Last night the Chicago Blackhawks closed out the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 5-3 victory over the tough Nashville Predators. Heading into the playoffs there was one significant concern about the Blackhawks and that was the fact that their goaltender, Antti Niemi, had never been tested on the big stage.
In hockey there is a phrase to describe an outstanding performance by a goaltender: “He stood on his head.”
While there is no doubt that Niemi gave up a few goals that one might label as “soft”, by and large he stood his ground and passed his first test of playoff hockey with flying colors. The important thing is that he made the tough saves when they mattered the most, such as in overtime with the Blackhawks killing a five minute penalty in a game that the Blackhawks won just seconds after the penalty expired. In my opinion, Niemi stood on his head and kept his team in each game and is a key reason that they were victorious in the series.
So let me ask you, when is the last time that you stood on your head?
As you can see in the picture above, my youngest son (affectionately known as G*$lick) is known to stand on his head quite often – in the truest sense of the word. Thinking in relation to the hockey term, I can say that he is quite familiar with standing on his head. Nothing phases him and he is a performer. Sure, he gets pre-performance nerves but every time he gets out there on stage in front of hundreds of people and absolutely kills it.
Not to be outdone by his little brother, my oldest son (known as JB, who also happens to be a burgeoning affiliate marketer with his Lego site Click the Brick) spends a fair amount of time standing on his head as well. Whether it be giving it his all on the baseball field or humbling me with his knowledge of American history, he has demonstrated that he can perform at the highest of levels.
Where do they get this ability from?
While there is no doubt that I would like to take the credit for their uncanny ability to stand on their head, I really look at it in the opposite light.
Whenever I am faced with an obstacle, I don’t have to look any further than my two boys for inspiration. Looking at how they both overcome the pressure of performing on the big stage shows me that anything can be accomplished when you dedicate yourself to your craft. In recent weeks, I have had to tap into this with a significant milestone at work that has come and gone with outstanding results, in part because I stood on my head.
Before we wrap things up, let us step back into the world of hockey. With the Blackhawks advancing to the second round of the playoffs, they are now faced with a rematch against the Vancouver Canucks. Just like last year, I have made a bet with Michael Kwan, an avid, if not misguided, Canadian hockey fan.
The fan of the losing team must donate $100.00 to the charity of choice of the other. Since I am confident that Antti Niemi will continue to stand on his head, I just need to decide to which charity that I want Michael to make a donation. 😉
Now, let me hear when you last stood on your head!