Watching last night's game, I couldn't help but compare the two teams' captains and Vancouver's sure came up short!
Here was a game against two of the premier forwards in hockey today, Steve Yzerman and Mark Messier. Both are excellent centers with long illustrious careers to their credit. Both are record-breakers, play-makers and awe-inspiring future Hall-of-Famers. But despite all these similarities, Mark Messier still can't hold a candle to Steve Yzerman. Why, you ask...I'll tell you!
Steve Yzerman is the consummate team leader, he is exactly what a team captain should be. He leads by example, rarely by words and media-hyped mythical image. Steve raises up the Red Wings' level of play by his own hard work. He doesn't assume a strong team effort just by his mere presence.
Yzerman is a team player. Steve will do whatever is necessary to win the game whether it means blocking a shot with his body, sacrificing his own personal scoring records to concentrate on the team defensive system or making a pass to a teammate for a better chance at a shot on goal rather than a selfish, glory-hogging possible shot on goal. He "comes to play" EVERY night.
Lastly, Steve Yzerman is loyal to the Detroit Red Wings. He has stuck through and played with bad teams, mediocre teams and Stanley Cup Championship teams. He did not whine and jump ship during the lean times. Steve did not demand to be traded to "a contender" (for the Cup). He did not blame the coach, management, injuries or the rest of the team even when poor stats were directly attributable to those causes. He has not chased the almighty dollar from hockey team to hockey team.
Steve Yzerman is truly Detroit's Red Wings' team captain and for that we should all be truly grateful! Thank you, Steve!
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