Monday, August 10, 2009

At first I feel bad for a while, but then I just smile

Lily Allen seems appropriate for my post-hockey run down:

Kind of a weird night (apologies in advance for being rambly and stream-of-consciousness here Update: And apparently assholey. Me and my big mouth.).

With Coach Dan out for a few weeks with wrist surgery and several of the usual ringers out for the night, I knew I had my work cut out for me. Mitch and Michelle both played center really well though, broke up a lot of plays. And man, it's fun watching Mitch and Jessica battle. Their styles are really similar, both good defensively and work their asses off in the neutral zone, and they're just a blast to watch duel for the puck.

I was getting really pissed in the first period. A lot of tight passing right in front of me and I just couldn't get over. And then Scott TFCG... Scott lobs one from above the blue line way high and I stick my glove up to try and make sure it defects over the net, but I'm thinking, "That's going over the net either way."

WRONG. Fucker just drops like a sack of shitrocks (my best Mr. Lahey impression) behind me right in the net. It was totally one of those ball-busting shots, especially since it came from Scott and I knew immediately it's gonna take ages to live down.

But I realized on the way home, it was a blessing. Because it made me laugh and just settle down and quit being pissed that I was getting lit up. It was just like, "Okay. It's just a game. You're doing your best. It's not your night." I should have known when my leg pads fell in a huge puddle when I was unloading the car that it wasn't going to be my night, right?

And indeed, it was not. Ultimately 11 goals went past me, but I probably saw twice as many shots as usual. And I had quite a few nice saves.

Two stick saves on Scott. One that I just kinda batted away. Hot. And then one that dinged off the shaft.

The very first shot, which I don't think many folks realized I even got a stick on, was a really fast shot and I tipped it into the corner. Would have been a nasty way to start the game if that had gone in. I was proud of that one.

Made another save on one of Jess's shots with my head. Mask saves are a funny thing... you kinda want them to be hard because it sorta makes your eyeballs rattle around in your head for a second regardless of how hard it is, so if it's a harder shot, at least you know it will deflect further away from danger. I still prefer them to a hit anywhere in the shoulder or upper arm area. This is why I bought a good, heavy mask and didn't skimp. I LOVE my mask. Never had a shot that I couldn't shake off pretty quickly.

Anyway, I heard lots of, "great save" tonight, but lots of "tweet" with Luther's arm pointing at my net, so *shrug* I dunno. Just a really up and down night.

Had two brainfart goals. One that I HAD but didn't know I had it and when I lifted up a little, it popped out and it was a ridiculously easy goal for Jessica. Wish my D would communicate with me when I'm trying to freeze the puck. I'm wearing a lot of shit and I can't always feel the puck. Is that wrong to wish for? Now I'm second-guessing myself.

And one right near the end where, honest to god, I just zoned out. They were battling behind the net and I saw something shiny or thought about bacon or blow jobs or something and the next thing I know, Hot Shot's banged in a wrap-around.

Hot Shot, BTW, is this new guy on the red team who is GOOD and I don't think I've ever stopped him. He and Jessica were dangerous tonight. I think together, they had half the goals. Hot Shot must have had 5 or 6 points at least. I hate him.

Okay, I don't. But it's frustrating.

On the flip side, I actually felt like I worked my ass off tonight. I stayed consistently busy as the red team finally had the manpower to win battles and get it down in my zone and hold the zone. Lots of pressure and lots of shots. I normally feel a little like a spoiled, pampered goalie. Between the green team usually being pretty well stacked and the red team's better players taking pity on me, it often felt a little ... unrealistic.

Well, I got plenty of reality tonight and it's a helluva lot more fun, even if losing and getting lit up sucks. It was a blast.

I've mentioned before that I approach each game with a key to work on and tonight it was, if I'm getting lit up, to not hole up in my crease and play too deep. Stay high and confident regardless, and I felt like I did a good job of that. I had some positioning issues, but I don't know that any of them were because I was too deep. I didn't get sucked into the mental quicksand, so I'm proud of that.

Looong practice next week. And I get to pay extra for the privilege. Yay.


artandhockey  August 10, 2009 at 8:44 AM  

Unbelievable. You're a better player for it! Hmm, really must be mesmerized (blue eyes did that?) wanting to be goalie. Buena suerte Goalie! or Go for it, chiquita!

Ms. Conduct  August 10, 2009 at 9:05 AM  

Thanks for the suerte! I need all I can get.

I was just thinking the other day about what inspired me to be a goalie and certainly the Schaef/Brusty tandem two seasons ago was a factor. They were so good, so confident, made it look so easy. (False advertising... jesus, it's so not easy.)

But beyond that, all I can say is that the position speaks to me. Hell, it screams to me. I dunno. It's just perfect. The best position in all of sports. I could list 100 reasons why I love it. In fact, I should sometime.

KiPA - Kevin in PA  August 10, 2009 at 11:15 AM  

Goalies tend to be nutjobs, and you fit all the requirements of that.

And that's a compliment.

Ms. Conduct  August 10, 2009 at 11:26 AM  

Yeah, that's one of the few aspects of the position that I've had nailed down for years.

Though oddly, I really don't have a lot of rituals or any crazy stuff around playing the game. Other than my frightening insanity about being screened.

The only thing I do so far is that I have to put my stick down on one of the little bistro tables that's by the glass on the way back to the room after the game. I don't know why. I just did it after one game when I was tired and didn't feel like carrying my stick anymore. And now it's like my, "Okay, you're done, let it go" cue.

Still working on a pre-game routine, but don't want to get too rigid about it because the amt of time we have to warm up is never consistent. Kind of developing a tiered approach that if I have to cut it short, I'm only losing the less important parts of the routine.

"Dave Schultz"  August 10, 2009 at 12:30 PM  

awesome recap as usual, but to also toss in a reference to Mr. Lahey? LOVE IT. It's totally something he would say too :)

Ms. Conduct  August 10, 2009 at 2:36 PM  

We're re-upping our Netflix so I can finally get all the seasons of TPB and just wallow in that shit. Oh hell yeah.

Aubrey  August 11, 2009 at 1:59 AM  

I hate Hot Shot (since I am neither polite nor sportsmanlike and he does not have an awesome blog that entertains me) and am sending all my long distance I-hope-you-choke voodoo his way.

Ms. Conduct  August 11, 2009 at 8:40 AM  

Oh Aubrey, bless you. I needed that! Ha!

Mason  August 11, 2009 at 11:38 AM  

Since I've been playing a lot of street ball goalie since I injured my shoulder, I find it incredibly annoying to battle the urge to stay confident at the top of the crease while knowing it's incredibly difficult and hand-cuffing to back up as the play develops and follow the angle of the puck like I should.

Sneakers and pavement are completely counter-productive for playing goalie. A majority of goalie maneuvers call for mercurial frictionlessness but what I get is like rubbing sandpaper and velcro together.

The same goes for lateral movement across the crease. Yeah, I know that guy's standing on the backdoor, waiting for the pass across the crease, and I see it happen every time, but there's not a graceful move to be made that will save that shot. The best thing I can do is to hold the post and fall in towards the goal, hoping to get a chicken wing or my mask on the shot. :\

(Sorry for the rant.)

I also really like the idea to list 100 reasons to love the position. Get on it! :)

Ms. Conduct  August 11, 2009 at 11:48 AM  

Man, rant away. I love it. And yeah, I have no idea how you play without a slick surface. Sounds like you've got a decent strategy though.

Hell, even on ice, I can't butterfly slide, so don't feel bad. :)

Mason  August 11, 2009 at 1:26 PM  

My KNEES don't butterfly regardless of the surface. :)

I tried to drop down a few days ago while warming up, just to see how it went... it didn't. And in street ball, dropping into the fly won't do any good. Once you're down, what're ya gonna do? You're not going to slide a leg out to either side; that's for sure.

It's all Hextall stand-up and hack the screen. :D

Ms. Conduct  August 11, 2009 at 1:35 PM  

Have you seen Crosby playing street goal?

Good stuff. Funny to see him so ungraceful.

Of course, the bonus is that if you can't fly, you can't wreck your knees and hips from flying.

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