The absence of love is fear!

June 12, 2015

As a high-performance coach I have the opportunity of working with many professional athletes. One of the most difficult challenges they face, is how the very things they love gets poison. There’s never an adequate definition for what love is. But what we can find out is what love isn’t! When I am speaking of this love I am not speaking about the love of external things. In order for there to be love there must be a two-way relationship if there is not if it’s one-way it’s pleasure. Love is not pleasure! The essence of love is relationship! False Love is basically a one way relationship. You can say I love my house, My car, cookies, ice cream. Whatever you do, love that can’t have a relationship with you will be of the ego self and eventually create conflict and suffering. What gives us the most pleasure will give us the most pain and a one way relationship is based on pleasure. Think of any psychological suffering you have in your life, and you will see what  gives you a tremendous amount of pleasure always leads to pain. The pleasure you get from it is something you become attached to and then in that attachment you FEAR losing it which isn’t love. The psychology of external control is a psychology based in fear because trying to control other people psychologically creates fear. When you try to control another person you are doing so because in your life you feel out of control. Being out of control you focus on things and people outside of you and practice criticism, humiliation, blame, guilt, and many other habits to control people. Human beings throughout history cannot come to terms with the flaw in external psychology. We all know this basic truth but refuse to see that when we are  unhappy it is because of a relationship in our life is in trouble. We make it about everything else because the fear of  seeing that truth create the  psychology that is preoccupied with evaluating others. When you look at how hard it is to change your self and you face that you come to terms with another truth the impossibility of changing others. This loss of power in their life,  often creates the cycle of doubt therefore  having little or no confidence to meet life  challenge. The next thing sphere does to justify its righteousness is to create the sorrow of self-pity. Most people lives in the sorrow of their own self-pity because they do not want to be responsible for changing their own behavior. All throughout history you can easily see that our greatest challenge facing human beings is our inability to get along with each other. Our daily relationships are filled with conflict insecurity and anxiety creating fear because feeling inadequate we choose the psychology of external control. When I’m working with many professional athletes it is amazing how the very tools that got them to the highest level they give up, because they can’t please the coach. Giving up on themselves entering the cycle of doubt they get caught up in their own self-pity and this kills the love of the game. Being  disconnect they often practice external psychology and push people away they need which leads to a character meltdown. This is often when so many athletes sleep around on their partners turned to drugs, alcohol  gambling and then I’m called in to help them put their lives back together. The greatest problems are not the drugs alcohol gambling or affairs the greatest problem is there disconnectedness from the people in their lives they love want and need. This state disconnectedness create the cycle of anger or depression which leads to the state of self-pity which is the source of all fear. In this state of self-pity we have tried hard to change other people and it doesn’t work and then we’re caught in greater self-pity. When you have love and you’re doing anything out of that love you’re full of passion creativity, and enjoy what you’re doing because one gets some sense of meaning and purpose which fuels our confidence. I Skype athlete from around the world professional soccer, cricket , Australian footy, NHL hockey players. The common denominator in all of these people is when they’re in the state of fear they Not only do harm to themselves, and teammates, they also poison the relationships with the people in their life they love and need the most in their personal lives. The source of all happiness which is our mental health, is the ability to bring all our total energy into the moment. In this moment we are connect to what we are doing is our way that we are able to respond adequately to the challenge before us. When you’re in a state of disconnectedness you are continually reacting to information taking it personally and acting out of one’s self pity which creates conflict and strength fear. When there is this connection there’s a deep sense of love and whatever action you do out of this love is a innovative movement. That movement bring it own order in the mind because it is  efficiency and effective action without regret. Love strengthen relationship which is the ending of fear between any single or group of people. In order to end fear, one must understand it.In that very understanding is the movement that ends fear! Helping athletes and organizations integrate this in their life opens the athlete, the team, the organization ,to unlimited possibilities.





The Happiness Trap

April 23, 2015

What is it that each human mind is looking for?

Humankind for centuries has gazed up at the stars has sought religion, politics, crystals, tea leaves,yoga, astrology etc…. Why? Since the dawn of time we have been trying to find out if there is something deep and lasting and true. Have we not been looking for something to assure us to equip us, with the feeling that we’re okay we’re safe. Most human beings are occupied was trying to find some type of security or gratification. Unfortunately for most of us pleasure and the avoidance of pain is at the root of our existence. We are all caught in a very miserable condition, the inability to have relationship! Therefore we are constantly caught in the cycle of unhappiness and then seeking a way out of unhappiness to only be caught in another psychological insecurity that lets us down and throws us back into our miserable state of confusion , insecurity and anxiety. Then for most of us dealing with the pain of relationship and in adequacy in ourselves return to drink ,drugs and entertainment. We spend so much time distracting our self by reading everybody else’s book or theory and refused to read our own book which is our behavior in relationship to others and material things. And then for most of us we get caught up in the biggest distraction of all the spiritual. Start creating false realities of supernatural existence because we do not want to face the lack of relationship and purposelessness of our own existence. When we face the pain relationship with other human beings and ourselves as well as our relationship to material things we feel a deep sense of superficiality an insufficient. Driven to the state by own lack of understanding we begin to seek God and or some refuge in some teacher, guru , therapist, or philosophy. We never really face the fact that the seeker and what he is seeking is in fact the problem and is the entity that needs to be understood. In order to move beyond ego-self, ego-self must be fully understood with all its chicanery images and expectations. What we do not realize is that this damaged was done in the early years and all the way through our lives.These were reinforced by the key relationships in our life as well as ourselves because most of us have been raised in an external psychological environment. Very few people are interested in their own transformation Unfortunately most of us are never given the opportunity to confront it until later on in life when we are totally distraught and let down by the people in life who are supposed to protect us and love us. Then when the breakdown happens we again look to them rather then examining our own mind and heart and see that very situation we were afraid of we have created. How disconnected you feel is an expression of how disconnected you are they are one in the same. For most human beings this is a shock because they do not see the damage of external control psychology in their life! Because the very parents and siblings you have were also crippled with external psychology. They to had little chance of surviving and freeing themselves from the misery of external psychology that was created by their parents and added to by themselves. Each one of us is doing life and is caught in the incoherencies of the psychology of external control. Raised in an alcoholic family as I have been and suffered through some sexual abuse those incoherence these go even deeper . When the ones you want love from or are supposed to give you love and care and support plus choose alcohol drugs etc it hurts! But the main thing that distorts your perception of who and what you are and who and what you’re looking for. These people who raised you are at the effect of own distortions caused by their pain of external control. You learn to create a world that rejects you and you constantly set up situations in your life the reinforce your not worth loving. What I hope I am conveying to you is that we have all experienced abuses one way or another but it amounts to the same thing. Everything thought creates within the field of consciousness which makes up your psychological self is the common denominator of everyone’s misery.
The miseries in our life keep coming back to us because of the significance we give to our thinking! The self who and what we is always the seeker of happiness. Happiness cannot be found in any direction self takes because it is a byproduct of loving connection! Love exists only when there is freedom from the thinking process itself. Seeing clearly your relationship to someone and something is based on the thinking process will always be a living hell. Relationship begins when one lets go of the thinking process and the totality of it, because in that process is anger, resentment, judgment,fear,insecurity hatred and violence. That very process is where we live our lives and then we get upset when that’s what we end up with! We are all caught in the matrix of our own confusion created by external psychology, no one can lead you out of this process it is your journey and very few people are interested in all this! Most human beings are chasing pleasure therefore increasing pain! That is also another story that self lives in. True happiness is not based on motive it is the result of a loving connection and the flowering of self-knowledge which is wisdom. Self-knowledge is not an accumulative process it happens in relationship and the ending of external psychology and all the pain it causes.
See you Friday night or Not!



April 20, 2015

As I read each one I thought, “ This my favorite”. Then I read the next one ….. 1. Today, I interviewed my grandmother for part of a research paper I ’ m working on for my Psychology class. When I asked her to define success in her own words, she said, “Success is when you look back at your life and the memories make you smile.” ?—————————————————————————————? 2. Today, I asked my mentor – a very successful business man in his 70s- what his top 3 tips are for success. He smiled and said, “Read something no one else is reading, think something no one else is thinking, and do something no one else is doing.” —————————————————————————————————————— 3. Today, after a 72 hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to me at the grocery store and gave me a hug. When I tensed up, she realized I didn’t recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said, “On 9-11-2001, you carried me out of the World Trade Center.” ————————————————————————————————————— 4. Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying. And just before he died, he licked the tears off my face. —————————————————————————————————— ? 5. Today at 7AM, I woke up feeling ill, but decided I needed the money, so I went into work. At 3PM I got laid off. On my drive home I got a flat tire. When I went into the trunk for the spare, it was flat too. A man in a BMW pulled over, gave me a ride, we chatted, and then he offered me a job. I start tomorrow. ————————————————————————————————————— ? 6. Today, as my father, three brothers, and two sisters stood around my mother’s hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died. She simply said, “I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this more often.” ——————————————————————————————————— 7. Today, I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in a small hospital bed. About 5 seconds after he passed, I realized it was the first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy. ——————————————————————————— 8. Today, in the cutest voice, my 8-year-old daughter asked me to start recycling. I chuckled and asked, “Why?” She replied, “So you can help me save the planet.” I chuckled again and asked, “And why do you want to save the planet?” Because that’s where I keep all my stuff,” she said. —————————————————————— ?——————— 9. Today, when I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2-year-old daughter’s antics, I suddenly realized that I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again. ——————————————————————————————————— ? 10. Today, a boy in a wheelchair saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said, “I hope you feel better soon.” —————————————————————————————————— 11. Today, I was feeling down because the results of a biopsy came back malignant. When I got home, I opened an e-mail that said, “Thinking of you today. If you need me, I’m a phone call away.” It was from a high school friend I hadn’t seen in 10 years. ———————————————————————————————————— ? 12. Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn’t eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy. Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating. The first thing the man said was, “We can share it. ———————————————————————————————————— ? The best sermons are lived, not preached —————————————————————————————————— ? “Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” (Maybe this one should be rephrased to: “Happiness Increases when it is shared!”

NHL and the changing of coaches why so much turnover?

April 20, 2015

Old-school coaching                                                                                                                                     ( please forgive my dyslexia)

NHL organizations are finding it difficult to find coaches that are able to connect with athletes and get the best out of them. There is lots of evidence pointing to the fact that long-term coaches, build more stable programs and success increases. However today more than any time in our history hockey has become an affluent game. NHL Players for example no longer have to work during the day and play at night! It’s no longer $100 to join the team, now parents are paying approximately 2000 to 20,000 a season depending on your level of play, that 20,000 is a conservative figure on some AAA stacked teams.
When you look at old-school coaching you get a direct and look at external psychology and today’s athletes no longer put up with it!

What is this external psychology? it’s basically humiliating athletes! It’s a sophisticated word for bullying. As a high-performance coach with over 200 professional athletes on my caseload you would not believe the stories I could tell you of how this external coaching impact players lives.

Old-school coaching has basically five premises that are forced upon athletes by the coach. Anytime these premises or conditions are forced on athletes the athlete disconnect from the coach as it kills the meaning and purpose to what they’re doing.
In the old-school coaching practice these basic habits of criticizing, screaming, humiliating, guilty, blaming, punishing, rewarding, just to name a few. An old school coaches believe that they can actually motivate people.

Most professional coaches do not receive any internal psychology training whatsoever, and as Larionov pointed out “the problem is more philosophical and starts way before players get to the NHL. It’s easier to destroy them to create.”

External psychology coaching is all about tearing the athlete down and then putting them back together while supposedly building character and is team building. You only have to read Theo Fleury’s book and see what coaches do that totally destroy the human being inside the player. This notion of external psychology breeds the environment of fear. Today’s players as in most workplaces will not perform in such environments.

Coaches today or having tremendous problems motivating athletes because motivating an athlete is impossible. If you can motivate someone that motivation is coming from the individual at a high cost. I’d love to ask some of these coaches if the wife is still complaining about certain behaviors they do and how many times they’ve talked to them about it but their husband the coach doesn’t change. Every time an player does something for a coach because they were bullied, they learn to dislike the coach a little bit more. This then leads to a broken,non-repairable relationship.

In the world of hockey today there are more external coaches then internal coaches which puts the game of hockey in jeopardy. It’s becoming far too expensive for owners to continually move coaches because players refused to play for that coach! Players underperform and then draft selections begin to look irresponsible.
Every time there is a coaching change the whole team has to go through the stages of storming, norming, and performing which takes time and is expenses because team play is relationship based.

This phenomena today is everywhere, employees no one no longer look for monetary gains to satisfy their needs they want something more from the workplace! Any idiot can buy skill, talent and a persons time but the player has to give you their work ethic, commitment and their creativity. Creating an environment based on internal psychology and the conditions for quality always gets the best out of people. You may not win the Stanley Cup every year but it least it puts you in contention.. Fans want to be entertained by skill, puck possession, creativity finesse, speed,intelligence that’s what sells the product of hockey. Hockey on a professional level is about selling tickets as hockey players are entertainers and compete for the entertainment dollar. If we’re going to compete for that entertainment dollar our product has got to be juicier, leaner, more creative and offer relationship at a higher quality than other sports.

The only way I know how to get athletes to perform at higher levels is to teach them internal psychology and the conditions for quality. This then puts them in a position with the acquired skills where they organically cultivate the relationship needed in order to be successfulThese relationships are internally driven and removing all external psychology Is paramount in building quality teams.

A majority of the coaches in the NHL are not the players that were the icons of skill and finesse and puck possession. To quote Larionov “Most coaches in the NHL weren’t offensive dynamos” From the article does the NHL crush the creativity of players by Greg Wyshynski cites three theories on why these coaches end up behind the bench.
One is nepotism the second temperament basically saying that these coaches are task Masters disciplinarians and screamers. The third theory he states that players like Kurt Mueller and Adam Oates make great assistant coaches and I believe is true. However Kurt Mueller and Adam Oates along with Wayne Gretzky could transfer their knowledge to the game if they learn internal psychology and began to practice it in their organizations. I disagree with Greg Wyshynski if any of our great finesse and creative players learn internal psychology they will become amazing coaches.
As a high-performance organization facilitator I have been coaching organizations teams for over 35 years I have seen remarkable change. People can change and by learning a new psychology which also needs to be taught to the wives and girlfriends of the players. These relationships are overlooked and their impact on the player performance Is paramount. We all know the saying happy wife happy life. The more players practice internal psychology with their wives and wives practice it with their husbands the quality of the hockey environment becomes more need  fulfilling.

Peter Senge in the book the fifth discipline tries to emphasize this by saying asking the question does your organization have a learning disability. The success in any team is based on that team’s ability to evaluate itself and adapt. Internal psychology teaches organizations from GM to coaches to players the map of change. I believe Wayne  was the greatest player ever, if he learned internal psychology he would be able to communicate his knowledge passion and understanding to the game and create dynasty.

Like Larionov said: It’s easier to destroy than create. That’s because you can see the steps to destruction better than the spark of creativity.

Coaching with internal psychology allows coaches and organizations to learn the conditions for quality. Quality is on the mind of most people in everything they do, they recognize it when they see it. If we want to compete with the entertainment dollar quality comes out of creativity.By learning internal psychology you can focus on the spark of creativity and learn how to tap into it! That will always sell a lot more of tickets!

This is Amazing

April 29, 2014

Ryan O’Reilly and the pursuit of (unlikely) perfection

March 29, 2014

Ryan O’Reilly and the pursuit of (unlikely) perfection



Ryan O'Reilly
Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly is eight games away from tying a unique NHL record. (USA Today)

He had no choice.

Competing against his brother Cal and his friends, who were four years his senior, options were limited: Play well defensively or you won’t keep up.

Now 23, O’Reilly is an elite two-way forward in the National Hockey League. Not only does he lead the Colorado Avalanche in goals this season with 26, but he also tops all NHLers in takeaways with 73.

Considering Colorado boasts capable offensive hands in their Big Three — Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog — O’Reilly’s goal tally alone is noteworthy.

Perhaps most impressive, though, is a stat with a big fat zero beside it: Penalty minutes.

Through 70 games this season, O’Reilly, who has seen more ice than any other Avalanche forward, hasn’t spent a second inside the penalty box.

“When I was about 50, 55 games in, one of the guys said something (about the streak). I was kind of shocked that I haven’t had a penalty yet,” O’Reilly said on Wednesday in a phone interview from Denver.

With 10 games remaining in the Avalanche’s regular-season schedule, the pride of Clinton, Ont., is already in elite company. Nine more games without a trip to the sin bin and the 57-point man owns an NHL record, according to

If that does happen, O’Reilly would surpass Butch Goring and Craig Ramsay for most consecutive games played in a single season without being assessed a penalty.

Somehow, some way, O’Reilly — a regular on Colorado’s power-play and penalty-killing units — has not been issued a minor or major penalty.

He hasn’t thrown a punch, been caught obstructing, got his stick stuck in a skate, or clipped an opponent by accident. Nothing of the sort.

“I don’t think I’m a guy who will complain to the refs too much, which is a good thing,” said O’Reilly, trying to explain the anomaly. “Now, with it being my fifth season, (the refs) understand the style of game I play.

“I’m not a very dirty player. I think the odd time I might have gotten away with something.”

Respect from referees has helped, sure.

A switch from playing centre to manning the wing goes a long way, too. As does a healthy dose of luck.

O’Reilly’s active — yet controlled — stick work is up there as well.

“I’ve always worked on stick skills, whether it’s after practice or in the summer,” he said.

As it stands now, with Colorado preparing to host the Vancouver Canucks on Friday, O’Reilly is tied for sixth on the all-time no-penalty streak list. He missed two games in January due to a freak injury (he hurt his shoulder trying to join a group hug after a teammate scored versus Calgary), but has otherwise not missed a contest.

The only recent NHLer with a substantial streak is Kyle Wellwood. The undersized forward had a 59-game penalty-free stretch with the Toronto Maple Leafs during the 2007-08 season.

Wellwood isn’t exactly a poster boy for toughness. And while O’Reilly isn’t either,at 6-foot, 200 pounds, he’s far from a pushover.

“Obviously, it’d be kind of nice to have a couple penalty minutes to show I’ve got some toughness to my game,” O’Reilly said with a laugh, “but it’s still cool (that it shows) I can still be effective and stay out of the box.”

Pittsburgh Penguins defenceman Rob Scuderi, with zero penalty minutes in 43 games, and Chicago Blackhawks forward Ben Smith, with two in 66, are O’Reilly’s closest peers this year.

Scuderi’s feat is significant in its own right, but he’s been injured. Smith, on the other hand, simply doesn’t play much.

If O’Reilly finishes strong, he should receive a nod for the Lady Byng Trophy, an award handed out to the “best type of sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct combined with a high standard of playing ability.”

The Frank Selke Trophy is another possibility for the takeaway leader. After all, O’Reilly has been one of the league’s best defensive forwards, making a case to challenge the Pavel Datsyuks, Patrice Bergerons and Marian Hossas of the world for the honour.

Personal recognition or not, O’Reilly’s said his thoughts are squarely on a deep playoff run.

The rest, including the potential penalty-free season O’Reilly is chasing, is just noise.

“It’s never really in mind that I need to stay out of the box. I just hope to play the right way,” he said.


Ryan O’Reilly rolls out a yoga mat before most games.

Whether he likes to admit it or not, the time he spends on that mat surely has an impact on his gentlemanly play.

It can’t be a coincidence that the player with no penalty minutes in 70 games enjoys a few minutes of physical, mental and spiritual alone time prior to his first shift.


“I love to do yoga for my body and trying to avoid injury,” O’Reilly said. “Being in the right state of mind, to feel good. I don’t think it has anything to do with staying out of the box.

“I love to compete and play hard and stuff, but I don’t think it can correlate anyway.”


Ryan O’Reilly is equal parts yoga mat, lunch pail as leader with Avs

March 29, 2014


Hochman: Ryan O’Reilly is equal parts yoga mat, lunch pail as leader with Avs

By Benjamin Hochman
The Denver Post

POSTED:   03/27/2014 05:20:37 PM MDT | UPDATED:   2 DAYS AGO
Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly

Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly practices yoga at the Samadhi Center for Yoga in Denver in October. (Craig F. Walker, The Denver Post)

The left wing looks left wing, perhaps plucked from Pearl Street in Boulder. His beard is bushy and layered, weathered whiskers. He speaks softly about yoga, about breathing, about being present, and just when you think you must be talking with the wrong guy, he flashes a smile — and the missing front tooth reassures you that, yes, he’s indeed a hockey player.

Chemistry matters in hockey, and the cerebral Ryan O’Reilly provides a dose of serenity in the smelly boys’ club that is the Avalanche dressing room. He’s just different. And he makes a difference.

“He’s a quiet leader,” explained captain Gabe Landeskog. “And certainly one of the hardest-working guys on our team. He’s Mr. Yoga. I don’t know how to word it, but he’s certainly in-line with himself. Body and mind, it’s all in-line. And you can tell, he’s a very calm guy. He knows who he is, and he’s always himself. So he’s a great teammate, and a lot of fun to be around.”

In a nasty sport, O’Reilly is namaste. He floats on skates. Entering Thursday’s game, he had exactly zero penalty minutes on the season, yet leads the NHL in takeaways with 73, according Let that sink in for a second.

“You look at the amount of takeaways he’s gotten, all the stick lifts and all that, to not somehow get a hooking or tripping call, I think it’s amazing,” Landeskog said. “I bug him all the time about his non-existing hits and how soft he hits out there. He doesn’t lay out his body too much, but that’s the way he plays, and he’s certainly successful.”

Certainly. O’Reilly leads Colorado with 26 goals, while third on the club with 57 points. And while the team’s identity is a flashy flash, be it the blurring star speed of a Matt Duchene or Nathan MacKinnon, O’Reilly’s ability to complement leads to compliments.

“I haven’t seen a guy having so many takeaways as he does — his stick is, without a doubt, his No. 1 tool,” coach Patrick Roy said.

Perhaps. But perhaps his No. 1 tool is the utilization of yoga. You used to hear stories in the 1980s about big, fat football players taking ballet for footwork improvement. This is something at a whole other level. This isn’t a fad or a quick fix. This is part of O’Reilly’s being; this is part of being O’Reilly. Before every game, he’ll find a quiet room and do 15-20 minutes of poses. And he is constantly reinventing his yoga self, a process that began at age 14.

“It was one of the toughest things I do in training, and it still is,” the 23-year-old O’Reilly said. “And there’s no escape from it, it’s your own mental battle with it. You have to push yourself, and it’s great, you take your ego out of it. I just kind of fell in love with the internal look, looking inside yourself, to find out where you need to grow. I try to carry that over into everything I do on the ice.

“The first thing is — you learn how to breathe. And you’re focusing on inhaling and exhaling, you’re constantly bringing yourself into the moment. And, say, on the bench, when you’re constantly worked up, thinking about what you have to do and what I should have done, when you learn to focus on the breath, it brings you into that moment.”

Landeskog said his teammate always has a “smart opinion on things.” I can only imagine O’Reilly, a third party in a locker-room debate, suddenly bringing up the wisdom of spiritual writer Jiddu Krishnamurti.

“He’s a fascinating writer, his stuff is so deep,” he said. “I can only read like five pages at a time, and then I’m sitting there thinking — oh my God, this is me. It’s about internal psychology, constantly looking inside yourself, finding out how to be free of wanting. It’s similar to the yoga mind-set.”

But for however “yoga mat” O’Reilly is, he’s also “lunch pail” — he is routinely one of the last Avs on the ice after practice, working with MacKinnon on skill drills.

“I’d like to say he’s a mentor of our young rookie Nathan MacKinnon and even Tyson Barrie,” Landeskog said. “Tyson probably won’t admit it, but I think without Ryan, Tyson and Nate would be lost.”

Benjamin Hochman: or

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Outside the box: Ryan O’Reilly avoids penalties as he leads Avs in goals and toward playoffs

March 29, 2014

Outside the box: Ryan O’Reilly avoids penalties as he leads Avs in goals and toward playoffs

Colorado Avalanche center Ryan O'Reilly (90) moves the puck around Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ryan Stanton (18) during the first period of an NHL hockey game on Thursday, March 27, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)Zoom Image

Colorado Avalanche center Ryan O’Reilly (90) moves the puck around Vancouver Canucks defenseman Ryan Stanton (18) during the first period of an NHL hockey game on Thursday, March 27, 2014, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

The Canadian Press

2014-03-28 18:34:00

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. – Not once this season has Colorado Avalanche forward Ryan O’Reilly cross-checked an opponent.

He hasn’t interfered, high-sticked, hooked, tripped, elbowed, boarded, roughed, charged, speared or slashed anyone, either.

Well, at least not while the officials were watching anyway.

The Avalanche are 73 games into the season and O’Reilly, the team’s leading goal scorer, has yet to be sent to the penalty box.

Making it through an entire season without so much as even an unintentional hold would be quite an achievement. According to the Avalanche, the last NHL player with a minimum of 70 games to go an entire season without a penalty was Butch Goring of the New York Islanders in 1980-81.

“Just a lot of good luck,” O’Reilly said of his penalty-free ways.

The player nicknamed “Factor” figures to be just that in the Lady Byng race, an award given to the player who best exhibits gentlemanly conduct.

And what better way to display that than by staying out of the box. Consider this: When Hall of Famer and current Avalanche executive Joe Sakic won the Lady Byng in 2000-01, he had 30 minutes in penalties. Last year’s recipient, Martin St. Louis, had 14 minutes.

“I couldn’t care less (about zero penalty minutes) as long as we win,” said O’Reilly, whose team is on the verge of clinching its first playoff spot since 2010. “If I get a bad bounce, I get a bad bounce and I’ll deal with it.”

He chuckled at the thought of going to the box in one of the remaining nine games.

“The boys would just kill it off,” he said.

The 23-year-old O’Reilly has had some close calls this season, where he thought for sure a penalty might be whistled on him. Like when he interfered with a Detroit player earlier in the season.

“I stepped into him. Probably should’ve been called,” said O’Reilly, who was Colorado’s second-round selection in 2009. “It depends on the game—some games they call everything, and some games they let a lot go. Just depends on the night.”

Honestly, has he high-sticked anyone, even accidentally, this season and gotten away with it?

“No high stick,” he said.

How about a cross-check the refs didn’t call?

“I don’t think I ever cross-checked,” he said.

Stick butted someone?

“Nothing like that,” O’Reilly said. “I can’t remember anything.”

His last penalty actually was April 21, 2013, when he tripped a St. Louis player.

And it’s not like O’Reilly plays conservative, either. He’s among the league leaders in takeaways this season.

“Ryan plays a very honest game,” teammate John Mitchell said. “Just because you’re working hard, doesn’t mean, ‘Oh, you’re going to take a penalty.’ He’s always looking for the puck first.”

O’Reilly is known for his devoted practice habits. Long after everyone leaves the rink, he’s still out there, picking up all the loose pucks on the ice.

Not by hand, of course, but by flipping them with his stick into a bucket. That little exercise comes in handy when he’s in the corners, prying the puck away from opponents.

“Young kids need to learn to play like him when they’re growing up,” said Mitchell, who will be back on the ice Saturday against San Jose after missing four games with a back ailment. “It’s not about going in there and getting that big smash, that big hit. I mean, it’s nice to get that bump. At the same time, you go in there and get a quick stick-lift and steal the puck.

“Those D-men, they’re going to protect the puck and take the hit. If you go in there thinking puck first, you’re going to catch some guys by surprise.”

O’Reilly’s season has certainly caught some by surprise. He’s always been viewed as more of a defensive forward, but has a career-high 26 goals.

“He’s playing a strong game,” Avs coach Patrick Roy said.

O’Reilly feels mentally strong, too, thanks to yoga. Before practices, games, even before bed, he’s doing some sort of meditation.

“A great way to practice focus,” O’Reilly said. “You’re always looking inside yourself to see the areas you need to spend a little more attention, or pay more attention to. I think it’s definitely helped with me, playing-wise and staying healthy.

“But I don’t think (yoga) has anything to do with no penalty minutes. I think that’s been lucky.”

coachbri I am in a difficult place full of anxiety, I can’t seem to get my mind out of this negative thought process can you help?

January 27, 2014


When you see that your mind is fragmented and it is always looking for new angles and new things to think up, your mind will continue to be out-of-control. You yourself must take full responsibility for your own internal life. What is the difference to be preoccupied with one problem of sex or another problem of whether you love Your girlfriend or whether you want to your sport  or thinking you’re a turnup. The whole futility of existence is created by thinking, thought moving in any direction is pointless and self-centered but it is the only thing that thought knows to do. This is the prison in which you are caught. The only way out of the prison is to see that trying to get out of the prison is the problem. To understand that you are the maker of the prison in which you yourself are caught is awareness that awareness is the ending of the prison. Most people believe they are their thinking process they identify who they are with their thoughts. Obviously you are not your thinking process just because you think you are Wayne Gretzky that doesn’t make you Wayne Gretzky. Thinking is always cunning and clever.  If I told you to stop thinking about pink elephants right away the only thing you would be thinking about is pink elephants. Thinking has it’s place only in technological matters and solving technological problems. The fact that thought is always chattering shows us that we have no space inside ourselves to understand ourselves and  in a confused state. Thought has built the prison of it’s own making called the self. That self is the accumulation of experience memory and knowledge stored in the brain that is always active and moving. Whenever one pays full attention to the thinking process without trying to change thinking slows down and will stop. Please do not take my word for it, try it and sees what happens. In the observation of thought, thought stops! To listen profoundly to what thought is doing and at the same time be aware of what is happening outside of you is the beginning of meditation. That meditation is the actuality of being present to what is happening within and without. You cannot practice this because any practice of this is just an action of thought to keep itself active, and the root to all of our problems. The art of awareness is to constantly be attentive to the fact that you are not aware, so that every thought as it arises is seen for what it is it’s origin it’s flowering and conclusion. Only when is the brain quiet so that the mind can act. That mind is not a personal mind, that mine is universal uncontaminated by the thinking process available to everyone. Very few people are interested in all this because they have to give up all of their assumptions and beliefs to discover a single truth. That anything thought creates is disorderly when it is outside the field of technology.

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