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07-20-2010, 12:05 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Portland, OR
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Lots of good points being made in this thread, and lots of good advice for beginners. But, I have to say that I think the OP's question needs to be posed a little differently. If you're not playing to win, what are you playing for? Hockey is a competitive team sport, the goal of which is to win the game, so I certainly hope that all of you that are playing in leagues are playing to win. You owe it to your teammates.

That said, "playing to win" doesn't/shouldn't include:

- hogging ice time.
- making lesser players look silly.
- keeping a team in a low division when you can play higher (this is the worst).
- playing dirty (sure it can contribute to a win, but in a beer league? come on).

If you're not ready to "play to win", in my opinion there are still quite a few hockey related outlets that will allow you to play that way (open sessions, clinics, etc.), and they should be taken advantage of. But, once you join a league, playing to win is important, as long as you stay within boundaries that are very obvious to most people with half a brain and any sort of respect for their opponents.

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