Tuesday, January 9, 2007

Let's not forget where this team came from

Amongst all the hype and craziness, I'm hoping that fans don't forget where this team came from.

This team's roots were grown in the ashes of the 2004 disaster. Remember the 2004-2005 team that so many predicted to finish dead last in the league? Thanks to excellent team chemistry and extremely hard work, that scrappy bunch led by the likes of Adam Pardy, Guillaume Demers, and Neil Smith overcame a 1-7-3 start to give us a great season, finishing 32-27-8-3; a solid above-.500 record despite being in the first year of rebuilding.

There was a very nice bond formed between the team and the regular fans that year, and never have I seen an Eagles team whose hard work was so appreciated by the fans as that year's team. I still remember the team doing a lap of the rink after the final regular season game, raising their sticks to the fans; that doesn't happen every year.

We had a few great rookies that we wisely gave a ton of ice time and used in all situations (PP, PK, final minute while down a goal or up a goal, etc) even though they were only 16 and 17, allowing their development to really accelerate, and allowing these guys to really become "clutch" type hockey players. We know these guys now as impact veterans named James Sheppard, Dean Ouellet, and Chris Culligan. It was clear that the next contending Eagles team would be built around these gems found in the 04 draft.

We now have a very deep and talented veteran roster, a big-name hired gun superstar in Bourdon, and there's a lot of excitement and buzz about the team. It kind of feels like 2004 all over again. There are going to be a lot of casual observers who are going to treat it like 2004 all over again. It shouldn't be, but that's how some people are going to treat it.

I just wanted to talk about the 2004-2005 team to remind everyone where this team really came from. Hard work on the ice, humble beginnings in the wake of a disastrous attempt at a run, team chemistry, and a great core that still remains with the team. Not big stars or bright lights or crazy expectations, which you're going to hear a lot of over the next couple of months.

It might be easy to forget what got the team in the position to make such a run this year in the first place, now that we have such a pile of riches on paper, that's all.

Just wanted to keep things in perspective for when you hear the wild predictions and expectations that are bound to be heard all over the CBRM over the next couple little while.


JPLAB said...

As a 10 year season ticket holder I can remember where we came from. We have come a long way it a short time. We have built a very strong team thru good drafting and trades. Now with the addition of Bourdon it may very well bring us to the top of the leage......or it may not. The fact that we gave up so much of our future to get him I have to wonder......What are we going to do next year?

Anonymous said...

the fact that people are going to view this as 2004 is crazy. we have more team chemistry on and off the ice.not just a couple of players who we think will take us to a league title,but a whole team that is perhaps going to get us there.and i don't think at the start of the year anybody was talking about a league title.we are in a very good position to do just that with the new aquisitions.good job to pascal and his coaching staff for recognizing that this just maybe our year. go eagles go all the way.

Anonymous said...

The true fans have stuck by the team through wins and losses. It makes me sick to hear some fans calling out criticisms to some of the players who work so very hard for us. Should be a great second as was the first half - thanks to these hard working players.

Anonymous said...

There comes a time with every major junior team where you have to make a decision to "go for it" or live with perenial mediocraty. Has there ever been a better time for the Eagles to take the plunge? I think we took a risk with a huge potential reward. A championship team would go a long way with the Cape Breton fans...especially the ones who have been there since day 1.

Unknown said...

I think there's a whole lot more chemistry on this team than in 2004. You can feel it amongst the players, even when you see them together in the Mall. I can't say anything negative about the deals that were made. I think they were fatastic. We were a powerful team this year, now withe the additions,we've gone into overdrive. Nice work Pascal....and go go Eagles....all the way

Anonymous said...

you can talk about other years but other years you see the kids walking through the mall in there groups like the rent a players from halifax [big mistake pascal ] these kids seem to stick together keep them up for every game they can score this year so in the playoffs your not trying to change your game the trades laberge looked good tonight bourdon say no more we gave up a good young player but lets get them this year go eagles