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The 700 Club

Driven by The Joy of The Game

Tom Buehring - 700 Club Producer

Los Angeles Kings center Blake Lizotte plays hockey and lives life with tenacious purpose, saying, “Who I am in Jesus is definitely the most important thing! I try and pull every day and every game and every shift like it’s my last!”

Undrafted and undersized, Blake’s fueled both urgency and the ability to adapt from a young age.

Question: “As a Minnesota boy and now playing in LA, do you have an appreciation for warmer markets?”

Blake Lizotte: “Minnesota's a whole lot different than, uh, California and specifically LA, it's definitely a big change, but its my opinion that outdoor hockey, uh, in the winter, it's minus 10 degrees, that's hockey for me at his purest form. Whether you're, you're in that weather or you're in 75 and sunny on the beach, uh, when you show up to the rink, it's still that same game. The game is growing. It’s really cool that people aren’t even really sure what ice hockey is until they show up at a game!”

Question: “Describe your on-ice style.”

Blake Lizotte: “My on-ice style and approach is just to play the game like it's my very last, you never know what's promised, just put your best foot forward each and every night. And, and for me that's bringing energy and being tenacious on pucks and, and really playing the game for, for what it is and that's just the amount of fun I get from playing hard and for me, that's kind of what drives me, is just the joy of the game.”

Question: “Now your fourth full season, how has the game slowed down for you?”

Blake Lizotte: “It's the best league in the world for hockey, so things just happen so fast you have to read and react. But I think the more comfortable you get, the more games you play, you kind of understand when you have time and when you don't. So I think the biggest difference is, is when I do get the puck I've come more confident in making plays and, and not necessarily worrying about mistakes. The game just slows down a little bit.”                                                

Question: “Shorter stature, in a very physical, physical game. How have you worked that as a strength?”

Blake Lizotte: “I love the way you worded that. It is a strength of mine, my size. I'm not meant to play like six foot four and 225 pounds. I'm just not that, God didn't gimme that! So I had to learn how to find ways to, to be effective with my size. And I created skills that I can only play with a smaller stature – having a lower center of gravity and kind of getting underneath those bigger players has really helped make me the player that I am.”

Question: “Do you feel like you're driving more when you're at the center?”

Blake Lizotte: “For sure! Yeah. You're way more involved in the game. You're all over the ice as a center man and it's exhausting and it's hard but it's also the most rewarding ‘cuz you're, you're involved in almost every play and, have the biggest influence on the game.”

Blake’s biggest influence was his dad, who died overnight unexpectedly from epilepsy. 

Question: “So, you lost your dad when you were 14 years old. What has been that hard discovery through the pain, to maneuver through it?”  

Blake Lizotte: “You know as a teenager my sports family and community were there for me. But I think ultimately, it was Jesus Christ who helped me through that. You realize that life’s not forever and why are we here on this earth? And for me it was really hammered home when I lost my dad. My faith in Christ really got stronger through those years. He kind of embraced me and that’s the only thing that really got me through!”

Question: “And still to this day. Best advice dad gave, that still lives, that it's shaped you?” 

Blake Lizotte: “He’s got a saying, it says ‘live like that!’ Um, and I actually, I have a wristband that says it and I actually got a tattoo that says that as well. Just a reminder to live like Jesus. My dad was a great example of, of what it means to pursue him daily and truly live a life that's glorifying to God and never wavering from that. Living like Jesus is the most important thing.”

Question: “Are you still able to maintain that sense of living life urgently?”

Blake Lizotte: “Yeah! I mean, definitely I try and keep that as a focus. But it can be hard! Lots of shiny things and distractions! Being who I am rooted in Christ. My identity is, is who I am in Christ and not in my hockey ability, even though I give almost everything to this game, and I love it, um, dearly. But, my confidence doesn't come from being a pro athlete. It comes from, being a Christ follower and my security is in him and not necessarily if I had had good game or a bad game.”

Question: “Proverbs 3:6 tells us in all of your ways, acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight. That would conclude that probably a straight line on ice brings much faster results, but how have you found over the years the crooked paths become beneficial for you?”

Blake Lizotte: “Yeah! That's a great question, a great observation. I think God, when you acknowledge Him, He wants to make your path straight. Straight line to Him! And that doesn't mean it's gonna be easy, there's gonna be things coming your way. You might think, oh God, why are you doing this to me? It helps shape who you are and, and builds your relationship with Christ. And God just paved ways even through such things like my dad passing -- opportunities opened up for hockey that maybe wouldn't have been there before. And it's always easy to see back in hindsight, uh, what God has done in your life. And being able to see God use something so negative, uh, to turn it so positive, um, is something that's, that's truly amazing and God works out things for good.”

Question: “Fitting for you to play for a King?”

Blake Lizotte: “(Laughs) Absolutely, yeah. Fully committing my life to the Lord has made me more of a competitor. I think God fights for our hearts each and every day and God is fighting for our hearts harder than anyone has ever fought for anything on this earth before! I want to take up my cross every day and play like it's my last day. Playing for someone that's greater than yourself is, is something I think that always turns out to be for the best!”

 

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