Sunday, March 30, 2008


It's been kind of a tough week in future-goalie land. When you're training for a marathon, there are plenty of people saying, "You're nuts." but an equal number of people eagerly saying, "You can do it! It's hard but it's worth it!" It's pretty easy, if you have a little bit of stubborn in you, to trudge through it. Plus, information on HOW to do it abounds.

Well, when you get the notion to be a goalie, particularly as an adult with no skating experience, you get a few people saying you're crazy, but mostly it's this sort of neutral, yet skeptical, "Oh really? Okay." And this is from hockey people. Goalies even. There is absolutely nobody saying, "That's great! We need more goalies!" And there sure as hell isn't much information out there about the specific issues with being "old" when you start this stuff.

Maybe at some point in this journey, I'll understand this reaction. Right now, I absolutely do not.

But Coach Stalin and I went out to SLICE yesterday and had a good therapy session about it on the drive down, because she faced a lot of the same skepticism when she started learning to play hockey. I felt a lot better after the talk. Not sure what I'd do without Coach. :)

We had a very good skate. I'm so stuck on stopping and getting frustrated with that, so she had the idea of learning something new, which was just what the doctor ordered. We did a little warm up of swizzles, which I'm even getting pretty good at with my dumb leg, and then worked on backwards swizzles!

Since I'd already gone through the slow, painful lesson of figuring out edges while learning forward swizzles, I picked them up pretty quickly. Still need to build the muscles up to help smooth the motion out and figure out the balance a little better, but I feel good about making some progress.

I also need to get back to skating at least once more each week, preferably twice. I think I need to just put it as an appointment on my calendar and do it regardless of what's going on with work.

Also threw on the goalie skates for about 30 minutes, which is about all I can stand in new skates. They definitely felt weird, but I got used to them pretty quickly. I can certainly see how the need to have VERY strong legs is imperative. That's a LOT of blade on the ice, so it's always that much more ice to move through. Lots to learn but I'm glad to at least have a sense of the difference now. I'm acutely aware now of how much I I don't know. That's always a good starting point. Gap analysis, eh. :)


My Aeros have lost their friggin' minds. Been watching too much Slap Shot or something but look at these rap sheets from the last two games:
Friday Night vs. Rivermen
Saturday Night vs. Wolves

At least Scotty beat the snot out of that punkass Deveaux. Man, I hate that guy. Can't accuse the boys of not playing with passion anymore.

But the Wild are kickin' it and Calgary lost last night. It's been playoff hockey for a month now, it seems, but now it's really down to the wire. Both of my teams play today at 5. I hate when they're simultaneous. Hard to pay attention to the audio of one and video of the other. But at least the Wild/Avs game is in HD. I absolutely can't complain. :)


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

New Favorite Blog

Watch out Russo...

Funny, irreverent, hockey-filled. I'm lovin' it!



My goalie skates came yesterday! I stood and sat around in them during the whole (miserable) Wild/Oilers game last night and they seem to fit just fine. I do have to lace them up tighter than my player skates though. Maybe it's just a new skate thing. The only thing weird about them is that one lace is WAYYY longer than the other. It really messes with my need for things to be symmetrical, so I will probably buy new laces when I get them sharpened.

The skate shop opens at 11 so I might run them up during lunch.

Aeros game tonight.

Haven't worked out in a couple of days but my bruised butt is feeling better enough today that I will do my leg strengthening workout at least. I can flex my glutes without wimpering in pain. That's a good thing! And I was able to spend some time in my crouch last night while trying on my skates. Man, I can't wait to get those babies on the ice. :)

I think I'll try them on one more time before I get them sharpened just to be extra sure they fit. There is a bit more room in the toe than in my player skates of the same size and brand, but my feet don't move around in them at all. I also want to put some more comfortable insoles in them, so that should make them fit more snug with less lace-tightening effort.

Okay, I just took the insole out and put my foot on it. They're fine. Any shorter and my big toe would be hitting the front side of the boot.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

How things change

Last post, I alluded to the Aeros not doing so well. They really weren't. But apparently they were on the cusp of something because Thursday and Friday nights they beat the second best team in the AHL (best in the West). Thursday's game was the "monkey off the back" game and Friday's game was as exciting as any championship game I've ever been to. Best hockey game I've seen in person, that's for sure. I'm still in disbelief.

Tough game last night for the Wild. Lots of fights, but our gooneration didn't help us. Pouliot got his first two NHL goals. I was honestly surprised it happened that fast, but everyone else was talking like he'd been waiting forever. Whatever the case, I'm pleased for him and sorry that Iginla's amazing night overshadowed it. But maybe that's a good thing.

Went skating at SLICE yesterday, assuming it would be a mad house. I think there were maybe 15 people on the whole rink! It was wonderful. All sorts of space to do what we needed to do. Coach Stalin worked me pretty hard until we were working on stopping and I completely wiped out. Landed on my left assbone and left hand. Had to skate easy for about 10 minutes before I could even push off on my left foot. Yowza. Came home and sat on my ice pack until it was warm. Still hurts pretty good today. My wrist is also a bit sore, which I expected, even though it was fine yesterday.

My skates were SOOOO dull. Yuck. They had no bite and I'm sure that's why I fell and why I had to work really hard at everything yesterday. Felt really unstable at speed and they were making a terrible noise on the ice. I was glad to be done. They'll be getting sharpened along with my new goalie skates.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Little bits of progress

Sadly, not a post about the Aeros game last night. Unless you count not wearing those godawful St. Patrick's day jerseys progress. And I do. The boys are not dress up dolls. At least not with Pouls here. Kidding! Nothing but love, Pouly.

But no, the progress is that I think my hand/eye coordination is improving! I picked up a couple of the juggling bean bags and was actually a LOT better than when I sat them down in frustration a month and a half ago. Still don't see how I'll ever juggle 3 of them but even the littlest improvements in this are heartening.

Okay, I have a plea. Aeros gameday folks: Please work some Tragically Hip into the warm-up and/or time out music. I'd suggest "The Darkest One" or "Fireworks" (though you'll have to edit out the "fuck") as great upbeat choices.


Wednesday, March 19, 2008


Several thoughts on goalies lately:

First, poor Tosky getting that bad bounce from the other side of the rink last night. I just hurt for the guy, but I also know how easily that can happen.

Second, what the hell is Brian Rolston doing taking slapshots during practice at Josh Harding's head at this point in the season. Slapper exploded Josh's mask (which I never liked, so that's okay... and Josh is fine though I bet his ears are ringing still) and Rolston just says, "Don't be a goalie." How about don't be a prick, Roli.

Third, at the Aeros game Monday, there was a time out. And the puck is on the ice for a faceoff by the Flames' net. Goalie is in net and I'm looking at him (because I'm always watching the goalies), and the dude is just staring at the puck. Staring at it like it's gonna grow legs and try to get in his net if he doesn't watch it. He must have done this for a full minute. Just staring at that puck and it's just him and the ref and the puck waiting for play to resume. It was pretty funny (and yet I could totally see myself doing that). Suppose he was talking to that puck? Willing it to stay out of his net? Whatever. I love it. Goalies are nutty and fabulous.

Finally, I was looking at this Sports Illustrated site with lots of close up pictures of NHL goalie masks and noticed that SO many goalies have blue eyes. I'm hoping that's a sign that us blue eyed folks have better puck vision or something. :)


Ended up not doing yoga last night, but did do some hand/eye work with a tennis ball. Nearly broke some art on the wall in the process but no harm was done. Then I did a bunch of squats and some plyos and then a bunch of stretching and some abs while the Kings and Sharks played. God bless hockey in HD.

Oh and those one leg squats I was thinking were such a good idea yesterday? My knees said, "You're f'king crazy, bitch, if you think we're doing that!"

My skates are coming from the "remote warehouse" so add 4 days to my delivery. Grrr! UPDATE: They'll be here Tuesday!! Scratch that! Now it's MONDAY! YAY!

Going to the Aeros game tonight with Coach Stalin and a woman who sometimes plays goal for the novice and other teams up at Willowbrook. Need to ask her who sharpens her goalie skates.

More Update: Did yoga. I'm all zen. Actually, I'm not, but I'm glad I did it. My hamstrings were so tight and they're mucho better now. But my knees hurt. Vitamin I to the rescue. Also, Major has started growling at me when I get in my goalie stance facing him. LOL I must look very threatening. :)


Tuesday, March 18, 2008


This video fills me full of happy: Ron Hextall.



Found this dryland training web page posted on the goalie forum. Seems like some good thinking to me, though certainly more advanced than where I'm at. But still, it's good to see this stuff and incorporate what you can.

No hockey games today so I'm definitely doing yoga tonight. It's been tooooo long.


Monday, March 17, 2008

Willowbrook Novice League Prospect

Coach Stalin was telling me today how she is manning a table at one of the (many) Aeros games this week to try and get people to sign up for the novice league she's in at Willowbrook. I had a moment of panic because currently, my understanding is that there are 3 goalies who play, two of whom don't mind skating out, so I'm a little protective of that one "slot" in which to play once I'm ready.

So I told her not to sign up any goalies and she said she'd tell people that there are no goalie slots because they've got a prospect in the system. LOL I know. Totally silly but I had a big laugh at being called a prospect (even if it's just the two of us doing it). :)

Is it wrong to check my order status at Hockey Giant every 30 minutes to see if it's been shipped? Yeah, I thought so.

Aeros game tonight. Chucko Sucko.


Sunday, March 16, 2008

New Skates

Well, after a few days of low motivation and travel and whatnot, I'm feeling the mojo coming back. Or maybe that's just my ass pain from doing my leg strengthening yesterday. Oy. Sore glutes, baby! Feels gooood. :)

So, I finally ordered my goalie skates. Look upon their fabulousness:

Okay, they're only fabulous because they're mine. They're pretty low end really, but they'll do just fine. I'm so excited to skate in them. I do feel like I've made very good progress in my player skates, but I'm almost to the point where I'll be learning harder skills and I'd rather not have to re-learn them in different skates later. The difference between going from player skates to goalie skates has been compared to going from regular shoes to clown shoes. :) This should be interesting, eh?

Awesome Aeros game last night. The new kids from Beaumont actually looked like they fit right in, and all 3 goals came from defensemen, which is kinda cool. Pouliot actually looked pretty decent in his first game up with the Wild, which is very satisfying to see. I guess Jacques was pretty happy with him since he got some time with Gabby and Demo later in the game when we were up by 2.

Tonight, I'm watching the Minnesota v. Minnesota State game. We watched the game on Friday and it was pretty exciting. I can only imagine if Texas had college hockey... I'd be flipping my shit at a UT/A&M game. Of course, there could never be enough fighting... :)


Friday, March 14, 2008


Woke up at 1:30 a.m. and just couldn't get back to sleep. Makes me crazy to lay in bed and not sleep, so I got up to watch the Wild game, even though I knew the outcome.

Anyway, I haven't really ever sat down and watched a Devil's game until tonight (this morning), but wow, Marty Brodeur is f'ing incredible. And he's not incredibly creepy like Hasek, who I could not support due to the extreme heebie jeebies he gives me.

Marty looks like he's not even on ice, his movements are so sharp. His pads aren't enormous. He's just so agile and even when he's scrambling, he looks like he knows exactly what he's doing. I'd love to see him break Sawchuk's shut out record. That would be incredible. I'd root against my own team to see that. :)

Backstrom, on the other hand, had some good saves but needs to see the team shrink about his shoot-outs.

Kelly got hurt in the Wild game tonight so Pouliot is on the first flight to Minny in the morning and will be there for practice at noon. Man, I'd love to see that. Poor Steve though... finally gets another shot up and gets injured in his second game. But as I've said, everything happens for a reason... It was time for them to shit or get off the pot with Pouls. I'm excited to see what happens. He was SO BAD in the Aeros game tonight.

Darby Hendrickson is so much better looking when he's on the ice than when he's behind that desk commentating. What's up with that?

Okay. Gonna try for sleep again. Big meeting today at work and being zombified is a bad thing.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sawchuk & Stuff

My hockey reading continues. I am about 2 chapters from being done with the Sawchuk biography after spending the whole flight home reading it yesterday. Just in time, too, as the book of poems about Sawchuk arrived in the mail today.

The biography has been good so far, though I have to admit the descriptions of who passed to whom to score a goal get tedious. I would have had an issue with that if I'd been his editor. But overall, it's been a good read and I feel well prepared and very excited to read Night Work. And it's got a good bibliography with other books I might like to read. Will post a review as soon as I'm done.

Been a bad goalie-in-training this week though. Haven't worked out at all. *cringe* But now I'm home and things should be getting back to regular soon.

We scored tickets to the game tonight, so I'm very excited to see my guys again after nearly a month away from the Toyota Center. They've been doing so well, I'm afraid I'm going to jinx them or something. Ms. Conduct may be laying low so as to fly under the hockey gods' radar. :)

Kassian's been called up. Byers, the face smashing goon, only got a 3 game suspension. I dunno. I just hope we continue to play disciplined hockey and not get so carried away trying to be tough guys. Seems like, as with defense coming before offense, discipline should come before gooneration.

I really wanted to find a time to go skate over the next couple of days, but my lunchtimes are full of meetings and evenings full of hockey. Maybe Saturday afternoon, though it's looking like Coach Stalin and I might play a little driveway hockey Saturday. There is public skate from 1-5 on Sunday though, so maybe then.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Interesting hockey weekend

The Pouliot drama was coming fast and furious this weekend after Dane "Men DO get PMS!" Byers punched him and slammed his face into the ice in a frightening Bertuzzi-esque display. Still waiting to hear about that suspension, AHL! *tick tock*

Anyway, I'm tired of the subject, it's been hashed and rehashed so many times in so many places. And, BTW, I was right and you suckahs was wrong.

I also discovered that Scott's suspension back in February was 3 games, not 1. I'm even more convinced that's why he stayed on the bench (aside from coaches holding guys back). My guess is, the next suspension would have been for the rest of the season.

Moving on...

Rangers/Bruins game on Sunday was most excellent. The seats were very good and we could see everything going on. I was disappointed that Chara wasn't playing, but the goaltending on both ends was SO excellent, that alone was worth the price of admission. Lundqvist was completely in the zone. Very cool to hear them chanting HEN-RIK over and over. Even that pest Avery put on a little show, throwing water bottles during an angry visit to the penalty box.

Today is my last full day in NY and I'm so ready to get home and resume normal life and get into a routine again. We fly home tomorrow afternoon.

I've found the goal skates I want. Pretty good price, really, though I wish it wasn't so much to ship. I think I'm going to return the knee pads I got because they're not going to do what I need them to and I'd rather put the money toward skates.

Haven't worked out the last two days other than walking around the city, and boy was I restless last night as a result. Today I'll do my leg strengthening work and stretching. Might even see about throwing in some yoga. In fact, I should commit to that. I'm doing yoga!


Saturday, March 8, 2008

Thanks Zodiac

From my goaltending advisor:

Push yourself to go way lower then you feel comfortable. Leave your comfort zone. Don't be afraid to fall.

I always tell my players if you're not falling, you're not trying.

Whatever you do don't stop moving forward. Always have the next goal in mind. What you are going to buy. What you are going to learn. When you lose focus and momentum you are in a danger zone to fail and have just regret...
Ain't that the friggin' truth?

He's convinced me that I need to get goalie skates sooner than later and pads not much longer after that. Problem is, I've set some expectations that I wouldn't be buying gear until the end of this year. It's March. Skates will be at least $200 and pads another $500+ unless I can find some used. I'm quite the frustrated wanna-be goalie right now.

But I am heading over to Chelsea Piers shortly to skate on real, honest to god hockey ice. That should get some of the frustration out. More later.

Update: Rolling like Russo here with my post skate update. :) I skated for about 50 minutes until I started fading and getting too frustrated by the crowds. Of course, it took me an hour to get there and to get back. Glad I didn't try to do that on a weekday, though I'm sure the ice would have been a lot less crowded. Anyway, did some good, strong swizzle laps and worked on stopping as much as I could given the crowds. Tried extra hard to focus on keeping my knees bent and having a strong stride. Of course that means skating faster, so I had to be selective about it. Sorta like trying to go 70 in rush hour traffic. I feel a bit better. Also excited about the Rangers game tomorrow even though their baby team, the Hartford Wolfpack, are a bunch of hot-headed goons. I'll remember Dane Byers next year. I know people are giving Pouls shit for turtling but I don't have an issue with it. Keep scoring, Princess.


Thursday, March 6, 2008

Oxygen... STAT

So, I strap on my ipod, put on my marathon music, and head for the stairwell of the 27 floor building I'm in.

Here are the stats:

Songs played: .75 (note the POINT)

Flights traveled: 10

Lungs sent into orbit: 2

Somewhere along the way, perhaps during the sitting on my ass part of the journey, whatever cardiovascular fitness I had from marathoning is GONE. I didn't even break a sweat and my legs weren't that tired but I was wheezing like a 20 year smoker climbing Mt. Everest.

That was embarrassing. And I'm posting it here as a notice to myself. Do or die, bitch.

I'll be doing that little exercise every day until I leave NY.

But if there's a silver lining, prior to doing my leg strengthening exercises, my legs would be SO DEAD right now. As it is, my legs feel like I haven't even left the couch.

I'll give it another go in a little while. When I quit coughing. Ya rly.

Update: No more stairs but about 2.5 miles of brisk walking in my quest for a friggin' printer cartridge. Gonna do some good stretching tonight before bed.


Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Didn't work out at all yesterday. Just one of those days where my heart wasn't in it after kind of a hard day "at" work, in spite of some great inspiration watching some young goalies do their thing.

But today I did my strengthening routine, so that's something, but it's not enough.

Tomorrow, you're doing stairs, bitch. Mwah!


Monday, March 3, 2008

Monday in Central Park

Met up with Tory after her big TV debut (in which she did great) and skated for about 40 minutes at Wollman Rink in Central Park. The ice was surprisingly good considering they were just scraping it but not putting any new water down. It was pretty warm and sunny out so additional water wouldn't have frozen anyway. It was getting pretty bad by the time I finished a little after noon.

It's a huge rink, too, but sort of triangle shaped. And it was lousy with children today. Gonna check the weather and see if it's getting down to freezing again at night. Other than the melting and the children, the ice was pretty nice.

Mostly just skated and chatted but I hung around after and did a few laps of swizzles. It was just too crowded to work on stopping.


Sunday, March 2, 2008

Brooklyn Sunday

We're heading out to the BW3 (well, I guess it's Buffalo Wild Wings) in Brooklyn shortly to catch the Rangers/Flyers game. Seems all the sports bars in Manhattan are too much about loud music and expensive cocktails than about sports and wings, so we have to flee across the river...

Slept for shit last night. Tossed and turned with an aching back all night. So, priority one, after breakfast, was popping the yoga video in and trying to loosen up. But I think it just made my tired sore legs even more tired and sore. I'm wiped! Sheesh. What a wuss.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

More on Simon

Great little write-up from Chris Simon basically asking Wild fans to give him a chance. Really seems like something to put yourself out there like that. Have to admit, it choked me up a little bit.



My workout today consisted of a 4 mile "city walk"... decent clip but a few stops along the way... and the strengthening and stretching routine from Dr. Lisa. Man does that make my legs turn to jello! Wall sit squats, standing lunges, and ... I dunno what they're called. Forward bends, I guess. Plus lots of stretching. Feels good though.

While we were out, we stopped by the NHL/RBK store in mid-town. I didn't really want to buy anything but I'd heard so much about how the fit of the new RBK jerseys were terrible, and I wanted to try one on to see if it was bad as all that. They had all of ONE Wild jersey in a size Large and it fit perfectly! I don't know what people are bitching about. It was light and stretchy and comfortable. Much nicer than the old style jerseys! So, now I need to figure out if the nice red jerseys are going away next year and if so, I need to get one before they're gone. Hopefully they'll keep it around as the alternate.


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