"You don’t critique a win” is a popular hockey adage. The saying means that the players ultimately performed well enough to win the game—critiquing the mistakes is an overly harsh thing to do.
“You never critique a win” has been cited in print since at least 1995, when it was said by hockey player Eric Lindros.
30 December 1995, Philadelphia (PA) Daily News, “Flyers’ Skid Slid a Break,” pg. 36:
“You never critique a win,” Lindros said. “Maybe tomorrow we’ll break it down, talk about what we could have done better. But not tonight.”
December 6, 2004
A win is a win is a ...
Moose coach will take it over Sens despite giving up cushion
By KEN WIEBE—Winnipeg Sun
“You never critique a win. Yeah, there are lots of areas we can improve on but the importance is based upon where we want to get to as a team.”
(Manitoba Moose coach Randy Carlyle—ed.)
November 21, 2005
Smyth, Hemsky lift Oilers past Sharks in shootout
EDMONTON, Alberta (AP)—Ryan Smyth made the most of his one shot.
Smyth and Ales Hemsky scored shootout goals Monday night, lifting the Edmonton Oilers to a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Sharks.
“You never critique a win, but there is no question we can get better,” said Smyth, who didn’t register a shot in 22 minutes, 20 seconds of real play. “It was a scrambling game.”
Toronto Sports Media
September 2, 2008
Mark Spector- The Common Sense Revolution
TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS HOCKEY
“One of the oldest clichés in the game applies here – the one about how you are never supposed to critique a win. And this is a big win for Cliff Fletcher, who is quietly plodding along in his cleanup role, untying many of the knots that John Ferguson Jr., hamstrung this organization with during his damaging term as the Maple Leafs general manager.”
Schneider delivers again in 3-1 Canucks win
Wednesday, 11.30.2011 / 12:48 AM
Kevin Woodley - NHL.com Correspondent
“They say never critique a win,” Vigneault said. “That being said, obviously giving up 22 shots in the third period was not exactly part of the overall plan.”
(Vancouver Canucks coach Alain Vigneault—ed.)
Carlyle: Don’t critique a win. Boudreau: [last night] “We didn’t win the right way.” RT @mirtle: Carlyle TOR win: It’s not one we’ll frame.
8:48 PM - 7 Feb 13
April 15, 2013
Leafs shut out Devils despite only 12 shots
“We didn’t play anywhere near to what our expectations were but there’s the old adage of hockey—you don’t critique a win,” Carlyle said. “Good teams find ways to win hockey games. I thought we didn’t really have our work boots on, we got outcompeted early in the game, but our goaltender stole us a hockey game.”
(Toronto Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle—ed.)