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Demers' Diary: Importance of Winning Streaks

The Panthers defenseman talks about hockey, failed mashed potatoes and more

by Jason Demers jasondemers5 / Florida Panthers Defenseman

A good winning streak is the difference between teams that make the playoffs and teams that fall short at the end. 

There's a fine line between winning and losing, though, so you always want to rebound quickly after a loss. I mean, look at the Washington Capitals last season. That team never lost more than two games in a row. Heck, I don't remember them even losing back-to-back games for almost three quarters of the year.

So for us, it's all about bouncing back after losses and finding ways to piece a few games together and get on a roll. It's about finding a way to win every night in order to build that momentum and keep it rolling.

We're in the midst of a big road trip and obviously want to come away from it with at least a positive, winning record. It's all business right now. We want to carry some momentum from the road back home. We've got to pick up some points and then come back flying for the holiday homestand that we have at the BB&T Center.

We've had some changes on defense in recent weeks, but I think we've done a good job for the most part. We've just got to work on limiting those good scoring chances against, both as a team and as a defensive unit. We also need to make sure that if those scoring chances happen that we don't compound it and make it more than one in a row. We don't want to have that snowball effect.
 
It was tough to lose Alex Petrovic on the blue line, but guys have done a good job stepping in. Jakub Kindl (aka Jakoby) has done a great job. He's been in the league for a long time and he knows how to play. The same goes for Dylan McIlrath. They're both professionals and know what to do when they get in the lineup. 

In the end, I think what it all boils down to is confidence. 

In order to consistently win in this league you've got to have a lot of confidence, luck and skill all meshed together. When all of that is rolling at the same time, it's a beautiful thing for a hockey team. It's the difference between winning five-or-six games in a row or being on a losing streak. 

Hopefully we'll get on a good streak soon. I think we have all the tools to get there and we're definitely close. We're just piecing everything together right now and getting some guys back from injuries. I think once it clicks, we're going to be very dangerous.

As for myself, I'm really looking forward to playing in my final game at the Joe Louis Arena on Thursday. When I broke into the league with the Sharks, my first two playoffs series were against the Red Wings at the Joe. We beat them in five games and then in seven. It was very cool to play in that arena, especially during the playoffs. It's a very special place to play and there's so much history. 

Of course, I'm going to have to try and snap a few pictures while we're there and get myself in a picture with something. I might also try and steal something that's not nailed down. Hopefully they don't read this before I get there…

Off the ice, it was awesome to kickback with some of the guys for Thanksgiving. 

It's a good time to get together and to get to know some of your teammates and their families. I'm very thankful to have people like that in my life. Keith Yandle hosted about 20 of us at his home. I think Yandle's wife and Trocheck's family kind of stole the show. They made some unbelievable things.

As for my own contributions, I had some house-related issues and ended up screwing up the mashed potatoes. I ruined Thanksgiving. There was a ton of extra food, but for myself, I took that one to heart. It still stings. Luckily, there's a lot of time left in the year to redeem myself, so I'm going to start just dropping off mashed potatoes on people's doorsteps.

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