Winnipeg Jets forward Patrik Laine, who is in his third NHL season, will contribute an exclusive monthly blog all season to www.nhl.com/fi.
In his third entry, the 20-year-old Finland-born player, talks about patience and hard work:
We have played really well in December and have 10 wins in 12 games. We still need to improve our game, of course, but at this point the most important thing is we are winning and holding onto a playoff spot.
We had some difficult moments during those December games but we were able to pull ourselves together and take two points, even against tough opponents. That’s important and a very good sign. If I think about our game, I’d say we need to be better in the defensive play. We can’t hand out scoring chances like we have been doing, and we have to cut down the number of goals scored against us. Defense is one of our weapons and we have to take better care of it.
November was a month to remember for me personally. It was kind of weird to score so many goals (18 in 12 games), but I’m not complaining and warmly welcoming every goal I score. As a team we could have been better (7-4-1) in November, but personally I’m very happy. That five-goal night against the St. Louis Blues on Nov. 24 was something special, it was like every shot passed the goalie. I had had two hat tricks earlier that month, and I easily could have scored five goals in those games too. I had good chances, but the puck just stopped going in after three goals.
December has been a difficult month for me personally but I’m not worried. There is still a lot of hockey to play, and I know from experience the goals will come. This kind of dry spell has happened in the past and it has always passed. It will this time too.
This is my third season in the NHL and it’s a little easier than the previous ones. It’s not easier game-wise, but now I know what to expect. I know all it takes is hard work and patience and good things, goals, will happen again. No need to hit the panic button or to be anxious. I don’t keep a close eye on goals and scoring in the League. I know exactly where I’m at and I don’t need to worry about other players’ goals and points. I concentrate on doing my job well and good things will happen.
We visited Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation and the Health Sciences Centre Foundation about three weeks ago. It’s an annual event and something very special for us. We hang out with the kids, take pictures and sign autographs. It’s a great feeling to know you can do a little something to cheer up the children. It’s our pleasure to visit them, and it makes us so happy to see huge smiles on the kids’ faces.
We had a long road trip just before Christmas so I had no time to take any part in the holiday preparations. But thanks to my mother we’ll have a wonderful Finnish Christmas — well, as Finnish as it possibly can be in Winnipeg. A four-day Christmas break is great at midway, almost, of the season. We can recharge our batteries and get back to work loaded with energy.
I don’t make any New Year’s resolutions, but I hope we’ll play well as a team and win games.
I wish everyone a wonderful holiday season and all the best for 2019!
Editor’s Note: Patrik Laine was NHL First Star in November with 18 goals in 12 games. He scored three hat tricks, including his five-goal game against the Blues. Laine has six points (two goals, four assists) in 12 games in December.