The news this week will be short. First, because time is running, and then because the subject of this week is pretty straight forward.

After five weeks of activities, we observed that the level of competitiveness of the teams is well balanced, and that trade will be lighter this year. Indeed, despite the lackluster record of the Vipers on paper, we have noticed that victory eludes them by simple details and they are often very close to victory. Other teams have also lived adversity, and it is the character of the players who played the biggest role in recent weeks.

Laurent Quesnel, Jonathan Mutch and Craig Higgins, three different players and personnalities from different teams who enjoy the LFA's fraternity each and every year. (Archive photo)

Indeed, it is quite fascinating to note that the teams with the best atmosphere in the room had the most success. It is true that for a team living heart-breaking defeats, the morale is low and may affect future performance. Yet in the LFA, the competitive aspect is only one side of the medal. Having fun to play and enjoy the unique experience offered by hockey, surrounded by old and new friends, should take over the ranking points. Thus, teams whose locker feels like a hospital waiting room should try to brighten up; let loose with some jokes, sing, tell your achievements or talk about anecdotes, but a heavy apprehensive silence is never good for morale and team spirit, especially in a losing streak and even with a good game plan.

One of the LFA's pre-season BBQ, wich is a good exemple of the atmosphere the league is all about. Guys from all horizon wearing different jerseys but united in a single family. Pleasure before stats (Archive photo)

Easier said than done will you say, but why not take advantage of next week's games to put a little more joy in the place? Why not take the opportunity to come to your first LFA After-game for those who never attended? Veterans who have experienced the same situations will tell you that the After-games, staying after your game to watch the other games, chat with players from other teams and participate once in a while to the league's activities not only helps to know more about your comrades but also to lighten the mood and find the pleasure of playing for those with a bitter heart.

Now is the time, on the eve of exchanges, that each player looks in the mirror and ask himself why he plays hockey in the LFA. The joy of victory lasts a time, that of a friendship and a sense of belonging to something greater than oneself lasts for years, or even life.

With that, good week and good games to all on Saturday! Empty your cooler, drink and have fun while on your day of freedom!

Jacob Poliquin