I hated the Toronto Maple Leafs. Back in the fifties and sixties they were the arch rivals of the Montreal Canadiens when hockey in Canada only had six teams. My dislike of the Leafs stemmed less from hometown prejudice than their style of play. You see, Toronto was notorious for “sitting on the puck.” In hockey language of the day, this term described a team that would immediately go into a defensive mode upon scoring a goal.
Sitting on the Puck
Unlike my beloved Canadiens, who would turn the offense on from start to finish (whether they were ahead by one or ten goals), the hapless Leafs would always try to play it safe the minute they got ahead. Needless to say, this strategy made for boring hockey and often, backfired on them when they would lose their slim lead in the final minutes of play.
I don’t watch hockey anymore, but I’ve kept my distaste for the “sitting on the puck” mentality. Nothing great was ever accomplished with this strategy and nothing great was ever sustained with it as well. Toronto learned that lesson the hard way as they watched the Canadiens rack up 5 straight Stanley Cup victories, a record that stands to this day.
I share my hockey memories with you for the following reason: our congregation has not gotten to where we’re at by “Sitting on the Puck”. We have launched out in faith many times in the past in order to accomplish great things As this new year begins let’s maintain that spirit. Remember that in Christian life, like hockey, the only way to win is to play hard until the end.
We have great opportunities to score this year, let’s not blow it by just playing defense.