEARS believer (regardless of the outcome, even though wins are SO much more fun to watch!) for giving us this opportunity to see it through a player’s eyes. It was the first time this series that we’ve seen the team that we’ve all grown to love—one that doesn’t give up and fights to keep on fighting. Keep it up, we are all behind you guys 100%.

    Bring it back home and win it in front of a packed house! #11 is in our reach!

  • irockthered

    Great comeback win! Well done to all of you! 🙂

    Keep writing, Andrew! I can’t wait to see the next entry after tomorrow night’s game. 🙂

  • Caps_Girl

    I am totally impressed with Gordo’s post. I would have been satisfied with a simple, “We Won!”, but was happy to read a well thought out and well written recap of the game and what it took for the Bears to come back after the first period ended. Great job Andrew! Can’t wait for game 4 and the Bears really crushing the Stars.

  • Dee

    Go Bears! I also would like your blogs to be the beginnings of a “Gordo Journal” that is published as a book in the future. What a wonderful read that would be for all time! Thanks again Gordo and good luck to the Bears tonight.

  • Kelsey Kennedy

    gordo you are truly amazing i cant wait to see you play tonight.. i love following your blogs

  • Amanda

    Andrew you are wise beyond your years young man…….

  • Mack

    Very impressed with Gordo and his writing, maybe the Post should ask him to write hockey articles instead of Mike Wise…. just a thought

  • Great post!