With two weeks away and a million things that I could talk with you about this morning, the one takeaway I have from everything going on right now is the will to win, or the lack thereof.
Chicago is just one big win away from their third Stanley Cup in their past six seasons, and a great part of that besides the outstanding lineup that they possess, is their will. Hawks Head Coach Joel Quenneville’s team took a 2-1 lead early in the third period and instead of seeing a steady diet of Patrick Kane in the third period, we saw the goal scorer Antoine Vermette as well as linemate Kris Versteeg out there every second shift. Quenneville knew what his team needed to win and Vermette and Versteeg were able to get his team there…and you don’t hear Patrick Kane bitching for one second. He is a top line player in the NHL, and he knows what it takes to win. He is willing to do anything, including sitting on the bench if his coach thinks it’s right, to get to the promised land.
Which gets me to Abby Wambach of the US Women’s Soccer Team, who are now in Vancouver and ready to face Nigeria in their final round robin game for her team. Wambach is the leader of the US team and the all time leader in goals scored by a female player. Yet she arrives in Vancouver with a bag full of excuses.
Wambach, who has been an opponent of the Women’s World Cup being contested on artificial turf, is blaming that very turf for the goal scoring woes of her team. She also has said she is less ‘carefree’ when diving on the turf. Does that sound like someone who wants to win at all costs? Where is the will to win when you will not sacrifice everything to do so.
The one thing that Wambach does not have in her storied career is a World Cup Title. The US has gone 16 years without one…and will certainly see that streak go longer if the will to win is being replaced by the excuses being thrown out there by one of the game’s best players.