“All blame is a waste of time. No matter how much fault you find with another, and regardless of how much you blame him, it will not change you.” – Wayne Dyer
I read an interview with Daniel Sedin, talking about what went wrong last year with the 2013-14 Canucks who missed the playoffs after making it to the Cup Final just three seasons earlier. Many were quick to blame their short-lived coach John Tortorella, but Daniel took responsibility for himself.
Personally, last season you went through a tough stretch with no goals in 23 games, only three in your last 32. Do you feel your game is back to where it used to be and needs to be?
“We talked right after the season, myself and Henrik, about getting back to playing the way we need to to be successful. Last year we got away from that for sure. I’ve told the media here this too, that was up to us. Torts didn’t put any pressure on us to change our game; we did that to ourselves. Probably the biggest disappointment for us is that we allowed ourselves to get away from our game. Like I said, Torts had nothing to do with that, it was on us. That was disappointing. So we talked this summer and said, ‘Let’s get back to playing the way we need to play to be successful.’ That’s holding onto pucks, having a lot of offensive zone time, and being strong around their net. So far it’s been successful.”
Hindsight being what it is, do you now know why you guys got away from your game last season?
“I think with a new coach coming in you want to buy into the system and all that. Torts never told us to change our game. I think a lot of people think he was the reason we got away from our game, but that wasn’t the reason. That was all myself and Henrik. It was our mindset. That was the No. 1 thing. It was more our mindset. The only way for us to be successful is to play the way we always play. It might not always work out, but it’s our only way of being successful.”
John Tortorella has left Vancouver now, but Daniel could have easily chalked last season up to having a new coach and being forced into a new system. Many others (fans, media, people in the organization) were less restrained in assigning blame to the coach. Instead, he took accountability for his goal drought and looked at what he has to do differently to get back to the way he’s played in the past. Not only does that afford him a lot of respect, but taking control of himself and his own actions means that he can look at what he needs to do differently instead of making excuses and putting the blame on someone else.
Game Plan: Instead of focusing inward, we can find ourselves looking outside for someone or something to blame for the problems we’re having. It’s true that other people and influences can affect our lives, but we can also find freedom in recognizing that we have some agency as well. Even if we weren’t a part in creating the problem (even in a small way), we have control over how we react to it and how we move forward. Try viewing the situation from the other person’s perspective, let go of that blame, and ask yourself what you can do to make it right or move on.