Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas and Roli and Fatso and Sawchuk

Confession time: I don't much like Christmas. I'm a terrible gift giver because I don't ever shop "for fun," which means that unlike people who tend to be good gift givers, I never have a chance to run across something that's just perfect for so-and-so. Another way in which I'm such a dude.

Which means I have to come up with ideas out of thin air. And I suck at ideas. I'm great at executing other people's ideas, and occasionally I have a flash of brilliance that keeps people thinking I might have a few good ideas in me, but it's all smoke and mirrors.

Also, I'm just straight up really, really self-absorbed. So if you're not into what I'm into, then I have no idea what you like. My family members are all getting Clutterbuck jerseys and tequila this year. It's the thought that counts, right?

Mr. C and I decided our gift is a mutual one this year: our new TV. And that's peachy. I might still order myself a Dubielewicz Team Canada sweater just for being a good girl. I mean, who doesn't want one of those?

Anyway, I finished my shopping at the liquor store this morning and we'll head to my parents for Baby Jesus Day and then it will blessedly be over and I can get back to being self-absorbed in a more guilt-free way. I love my family and don't see them enough, but still, my favorite part of Christmas is the drive home, car full of loot, a fresh year at my doorstep when I get home. It's a good feeling.

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I play again tonight for the first time in over a week. At least I think I do. Nobody's told me not to show up, but I missed last week due to my dead car, so who the hell knows what's going on. Anyway, I've missed it. Mr. C asked if I wanted him to come with me and I felt bad, but I really kinda want to go alone. It's my last chance at having some time to myself for a few days and I feel like I need to savor it.

Looking at the calendar, I notice there's an Aeros game on Monday. Seriously hoping my Monday drop-in doesn't want me to come out because I will absolutely have to turn her down, but it will hurt to do so.

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A couple of unreal goalie events last night.

First was Dee-wayne Roloson's Stick and Chimp Saves.



The level of compete to get back and even make the first save, much less follow it up with that dangling monkey crossbar save just blows my mind. And the guy is 97 years old.

Talk to me about Roloson for a second... how underappreciated is he for what he brings at his age?

Here's the thing about me and loving goalies: I love for my team to win, but I watch a LOT of hockey, so I appreciate some entertainment value. (Logical question here is, "Why the fuck are you a Wild fan, now?" Yeah, I know. Sometimes your team chooses you rather than the reverse.)

So, if I have a choice of an extremely technical, positional, calm, steady goalie or a Turco/Thomas/Roloson who maybe has a crap game here and there and maybe doesn't play the prettiest kind of goal... well, there's really no question for me. Put some offense up front and just beat me senseless with insane goaltending.

Which is why, even though he is truly an exceptional goalie, Backstrom has never lit my fire. He's so good but so uninspiring to me.

I suppose I have the best of both words, right? MY team has the really steady boring goalie. I'm watching them anyway, so I don't need him to be that entertaining for me to dig it.

But if I'm gonna watch Bruins, Islanders, or Stars where I don't really have any skin in the game, gimme the goalie who tackles players, swings like a monkey, or sometimes skates so far out of his net, you think he's joining the rush (don't you want to see Turco do that sometime? Just take it to the net? Richards centering Neal and Turco? Oh hell yeah.)

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The other biggie is, of course, Marty Brodeur surpassing Sawchuk's shutout record. Say what you want about the defenses he's played behind and blah blah blah, but this guy is just a sexy beast of a goalie and there will never be another one like him.

What fascinates me about Brodeur is that I can't fucking figure out what he's doing out there. He just stops pucks. All my training has been butterfly this and that but he's just doing something else out there. There's a reason you never hear someone is a "Brodeur-style goalie."

But enough is said of Brodeur, so I would encourage you to learn more about Sawchuk if you are learning about the game and its history still. He was a reclusive guy, so there's not a ton out there about him, but his life's story is sad and amazing. Stu Hackel at the New York Times wrote a great piece on him when Brodeur tied the record earlier this month and it's a great Sawchuk primer.

Included in the Times article is a review (and recommendation) for a book I reviewed here last year after it came out. And it continues to be one of my top TWO reads of all the hockey books I've read, along with The Game by Ken Dryden (who is smarter than you).

Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems
by Randall Maggs is just a beautiful book. I have a number of hockey books, almost all of which I'm happy to loan to anybody who is interested, but this one is staying with me. Go get your own.

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Unless I need to unburden myself of tonight's drop-in, this is probably it for a few days. Have a safe and happy and healthy holiday. Enjoy some time off and too much food and too much drink (but please don't drive) and too much family and more blessings than you can shake a stick at.

3 comments:

NickyR  December 22, 2009 at 2:36 PM  

So, how did you become a Wild fan? Houston => Aeros => Wild? Oh, and have you read Brodeur's autobiography? I've got it around here somewhere and can send it to you if you haven't. Oh, and Merry Kiss-Moose!

Ms. Conduct  December 22, 2009 at 3:11 PM  

Yep, exactly. Aaron Voros got called up, had this huge hit, and I said, "OMG, I have to watch him up there." And then Boogie was cool and Mikko was smokin' hot and Russo provided such amazing access to the team, I was hooked. But my greatest joy with that team is watching my Houston boys go up and make good, so honestly, it's all about the Aeros.

Goody  December 23, 2009 at 7:51 AM  

That was an incredible hit. On the one hand, I can see why the BJ's might have felt it a bit dirty - you don't expect a player to come out of nowhere an hit you like that, but on the other hand, he should have known there was a guy getting ready to come out of the box.

Roli: Ah the memories of when he'd stray from his net behind the Wild...

Christmas gifts: I'd love to be getting what your family members are getting!

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