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Be Water My Leafs

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Bruce Lee_Be Water My Friend (via sedonahealth9)

Did you ever see Bruce Lee's final movie, Game of Death? The basic  premise is that Lee's character is forced to fight his way to the top of a 5 story Pagoda to allow some mobsters to recover a sacred treasure held at the top. At each level, Lee faces a martial arts master of a different style and must change his technique to defeat them. Lee called his martial art form Jeet Kune Do, also called "The style of no style." Lee believed that tradition martial arts were far too rigid and formulaic in their teachings and techniques when applied to chaotic situations; those being in fights. Jeet Kune Do as a "style" valued creativity, flexibility, speed, and adaptation over rigid adherence to forms and stances that the other martial arts held so dear.

When I watch the Maple Leafs play hockey, I see a team mired in strategies, formulas, and systems. I see a team completely devoid of creativity or style. This is most apparent on the power play. Give me a white board and I can draw up the Leafs PP plays from memory. Now think of a team with an excellent powerplay like Detroit or Washington. What system do they run on the powerplay? I have no idea either because there's is one of continuous flow; there's is like water. A young team like Toronto is not disciplined enough to play strict systems hockey, nor should they be. They should be like Edmonton, another young team that plays a fluid game with adherence to a system. Watch the replays on all five of the Oilers goals last night. Not one came off of a set play or sustained offensive zone pressure. They were all on the fly and all at speed.

My advice to the Leafs is to be like water; be formless. Be whatever the situation calls for and take advantage of it. Take "the playbook" and throw it out. The only plays are the ones you make on the ice. Be water my Leafs.

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