I know that you all know me as a brilliant hockey writer (hockey adjacent, I guess) but I am actually a meteorologist. Haha, I’m wrong half the time etc. I worked in the airline industry for almost a decade, and now I fly solo (www.victoria-weather.com, and check out my book coming out in Spring 2019), but there is one crotchety old coworker of mine who said something that really sticks with me to this day. “Statistics are for losers.”
That is, of course, absurd, not only in life, but especially in the field of meteorology. High and low temperatures are statistics. How much rain you get is a statistic. Average temperatures are statistics. The probability of precipitation is an applied statistic. To say that statistics are for losers was to brand his chosen career as a career path for losers. Admittedly, that’s not far from the truth, but not for the reason he suggested.
What my stodgy old coworker had intended to imply, I think, was that statistical analysis, and decision making based on the analysis of said statistics, rather than using instinct and feel, is for losers. That too, as I’m sure you know, is asinine and wrongheaded. That there is a subsection of society that believes access to more information and the application of said information is “for losers” is alarming, and is probably a part of the reason that the world is in the mess it is in today.
I am a fan of using information to divine explanations and create strategy. Call me a loser all you want, if you disagree with this surprisingly effective way in which all processes are completed, not only by humans but also by most of the animal kingdom, but that’s just my style So with that in mind, what about the Detroit Red Wings? How have they turned things around? How did they start with one win in their first 10 games, only to reach .500 now?
What does the Detroit Free Press say?
Oh interesting. Luke Glendening, would you like to elaborate?
“Resiliency is huge,” said Luke Glendening,
Great. Good input. I think the head coach might be able to expand on the whole “confidence” aspect of it.
“I just think there is a belief we can stay with it,” Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “Obviously you have to score so the Glennie goal is a big goal. Now it’s a one-shot game. We stayed with it. Our group is believing in themselves and they’re having fun doing it.”
What I don’t understand is why “having fun” wasn’t included in that subhead.
The Free Press isn’t the only game in town, though. What does the Detroit News say about the Red Wings’ turnaround?
Confidence again. But wait, there’s more.
How have the Wings been able to turn things around?
There’s been an amazing sense of resiliency, for sure.
Oh thats ‘good. Hit me with another one, Coach Blashill
“Confidence is the biggest factor to success in the NHL today because of how close every team is, how close every player is,” Blashill said.
OK, now bring it home!
“As you win you gain confidence and certainly gain some swagger.”
So what did we learn from these introspective looks at the Detroit Red Wings? All you need is to have the confidence and resiliency to develop some swagger. Swagger is an immeasurable entity, a trait that is observed but not quantified. Swagger is for winners. Statistics are for loser.