Monday, March 9, 2009

The better you get, the more you raise your standards

After NJ Devils coach Brent Sutter "voic[ed] his displeasure after a lopsided (7-3) loss Saturday afternoon to an inferior Islanders squad," a reporter questioned whether it made sense for the coach of "a team that has won 18 of its past 23 games and sits atop the Atlantic Division" to be scolding his team.

He asked, "Doesn't a squad that has lost just five times since Jan. 12 deserve some slack for an occasional stinker?"

Not the Devils. They don't expect it, and maybe that's why they have had a winning record for 17 straight seasons. The mentality is different here.

"The better you get, the more you raise your standards," said Devils center Bobby Holik, a 15-year NHL veteran. "Because if you say, 'Well, it happens,' that's the end of it. You become satisfied. 'So what, we lost?' That's a terrible way to think. That's one of the reasons this team is competitive year after year. We're not satisfied that we've only lost five times in 23 games. We know we're not going to win them all. Nobody will. But we're not happy because we didn't compete in this (last) game."