Monday, August 31, 2009

Oh the burning...

Okay, so tonight begins nearly 2 weeks without playing goal and as I've mentioned, I'm kinda happy about that. I need a fresh perspective. I need to crave it again.

And I think I started on a good foot tonight, but it took me a while--pretty much the whole drive back from Sugar Land--to figure it out.

I started out bad. Baaaaaaaad. Hardly stopped anything, but didn't see a ton of shots either. The other team was pretty stacked though, so I saw lots of action in the second half and still got lit up, BUT (here's the good part) I got better as the game went on. I was able to start adjusting to the speed and style of play and make some really nice stops at the end.

Also, what was nice was that the really, really good guys shooting on me didn't show me much mercy. They picked the corners, they deked and dangled and tried to freeze me and passed and did all the shit that will leave a goalie curled in the corner of their net rocking back and forth. And I appreciate that. I'm less embarrassed when both of us make an honest effort and I get beat, than when they hold back to spare my ego.

But the best guy would actually tell me what I did wrong after he scored on me. Let off too soon, bad angle, etc. which I really appreciated and I thanked him for it. As I've mentioned, instant feedback is SO helpful. He's one of those guys who's just way the fuck better than everyone else, so he uses that as a leadership opportunity and does a lot of coaching in-game.

I even got to the point where I enjoyed him coming in on me (which he did often because somehow the puck was always passed right to him at the blue line... cherry picker!!) because he's a creative shooter and it just forced me to be patient since I couldn't anticipate at all what he was going to do.

I ended up with two or three really good stops on him, including a sweet poke check that would have made Scotty proud of me.

So, I could get all upset and be down on myself for letting so many past me, but I'm tired of that and I'm not going to do it tonight. I actually feel like I got back on track a bit mentally, even though I was outmatched skill-wise.

I challenged, I adapted, I stayed focused and energetic in spite of all the pucks whizzing past me. I think I kept a good perspective on things and that felt nice for a change. I almost had fun. I think a couple more outings with this bunch and I'll start to get up to speed, especially if I can keep on progressing positively on the mental side of things.

Meanwhile, it's gonna be at least 3 days before I'm not walking like I just rode cross-country on a horse. Scott had me doing groin-unfriendly things (um, all appropriate goaltending things, I probably should add, since it's Scott we're talking about here) last night, and tonight I went down awkwardly in the fly, a little out of control, and man... I'm hurting.

But I'll whine and gimp around for a couple of days and then I'll be fine. Ain't no thang. The nice thing was that the ice was a little softer than last time there, but still 100x better than Willowbrook. Had absolutely no problems with getting enough bite. My skating and footwork was actually as good as it's been in a while. Very comfortable on that ice.

Doesn't feel like midnight. That's a bad sign for getting to sleep anytime soon.


Anonymous  September 1, 2009 at 9:46 AM  

Good to hear you had a good time! Sucks that there is no hockey sunday night especially when nobody has to wake up early monday

Ms. Conduct  September 1, 2009 at 10:13 AM  

Well, Mr.C will be in town so it's not like I could stay out crazy late anyway.

Um, not that I do that when you're out of town, honey! :D

artandhockey  September 1, 2009 at 2:42 PM  

So did you get your skates honed?

Ms. Conduct  September 1, 2009 at 2:58 PM  

Nope, but they didn't seem to need it. I'll probably still try and get it done sometime next week though.

FinnAir  September 4, 2009 at 10:40 AM  

Totally out of place here but since you are the goalie expert...
I don't "twitter" myself but saw the "twit" about Dubielewicz. I just wanted to calm your worries by saying that nodoby can be "bigger" (to be nice) as this former Red Wing is at the moment:

Did a fine job last year in DEL not sure whether he has retired now though...

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