This past week was one of loss. To be honest, the first time I really smiled in the last six days was when Kyle Okposo scored the first of three goals for the Islanders during the team’s third-period comeback win over the Panthers Monday night.
Rewind to the Isles game last Tuesday against the Penguins. Yes, they won the game. But when Jaroslav Halak went down, I knew it wasn’t good. As it turned out he will miss the rest of the regular season and then some. It’s a big loss for the Isles.
The next six periods of hockey after that were also disappointing. The team looked sluggish in Toronto. The Boston game was also lacking the energy the Isles needed to be effective, especially at this time of the season. There was a small highlight when John Tavares netted his 200th career goal. Even still, that was tough to get excited about.
The thing is, there was a bigger loss this past week. At least in my personal life. He wasn’t technically my grandfather but Charles Lent, fondly known as GP, was a special man. His passing on Tuesday afternoon was heartbreaking. Mixed in between, practices, skates and games this week, I helped celebrate his life with those who loved him most.
What I learned was how easy it is to get caught up in our own lives. How easy it is to let yourself get upset about your favorite team losing. How easy it is to forget what’s really important at the end of the day.
Don’t take this the wrong way. I’m invested in the Isles just as you, the fans, are. I’ve been along for the ups and downs of the season and want to see them march into the playoffs at full steam ahead. But, at the end of the day, it’s just a game.
As I write this edition of Hogan’s Highlights, I’d like to share some of GP’s words of wisdom. He lived 89 wonderful years and his quotes have become family legend.
“Don’t get your gears stuck in stupid.” “Happy everything.” “No potholes.”
Bottom line: He wanted the best for his family and his friends.
So when you go home tonight and turn on the Isles game. Please scream “Yes! Yes! Yes!” when they score, but win or lose, keep it in perspective. Also, when you get a chance, call your grandparents.
Oh, and make it a “super beautiful day!”