Last Saturday, we played the last game of the first half of the season, marked by a three weeks break for the holiday season. This break will allow the league's players to recharge their batteries with the family in order to return to the hostilities on January 7. After 11 games, we can now make a short summary of the first half of the season.
First, let's take a look at the overall ranking. For those who do not visit the statistics section, know that you can follow those of your team and yours on Kreezee by following the link in our stats section. The race is tight for first place, with the Avengers, Rhinos and Shamrocks alternating atop for several weeks. Taking into account the last games, Paul Rosa's Shamrocks took the lead with 24 points, followed by the Rhinos and Avengers with 21 points each. The teams then follow closely with the Meteores who now have 17 points, the Loggers with 16, followed by the Czechers at 15 and the Kamikazes with 13 points. The Vipers are unfortunately still in the tail with 5 points, despite showing encouraging signs after the first wave of exchanges with a victory. The natural has nevertheless returned quick and they have been unable since then to impose themselves on their opponents for 3 complete periods. Always a little something missing ...
With the holiday break comes the time for reflection for the league administrators and the selection committee, who will have to decide if further exchanges are necessary in order to offer the bottoms teams a chance to go up the ranks .
THE BEST PLAYERS
After 11 games, here are the leaders in the different categories accounted by the league:
Most points: Ian Boudreau (Shamrocks): 37 points
Top scorer: Raymond Riffon (Avengers): 24 goals
Best passer: Jacob Poliquin (Shamrocks): 20 passes
Goalkeeper with the most wins: George Athanasopoulos (Avengers): 5 wins
After last Saturday's games, over a third of the league's players gathered at McCarold's to celebrate friendship and the holidays, with LFA specials on food and beer! Several door prizes were drawn, as well as the half-and-half winning number that will be disclosed in the news bulletin section and on the main page of the site. The evening unfolded with laughter and joyful discussions, all crowned with a victory of the Canadians against the Washington Capitals. What could have been better?
The LFA After-Games are not only an opportunity to end a hockey night with friends around a beer and a meal, but also to resolve conflicts, misunderstandings or rivalries on the ice. At our Christmas party, at least four players took the opportunity to solve problems that occured earlier on the ice like adults, and at the same time learned more about other players in the league. This keeps the level of competitiveness on the ice healthy, by defusing tense situations before they escalate. In general, these after-games are a part of what makes the LFA different and the best beer league in Quebec!
THE NEW ONES
This season will saw several new players making their debut in the league, either as regular or as substitutes. With the many unexpected departures in the first few weeks, these had an important role to play in the league, allowing teams to play at equal strengths sometimes at the last minute. However, I would like to remind you that you must inform Jean-François of your absence on Thursday before 6 pm by email if you intend to not be there on Saturday and by telephone or text messages if a last minute unexpected event occurs on the day of the game. This simple little gesture makes it easier to manage substitutions and find the players best suited to replace absent ones. So, we will end up with fewer surprises with players too weak or too strong for those they replace. Nevertheless, we test new substitutes with the idea of aving a larger and more diversified pool in order to better balance the teams. Let's stay polite and gentlemen when a substitute is not the perfect look-alike of the player he replaces!
EXPANSION AND TEAMS
This year, the league added two teams for a total of eight. Some people told me that they found the names chosen for the new teams rather average. As with most league topics, if you have any suggestions you can share them with the president, myself or Laurent Quesnel via email preferably. The LFA wants to do things differently, and the original names given to the Meteores and Kamikazes go in this direction if compared to the more traditional names in hockey. So if you have comments or suggestions of names, logos and other small details do not hesitate to let us know.
PHYSICAL PLAY VS DANGEROUS PLAY
The final subject of those news is all the more important that during last Saturday's games, several players have shown excessive roughness or have been slashing sticks to the opposing players. It seems that some people have difficulty in differentiating between an intense player who skates and uses his body to intervene between the player and the puck and a player who hits the others on purpose. While the former plays hockey in a manly, intense manner and as hockey should be played, with respect, the other takes this intensity for an aggression and become themselves aggressors by taking revenge personally, with words or gestures . There is an immense difference between playing the man and striking with a shoulder blow, between raising the stick of the player you pursue or using your stick as an ax. Slashings seems to be more and more present, players playing with more and more intensity and not wanting to give an inch to their opponents. Yet it is possible to play cleanly without risking unnecessary breaking of sticks, wrists or fingers. If you are beaten, you are beaten. Control your sticks! Only the referee on the ice has the power to punish these gestures, and the fact that he cannot see everything should not open the door to personal vendettas. So be more kind to those who might become your teammates in the future.
In short, I hope that the second half of the season will be up to everyone's expectations. Have fun above all, play to win but remember that you are all members of the same family. Let us meet again on January 7th, well rested (if possible during the festive season) and ready to start the last strech to the playoffs!