I sincerely believe that’s the only way to go about it. If we listen to numbers and stats, it’s overwhelming. The human body can’t function under that kind of stress. - Mike Cammalleri
CALGARY, AB -- Mike Cammalleri doesn’t need a reminder that the Calgary Flames power play hasn’t clicked lately.
But he does have an idea of how to fix the man-advantage malady.
All the Flames need to do is take a page from their friends on the links to cure what ails the power play.
“I learned that from listening to golfers,” Mike Cammalleri said after Tuesday’s practice. “They say the best putters in the world, they never worry whether the ball goes in the hole or not. They just worry about making a good stroke. If they’ve made a good read and made a good stroke, that’s all they can really control. If the ball goes in the hole, great and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.
“You see that, the best putters in the world when they miss, they go ‘maybe I read that wrong’. The ones who struggle are the ones who are like ‘If I make this, I go to two-under. If I don’t, I miss the cut, then I’m not going to be able to pay my mortgage next week and my wife is going to divorce me. You have no chance of making a good stroke.
“I really believe that’s the best way to approach sports. You can take that as specifically as you want to the power play. I sincerely believe that’s the only way to go about it. If we listen to numbers and stats, it’s overwhelming. The human body can’t function under that kind of stress.”
The Flames have come close to snapping their special teams skid, which has extended to nine games and 30 opportunities.
A bounce here, a bounce there and there’s no discussion on how to fix something that isn’t broken. But those bounces haven’t come and the team has no choice but to field questions about personnel, execution and what isn’t going right.
So what’s the issue?
“It’s one of those things that even when we get the chances, the puck doesn’t seem to go in the net for us,” TJ Brodie said.
How is it fixed?
“We just have to have the mindset where we’re going to go out there next time in our first power play next game we’ll get a goal and go from there,” Lee Stempniak said. “You need to learn from the mistakes but at the same time, have that confidence the next one’s going in.”
It goes well beyond X’s and O’s, though.
It’s shrugging off the misses. It’s about not getting frustrated when the first shot doesn’t go in or the zone entry is broken up at the blue line.
It’s about preparation.
“I think you don’t look at the big picture,” Cammalleri said. “You try to focus in on the details. It’s kind of like preparing for any game.
“When you do it well, you’re thinking about the things you have to do well to help the team succeed. It’s the same for the power play. Just break it down into your role, your shift, that period and focus on what you need to do to help the power play.”
And help the Flames win games.
“We’ve had chances to turn games around with the power play and we haven’t,” Brodie said. “It’s just a matter of creating the chances and taking advantage of them when you get them. It’s definitely frustrating. Even early in a game it can change the game, the momentum.”
“It’s important to score when you get out there.”
Just like finding the bottom of the cup when you’re on the green.