YOU WATT? Swindon Wildcats star Nicky Watt writes exclusively for the Advertiser (From Swindon Advertiser)
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YOU WATT? Swindon Wildcats star Nicky Watt writes exclusively for the Advertiser
6:00am Wednesday 31st October 2012 in Sport
I’M GOING to start this new column with a brutally honest statement.
As a team, Swindon Wildcats have to become tougher.
I want to make it clear that I’m in no way promoting fighting - toughness relates to many aspects of the game rather than just standing up for a teammate.
It’s also about battling in front of the net, finishing every hit, clearing traffic, blocking shots, all kinds of things, and I’d like to see us do more of that.
On the confrontational side, we might not have out-and-out tough guys, but we’ve got players who need to stand up and be counted if opposition guys start taking cheap shots.
I wouldn’t say we’re seen as soft by any means, but we need to have the bottle to jump in for a teammate.
An ice hockey fight isn’t all about the winning, it’s about showing up and that gives everyone a lift. It lets teams know that they won’t be allowed to get away with certain things.
I’ve found over the years in the EPL that a lot of guys like to talk, but don’t back it up.
I’m not a heavyweight by any means but I’ll step in and do what needs to be done to help the team, and we’ve got a couple of other players that can throw ‘em as well Fights aren’t generally pre-meditated unless there’s bad blood from a previous game or a cheap shot that needs to be sorted out, the vast majority is spur of the moment stuff.
I’ll always have a chat with the guy afterwards, because at the end of the day it’s the dangerous part of the game.
It’s bare knuckle and you could get knocked out at any point or get a broken jaw or a broken hand - I’ve broken my hand three or four times.
You’ve got to have respect for the player you’re fighting. When you see boxers in the ring they touch gloves at the beginning of a round and it’s similar to that.
But fighting in ice hockey isn’t even really a malicious thing, 95 per cent of the time you don’t have bad blood, it’s just how it seems to happen.
Everyone knows we’ve lost a lot of games in overtime recently but as much as anyone thinks, there’s nothing really in it.
Overtime is a lottery and we haven’t had the bounces go our way.
From a leading position, we should be looking to hold on and do all simple things right in defence because that’s what wins hockey games.
If we can shore up at the back in some of these games that we’re leading, we should see some of these overtime games turn into regulation time wins.
We’re not far away at all.