Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunday night hockey brain dump

Ya know, learning to play goal is truly a process. You learn a little at a time, build on this and that, have realizations from week to week that help you along. You get a little stronger, a little more stable, a little more explosive every week. At least this is the goal.

There's always the week where your head is up your ass and they could bring the puck to your crease on a silver platter and you'd still manage to knock the son of a bitch into your own net.

Anyway, I did a little of all that tonight.

I started the night with about 5 trips to the bathroom for, uh, intestinal distress, so I was just really relieved (no pun intended) that didn't manifest itself during the game, and once I got on the ice, I was feeling nice and strong. My balance was back to feeling a lot more stable, my edges felt good. How annoying that that feeling of stability can sort of come and go.

First period sucked. I let in two goals mid-way through the first that I absolutely should have gotten. If I'd gone down, I'd have gotten them both easily. Just stupid and those were the goals we lost the game on. At least those are the ones I blame, and I'm the goalie so... there.

Had a great second period, until everyone noticed I was having a great second period, and told me how great I was playing. [cue death march]

After that, I let in a couple that were these ghey little novice league "rushes" that you can't even begin to time. You just crouch and wait and pray to god the damn thing doesn't trickle past you. In two cases, I went down to stop the shot I *thought* was coming, but then I left a gap between my toe and the post and in both cases, it went in that way.

So, my lesson for the night is if I'm on my knees, at least try to get over and seal my toe to the post on the side of the shooter. I know this seems like "duh" but when you're learning EVERYTHING... obvious things like this slip through the cracks. So, lesson learned the hard way tonight.

I'm not being too hard on myself on those since making saves down low hasn't exactly been my strong suit, and at least I finally was getting down and was protecting the bottom of the net better, so I'm happy about that. So next job is to get the techniques around that more solid.

I did have a beauty of a pad save on Gerard. One of those awesome "real goalie" moves where I dropped and got that right leg out and it rebounded out to the other side of the ice where my guys could get a rush up the other way.

Some nice stick saves, too. And a couple right on the post that I froze, but could have easily been goals. On one of them, Jim was jabbing at it and blessedly, Luther blew the whistle before it went in, but that jabbing pissed me off so I whacked him in the shin with my stick.

Didn't hurt him, of course, because I'm too big a weenie to hit hard, but I think they were all a little surprised and amused. Um yeah. If you're gonna do that shit, you better back the fuck off before I can start swinging. I enjoyed the hell out of that. Yeah, I totally went to the Philadelphia Flyers School of Sportsmanship.

In the end, the score was 5-6 in favor of the red team, and I headed to the bench for the man advantage, but my guys couldn't get the puck past the other goalie (who incidentally spent most of the third period on his knees because he had a bum ankle or something... and he still beat me. Goddamnit!)

Oh well. Learned some good stuff tonight and had a lot of fun. Back to stick and puck on Wednesday to battle the speedy teenagers. I can definitely tell that's helping my stamina and strength and general ease in the net. Plus it's nice to see real shots. Why wear 40 lbs of gear if I'm not gonna get hit by a few rockets? Yay for masochism!!!

Update: For more weirdness, that shot to the inside ankle I took at S&P on Wednesday decided to bruise up after the game last night. WTF is that about?


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