Continued from WORLD WIDE HOCKEY TOUR –
SAN DIEGO (PART B) in July, 2016.]
Even though this aspect of Mekkar’s team gave them more confidence, the Selects’ as a club needed a lot of improvement of their own regarding their penalty killing. The short handed specialty outfits probably would get better if players like Mekkar would use his own good sense. For example, decrease his own retaliatory infractions. He is acutely aware that referees almost never notice the initial rule violation, but almost always catch the response. Mekkar needed to get his pest shots in first to have a better chance of not getting caught and thus would pay less visits to his home away from home, the penalty box.
A true assessment of the Selects performance on this tour was that they were still getting dominated at full strength five-on-five play. The coaches were not happy about the squad getting their rear ends handed to them during these points in the earlier scheduled games. If the Selects found a way to get better in this area there was the assumption by the staff that most, if not all, of the goonery might cease. Most athletes want to avoid a wounding of their pride when performing in front of their own fan base.
To Mekkar, it still was a good thing to take advantage of any opportunity the Selects’ could get. Some of the earlier opposition thought that they could intimidate Mekkar and the whole Selects squad through the use of rough and tumble tactics, while employing a more physical style. Just like some of these same clubs had employed with other previously visiting international squads. Since it worked before for the most part, continue to use those nasty tactics. However, the young barnstorming team was catching on. [Playing Hockey The World Over…wha.htm; whahockey.com; hockeyfights.com; Wikipedia; billsportsmaps.com; The Hockey News]
Unfortunately for The Native from The Far North, most of his teammates on the Selects squad were learning these lessons much too slowly. They were effectively bullied by some of the more pugilistic home sides on this far flung schedule, but not Mekkar or Lasse.
Though after suffering a serious injury prior to this matchup, the teenager promised to be ready for anything. That is despite being hampered in his effectiveness to carry out all of his on ice responsibilities, in full measure. Of course, Mekkar’s cockiness wanted to write checks his body couldn’t deliver at this time. Mekkar just wanted to enjoy and participate in as much as he could during this perceived once in a lifetime journey or so he thought at the time.
The arctic boy was of the view that some of these teams that would brawl first to open up space for offensive opportunities and scoring goals later. For example, like the Bulls and Fighting Saints had not learned any lessons from their earlier employed stupid strategy. These errored ways lead to the use of similar undisciplined, bully-style hockey now - during matches here at their home rinks. It was also the case when back when they were visiting Mekkar’s own area of the world on quite a few instances throughout the preceding years. [whahockey.com; Playing Hockey The World Over…wha.htm; The Hockey News; billsportsmaps.com; hockeyfights.com]
Mekkar’s response was quite predictable for anyone who really knew him because he was so bad at hiding his true feelings. His thought process was always to get mad and get even or try his hardest to proceed on this course of action. Not only would Mekkar fight with his enemy opponents, he would also return the cheap shots and uncalled for stickwork of his own, if necessary. At the same time he and his team would attempt to punish them for their stupidity and arrogance on the scoreboard by converting more often on the power play as a result. “Kick their butts in both ways”, as Mekkar put it.
The adolescent saw an example of this, of which he was present at, as a younger spectator with Alf, Lasse, and his papa at a match back in his home area. During that tilt the squad from
America was being completely outplayed early in the game and could
not match the skill level to keep up with the local club, as Mekkar described
this scenario. So, the visitors got crazy and became more of a thug squad on
ice and started to really goon it up. It was a nasty brawl-fest. Thus, they dug
themselves a deeper hole. That visiting team was eventually spanked and
humiliated by looking at the score. [Playing Hockey The World Over…wha.htm;
whahockey.com; The Hockey News]
On this particular trip, Mekkar figured if these teams wanted to conduct themselves in the same manner of thuggery on the ice as before, punishment would ensue. He knew that he would have to be one of the players on his team to help beat the lessons from those earlier episodes into the thick skulls of his opponents. Mekkar hoped there would be increased scoring for his side due to more power play chances acquired by his team from the enemy tactics. “Go ahead and continue this undisciplined moronic strategy and we will embarrass you!”, he snapped. Mekkar would repeat a saying that he learned from a previous coach on a team he played for not long ago back home. He quipped, “If you want to play like a clown, we send you back to the circus with your tail between your legs, so you can hide from your shame.”
Plus, Mekkar wanted to retaliate too, if needed. He was not one to just stand there take abuse like a fool and a victim without doing anything in response. He also desired to kick some butt because that was in his personal nature. It did not matter to him that he wasn’t the biggest person in statue. The Arctic Warrior was the shortest person in his immediate family, by far. Still he had to heart, training, and skill to brawl. Mekkar would take no grief from anyone and unlike some famous fighters, take on all comers who challenged him. No person on this planet scared him at all. Mekkar termed it as just a matter of relative perspective considering where he grew up. He has observed aggressive action of wild and sometimes large animals such as various types of bears, moose, etc. on a regular basis in the arctic. Plus, Mekkar has encountered on occasion some of the beasts himself. It is a fine line between bravery and stupidity. After those experiences, even the largest human beings look kind of small in his eyes. The problem is he is not afraid to tell them that fact to potential combatants faces either.