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AP WIC v TUL 32915-2

Photo courtesy Ed Bailey. All Rights Reserved.

Coach Kevin McClelland told the Wichita Eagle post game that in order to make it to the playoffs now the team will have to rely on help. “We’ve got to get some help,” he said. “The help we’ve got to get is win our games. We picked a bad time of the year to go on a losing streak. That can’t happen.”

With last night’s 5-1 loss to the Tulsa Oilers, Wichita’s help will also have to come from other teams losing — specifically the Tulsa Oilers would have to lose the majority of their remaining games, and Wichita would need to win.

This is where team dynamics (team chemistry if you choose) can make or break a team and it has seemingly broken the Wichita Thunder. Do the experienced veterans in the locker room during intermission talk to the players? Do they encourage the team out of their sense of doom? Does the team Captain step up finally and break the tension? Do the coaches? I’m betting absolutely not based on the last six games and certainly not last night. The entire team came out for the third as if they had already lost the game which was actually far from the truth!

The notion of hiring veteran players has always been to add that experience and wisdom both on and off the ice for younger teams. If a veteran can’t be bothered to step up and help when their team is down, what’s the point? What’s the point of a Captain? In the ECHL each team roster can have four veterans and if they aren’t doing their job, they are wasting much-needed spots.

Since March 20th the team has been on a losing skid, first out of exhaustion and the rest out of what? Other teams face the same grueling schedules and tough play.  No more excuses.

I saw a great quote today and while the quote was given to Herb Brooks, it is actually a Tim Notke quote. Regardless of the source, it fits:

Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t want to work hard.

Next game for the Wichita Thunder is Wednesday night against the Allen Americans.