Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Standard Sharpening

Okay, on my list of shit that sucks: Drop-ins with too few players that last an hour too long. And worse when the teams are drastically out of balance. You're bored to death at one end and getting shelled at the other.

I could bitch for another 3 paragraphs about how not fun drop in was tonight, but then you'll just find out what a bitter hag I can be, so I'll spare you.

There were some good things:

  • The 5-hole was solid tonight. I did let one in under my pad when I was going down while moving across the crease, but that's not 5-hole. :)
  • My legs felt good! My feet hurt, but my legs did what I wanted them to, rather than feeling all stumbly like they did last week. I've changed my game day Feeding Schedule a bit to having a regular midday meal (sandwich and chips kinda thing) and then adding a bowl of good granola-ish cereal about 3 hours before I play. That seems to keep my energy up a lot better. Kinda figured there was a nutrition component.
  • I had some good saves. One funny moment where a guy had the puck between the corner and the back of my net and he's looking for an option for putting it on net. We both realize at the same time that there's a gap between my back and the net and I scooch back and go, "No you are NOT putting that in the net off my back!" He laughed. We had a moment. Nice guy with some BLISTERING wheels. Holy cow. Don't usually see that kind of speed among amateurs. 
Oh well.  I better stop before I start bitching like I said I wasn't going to do.


Aeros tomorrow and I'm pretty jacked about it because we appear to be headed for fresh goalie meat with Khudobin up. And you know how excited I get about fresh goalie meat. :)


Left my skates to get sharpened after drop-in. Going 1/8th sharper this time to 5/8ths. Working my way down. Oh and get this, I was filling out the form and was trying to do the math for what was one step sharper than 3/4s (yeah, numbers aren't my strong suit) and the guy goes, "Just put 'standard'."

I'm like, "What?"

"Just put 'standard' for standard goalie sharpening."

"Uh, no." *look at him like he's outta his mind* "What's one down from 3/4s?"

"I dunno. I use metric."

"Well, here's hoping the guy who sharpens them doesn't."

Are you kidding me? This is the advice goalies are getting in Houston, my friends. Dear god. Standard sharpening? I'm still kinda speechless. What does that even mean? I don't think he even knew! It's a scary, scary sharpening world here in the hockey hinterlands.

Dear Aeros Equipment Dude, Can we work a deal? :)


Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Zone: I haz it!

Well, I just got done playing my best hour of hockey ever. Not to say I didn't let in a few goals but I stopped a LOT. And moreover, I stopped a lot that I normally would let in. And what's more,  I WON! I know it's just drop in but trust me, when you get blown out pretty much every week you know it, and when you blow the other guy out, you know when you won. And trust me, it counts.

I'm not even going to bother explaining why it was so good. It's doesn't matter. It's enough to say that I've never played better. I was focused and sharp, my angles were magnificent, my legs were energetic, my vision was good (which is really saying something). Have I mentioned how much I love love love my cat eye cage and will never ever ever go back to certified? EVER? EVER.

It was a beautiful thing. Not saying I was perfect. I probably still looked like a total bender, but I stopped a fuckload of shots.

And you know how I mentioned a while back how I can have, what was to me, a shitty game and people are all, "Man, you played great!" Well, tonight, I got one sort of generic "good game" from one person and that was it. The other goalie even corrected my glove placement! I wasn't looking for praise and never am, but I tend to get it anyway even when I feel I don't remotely deserve it. So, I couldn't believe it. How could you all not see how fantastic I was compared to my usual crap? LOL Weird. Just weird. But *I* know and that's all that matters. Maybe they were just pissed cuz they didn't score more. ;)

The good thing is, I'm not feeling super over the moon. It's one piddly drop in, only an hour long. I've got perspective on this thing. But that isn't stopping me from really enjoying having a good one.

Only bad thing is, I don't feel so great after. I didn't think I got hit that hard in the head, but the big guy who dented my head before put a really hard one on me that hit my mask chin and then collarbone. At the time, the pain was all collarbone (and boy did that hurt), but when I got off the ice and sat down, I realized I was a bit dizzy. And still am. I know I'm not dehydrated or low blood sugar or anything. I just feel a bit spacey. I even went the wrong way coming home. Meant to stay on 59 toward downtown and got off on 610 South. WTF? Didn't realize it until I started seeing exits for Bissonette and stuff. Ooops.

Don't feel sick or anything though, so I'm sure it's nothing or not much of anything. Maybe a little bit of shock from the collarbone hit? Man, that just hurts right to the core, like how I would imagine an electric shock feels, makes my whole shoulder and upper arm hurt, though it's getting better. But it didn't throw me off my game at all. Did hurt to cover the puck in front of me at one point. Yeesh.

Anyway, goaltending hurts sometimes and that's just how it is. I'm not complaining. Just keepin' it real, bitches. ;) It's still the funnest way ever to get yourself hurt. Back at it tomorrow night with the Koreans at Memorial City. Hopefully I'm a little fresher for that than I was last week. If I am and they need me, I might stick around and play the second drop-in. I dunno. We'll see. I could use the work.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Long rambling on the state of my goaltending

I had this at the bottom, but am moving to the top in hopes of getting answers:

It looks like I'll be playing 3 in 3s for a while, and then I have my camp in late July which will be 4 days of pretty intensive ice time.

I'm finding that by day 3, my legs are so tired. My mind is tired, too, but I'm hoping having a little less tired legs will help me mentally, too.

So, I'm looking for suggestions to replenish the energy in my legs with consecutive days of playing. I'm not sore at all, just tired. No jump. I try to get enough rest, even if it comes in nap form, since I have trouble sleeping more than about 5-6 hours a night (I really need 7-8 to feel great), but maybe more carbs are in order? Advice is most welcome.


Well, my team did manage to beat Scotty's team last night 9-7 in 2 straight hours of play, but certainly not because I helped. I let in some real stinkers, but had a few saves I'm proud of. Kind of a typical night for me, unfortunately.

The worst one... an own goal that I deflected 5-hole on myself (god that hurts to admit)... came because I was focused on what my legs/feet were doing (fixing a problem that caused a goal earlier) and not paying attention to my stick. And if the player had PASSED to the guy on my backdoor like I was loaded up to push to, I would have made that save. :) Ah well. Live and learn.

A couple of good things though:

I really do think I got a lot out of my green ice game a couple of weeks ago where I had no crease. I'm suddenly getting a lot more comfortable challenging breakaways. I'm trusting my instincts and my reasonably good "net sense" to keep my bearings.

I still don't go crazy far out, like to the hash marks like some goalies, but I don't see a ton of value in that. I know some would argue with me on that. Be my guest. But I come out about half way between the top of the crease and the hash marks and I think that's plenty. I figure that's about the point a shooter is having to start to commit to a decision and a direction. Any further out, and they can just dick around with their approach speed and throw you off that way.

Now if I could just translate that to when I'm playing higher level, faster skaters, as I'm still doing a bit of shrinking violet routine with those guys, like my Tuesday drop-in. That's something I want to work on this week at that game.


Someone suggested to me a long time ago to yell out when I've got an odd man rush. It really does seem to help. It's almost like skaters don't realize what's going on and that wakes 'em up. It also makes me feel a bit better. I don't know why, but I usually play the rush successfully when I do that. It grounds the situation somehow? I don't really know what's going on there.


Another thing I did better last night, but that I can't seem to "fix" for good, was my 5-hole. I'm telling you, I shoulda gotten VD last Tuesday for how often I got hammered 5-hole. Stuff was going through me before I even realized the shot was off. Horrible.

But last night, while the competition isn't anything like what I face on Tuesdays, I had some big 5-hole stops and the only one I let in was that fucker I put in on myself. Though one of those got through to bare leg (thanks for nothing, thigh boards) and I have a nice lump above my knee. No bruise but it's probably coming. At least it better for how much it hurts.


So, I have one night off this week, Thursday night, with no hockey to play and no Aeros games to cover. Naturally, the Wild don't play that night. And I don't see a single game I particularly care about on the NHL schedule. FML! ;) (Totally kidding. Best week evar!)


Sunday, March 28, 2010

Quick Hits: Ghost Writer, Playfair, Brahmas, Empire State of Mind

You have to be pretty damn cool to go to bed at 9:30 on a Saturday night and still be as cool as this bitch right here.

Okay. Not cool at all. And now I'm up at 5 a.m. Honestly, I wish I could just keep vampire hours.

The worst part was that I had crazy dreams all night thanks to this movie we saw today called The Ghost Writer. I kept waking up having revelations about the movie, because I know it should have made sense but I just wasn't able to put all the pieces together. But of course, I wake up now and can't remember any of said revelations. FU, Roman Polanski and your confusing movie. At least Ewan McGregor was sort of an unassuming babe. That was pleasant.


Check out this highlight reel of the game in Abbotsford against Hamilton Saturday night. Several big things to notice:

  1. Look at the attendance. IN Canada, on a Saturday night, with a new team that's been on a warm streak. WTF, Abbotsfordians? I think the Calgary farm club is cursed. They keep putting it in these god forsaken places and nobody shows up. I guess they thought god forsaken Canada would do better than god forsaken Illinois. You'd think at least the novelty of a new team would have crowds up for a season or two. 
  2. Curtis Sanford, who has been red-motherfuckin-hot for Hamilton goes down HARD on a play. I was looking at the AHL goalie rankings Friday night and noticed that he and Cedrick Desjardins are #1 and #3 in the league. Holy hell, that's a lotta goaltending for one team, right? Desjardins is 26-8-3 and Sanford is 23-11-3. Those numbers are mind-boggling. My money is on a Hamilton-Hershey Calder Cup Finals. Those teams are just completely dominating their conferences, but if Sanford is hurt enough to be "done"... you have to wonder how Desjardins will hold up on his own. Seems like really strong tandems stay strong because the goalies are battling so hard for playing time (see Krahn-Climie). 
  3. Jim Playfair loses his everloving mind on Koho. Nothing much more to it other than it's pretty funny to watch Playfair go nuts like that. That team is kind of a mess, but for some reason I'm rooting for them to get it together. Maybe because I feel bad for them being in the AHL hinterlands.


I'm enjoying following my boy Jaeger and his Brahmas in their playoff run right now. The won their best of 3 mini-series against Corpus in two games, and are now up 2-0 on the mighty Odessa Jackalopes (?) in the semi-final round. And now they head home for games 3 and 4. 

The Brahmas play really well at home and have a great fan base that fills their small barn, so they should be doozies. I'd love to get up for a game, but I hate that drive from Dallas to Houston even more, so that probably isn't gonna happen.

Either way, Scruffy is on a 4 game win streak, stopped 46 of 48 shots last night, and proves himself to be extremely clutch. He's had an up and down season, but he's playing his balls off when it really counts. Something about goalies who can step it up when the pressure is on. Hot.


I'm getting a little freaked out playing in daylight lately. I'm not sure it suits me, but I get to give it another go tonight as Novice starts at 6. SIX! I'm used to starting at 9 or 10. And Scott TFCG will be the opposing goalie, from what I hear. I'm always extra motivated to beat him but whenever I'm extra motivated in a game, I tend to suuuuuck. So, I gotta just shut that out and stay relaxed and prepare like I know I should.

I finally found one of the other songs that fills my head when I play but couldn't find. I'm not a big rap fan but Keys' chorus that makes the whole song for me (and yet, her version w/o Jay Z is pretty crappy, so good on them for getting together and giving that chorus some meatier context). Anyway, it's perfect head-filler. Super catchy, easy to put on repeat in my head, relaxed but still kinda "big."

So I'll get to listen to this in my head for at least a couple of hours, since we have extra ice tonight. Will probably hate it by tomorrow.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Quick Hits: Annie Savoy, Blank Canvas, and Bendy Grahame

So, I'm not sleeping with them or reading Emily Dickinson to them, but the last couple of seasons, I've certainly had pet projects. Two seasons ago, it was the Cal for Calder campaign, which was tongue-in-cheek silliness and lots of fun for the bloggers and fans who got involved. And hey, we got national pub out of the deal!

This year, of course, I was hot to trot to "Free Brusty" and get him back in the AHL where he belonged. I guess you could chalk that up to equal parts frustration/success. He did finally get back, but was likely just about to get sent down again when the ol' foot became uncooperative again. But there was much happiness across the land (and, of course, by "happiness across the land" I mean "tingling in my goalie bits") when he was playing here.

But Brusty will move along and grace some other lucky fan base with his magic (and, of course, by "his magic" I mean "his ability to explode ovaries with his sexy glove saves"). So, my nest is feeling a bit empty and I'm opening my mind to a new, worthy crusade. It has to be organic though. I won't fabricate something. There has to be a genuine hockey reason... a real stirring in the hockey heart... it has to come to me.

But just as a heads up, right now I feel that stirring for Max Noreau, because my level of irritation at Minnesota not calling him up is rising with every day that I don't get a good explanation for why he's being snubbed. No offense to Sifers but Max should have gotten that last call. Don't argue with me on this point. It's just a fact.

But don't panic yet, Max. It's not carved in stone. Just percolating. Still a long summer ahead and surely plenty of changes afoot. (And speaking of feet, heal up quick, Barry! Not actual Brustyfoot ----> Just a stand-in.) Who even knows what the goalie sitch will be here, and you know I'll get 1000x more riled up about goalie stuff than skater stuff, so there's hope, Maxy. You may not be stuck with me yet, but I still think you've more than earned a fair shot at the show.


Meanwhile, I've got a weekend project that combines my third love, which (after hockey and writing) is art. I haven't dabbled in my artistic side in a long time as it seems my writing obligations have swallowed me whole the last couple of years. And you guys thought I just did stick figures.... ;)

I used to paint, mosaic, make jewelry, and even lost a few brain cells making plant trellises out of copper pipe (copper solder has fumes that I'm pretty sure ate my short term memory, but fuck me if using a propane torch isn't just a helluva lot of fun. Right up there with socket wrenches and wang on my list of "guy things I love to play around with").

But I find myself with a strong urge to play in my basket of paint tubes again. All my paintings before have been abstract, pulled out of my head, and I've always just done them because I was too cheap to buy someone else's art, get it framed, etc. for my own walls. And I like how original art looks versus prints, so I learned to keep it simple and make stuff I really like, even 10 years later.

But now I'm venturing into humans. More specifically, hockey humans. Thanks to all the great photographers I've gotten to know, there's lots of material to work from.

I've never painted people before, but I can see the outcome in my head and I can think through the process of creating it, and usually that means I'll be happy with the result. I wish goaltending came so naturally to me! It also means I can hardly contain myself from starting right now and not stopping until I'm done. Alas, I have a work deadline on Friday. But as soon as that's done, it's me and my brushes and the canvas that's been sitting in our closet for 5 years waiting for inspiration.


First though, Lake Erie plays here Friday night. Bendy John Grahame is still with the team, so I'll have my eagle eye on him. And since it's "just the Aeros" maybe they'll actually play the back-up. Rawr. Bringin' the binoculars, bitches!


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Where's my effin' pizza?

Frustrating night in nets tonight. Just processing it a bit so I can kiss it goodbye and not let it get to me. I did a lot of things wrong, but this one of those rare nights where I'm gonna play the "didn't get much help" card.

Seemed like 3 out of 4 rushes, my opponents came at me completely unmolested by my team and just had all kinds of time to set up, deke, nancy around in my zone. With my tired legs from playing the third night in a row, I just wasn't up for it physically and I guess I wasn't up for it mentally.

Granted, it was 4 on 4 and I've actually never played behind a 4 in 4 before, so maybe that's something you have to adjust to as a goalie, in terms of how plays tend to unfold? I dunno. But I was getting beat every which way, and even when I got in front of the puck, it hit someplace ouchy. Inner arm, collar bone, shoulder. I don't have enough ice packs tonight. But my knee was gonna win that privilege anyway, as it was hurting from the word Go.

Also? No fucking pizza. Turned out tonight was just a regular rink-run drop-in. So no beer and no pizza. I was so looking forward to that pizza. :( Truth be told, I think not having that carrot dangling at the end of the game was a bit of a let down. Stupid, I know, but you have to manufacture drive sometimes. I was really looking forward to that pizza.

Bahh. Lame night. Weird night. Writing it off right....

wait for it....

wait for ittttt.........



Monday, March 22, 2010

Great weekend and pracky

Phew. It's been a long, fun weekend. I need Monday off to just get the down time I'm accustomed to! But I wouldn't give any of it back.

Mr. Goalie Porn, Chris Jerina, was here for the Milwaukee games, so it was fun hanging out with him. Awesome guy and I'm not saying that just because he gifted me with a Brusty bobblehead. There aren't many 20-somethings I hang around with who I don't ever find myself saying, "Well, when you get in your 30's, you'll ~insert aged wisdom~" but he's certainly one of them.

Also fun hanging out with Mister Fred Saturday night. Haven't seen him since the summer and we sure do miss him at Aeros games and in general.

More Aeros today. Another loss, but I have finally come to enjoy Dubie. I mean, really, with Brusty not an option and the Aeros having zero chance at the playoffs, I can just enjoy his quirks and pray for good defense. Much like Vesa, he gives me hope for my game. A lot of the stuff he does that drives me bonkers is exactly how I play, unfortunately. But still, he stops pucks. Maybe there's hope for me yet. :)

After the game was practice, which I dragged poor Chris to, so he could be bored in a meat locker rather than bored and comfortable at his hotel. I'm QUITE the hostess.

Scott and Joe were our coaches tonight, so we did lots of new drills that were all great, both for the skaters and the goalies. Lots of real game situation stuff that I enjoy. At the end, we did a fun one that's too complicated to explain but I was so tired by the end, I was just making saves on my knees.

Joe rifled one past my glove at one point and for once (!) I had a chance to ask for a do-over. So he put 5 more at my glove and I snagged 'em all. He even changed the location, high, low, whatever. One was high and I still snagged it and one of the skaters said it was a "sexy save" or something along those lines. Heh. That felt nice. :)

Anyway, my upper back is aching tonight. Hoping the Advil will keep it from getting too bad. Knee isn't too happy either, but knee can suck it.

No invite to play on Monday yet so it looks like my next game will be Wednesday. Can already taste the post-game pizzaaaaa...

I finally found the song I had in my head that had me play such a good game last week! Had the words wrong AND slightly wrong melody going. Dork.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Under your armor: Goalies, whatchu wear down there?

One of my readers emailed me today and asked about what is the "right" thing to wear under your goalie gear.

It's a subject near and dear to my heart, so now that I have a good excuse to bring it up, here's my take: There is no right answer. Whatever is comfortable, lets you move, doesn't make you too hot, etc.

Personally, I wear yoga pants and a wicking shirt. The yoga pants are cotton, which is pretty stupid because they hold sweat, but I can't seem to want to go to anything else. They're tight everywhere except the ankles, so they don't get twisted up no matter how much I flop around. They don't ever get stinky (they don't hold funk like wicking stuff can). And I don't mind wearing them right to the rink if I'm playing in a place where I don't want to change. They don't look so much like "undergear" as just workout pants.

Also, my hard-earned goalie ass looks delicious in them (okay, not THAT delicious ----->). Thighs, on the other hand... not so much, but whatever. Selective vision never hurt anyone.

Should I discuss commando? Nah. ;)

I absolutely do NOT want my scratchy, rough chest protector touching me. So I wear a long sleeve wicking shirt. Unlike my lower half where I can tolerate cotton, I really, REALLY hate feeling a sweaty shirt on me. So while these do get sweaty, they don't feel heavy and soppy. Yuck.

And of course, a sports bra under that to keep the jugs from going every which way. Sometimes I think being small chested would be a bonus as a female goalie, but frankly, tits and hair are all I've got (and living in Houston, even the hair doesn't always cooperate), so you won't catch me complaining.

I think that's everything.

That said, I've seen all kinds. Lots of folks still wear hockey socks and either a garter or compression shorts like skaters wear. Never tried it but the whole hockey sock thing is clumsy IMO. Seems like they would get twisted or bunched up when you're going up and down or be rough on your legs and knees. No thanks. 

I've heard others wear anything from pajama bottoms to sweatpants. To me, the smartest thing is that skin-tight UnderArmor-style wicking stuff. I've seen a couple of pros who go that route (god bless 'em). They won't budge, will stay light even with tons of sweating, often a little slick to make sure your pads rotate nicely, etc.

Up top, some people wear short sleeves or no shirt at all under their chest protector. I'd rather be hot than let my chest protector touch me all game. If you like to spend money, there's even stuff like this, made especially to protect more vulnerable spots.

So, there ya go. It's really just what feels right and comfortable to you. Like I said, it makes absolutely no sense, as much as we sweat, to wear anything cotton, but there's a point where you really just have to find what works and not worry about whether it makes a ton of sense.

It doesn't make a whole helluva lot of sense to willingly put yourself in front of 90 mph missiles, so I'm assuming "Overcoming Logic" is in all our repertoires, right?

I only pretend to know it all, so feel free to throw in the comments what you like and why. Would be good to get a range of ideas for the "newbie goalie" blog.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Luck of the Irish

My exciting news for the day is being asked to tend goal for a new drop in. It's the same guys who used to run Tuesday drop-in, but now it's earlier and there's PIZZA! So, I was pretty happy to add another weeknight game to my calendar, especially with such a nice bunch of guys who really appreciate me being there. It's terribly nice to feel wanted, even though I've had some real boner games for them in the past.

Anyway, it was a fun first game tonight, even though the number of skaters was pretty low. I had some stupid goals but I did have some HUGE saves and played a game I'm happy with for the most part.

Here's what was crazy about it: The ice was tinted green for St. Patrick's Day. And I literally had NO CREASE. I mean, none. Not even a hint of one. Couldn't see any lines for that matter. My only point of reference was the bar in the center of the back of the opposite net and my own net and the boards.

At first, it was scary and frustrating missing that navigation point, but I found it freeing once I got used to it. If you can't see the crease, you eventually just play the angle and depth instinctively. It was pretty amazing, honestly. I hope I can carry some of that with me even once I can see the crease again. It actually felt really good to challenge that much (even though I would occasionally peek over my shoulder and go, "WHOA!" at how far out I was. Stopped those pretty much every time.

Had several amazing toe saves where I REALLY had to reach and kept some big rebounds out. The other goalie gave me some big stick taps at the other end, which was cool. I've never had (or at least never noticed) another goalie do that for me, even though I do it all the time. (Not that I do it so that people will do it back, but I just think it's good karma to give some love to your fellow tender.) He was also very complimentary after the game and really nice, so that was cool. Sometimes there's a little weirdness between goalies, but he was great.

Shit. I'm jacked. That was awesome.

Not the song I meant to have in my head but the one that showed up anyway and displaced "Dr. Feelgood." I think I must prefer something more mellow to keep me calm? I dunno:


Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Lalala Experiment Continues

You know what's weird? Playing hockey for an hour only to find out at the end that you know two of the dudes you're playing with.

That happened tonight at drop-in. I'll spare them the outing if they'll forget what a shitty goalie I am. Deal, boys?

Actually, I had a decent night considering the quality of the competition. Let some dumb ones in, but made some good saves and didn't leave hanging my head like last week. Never really felt intimidated and challenged and kept the angle down on some breakaway chances, so I feel really good about that after playing like I didn't wanna break a nail last week.

It was FAST game, thanks to having some good players in the mix and a good balance between the teams. And Fast=Fun.

Wasn't as focused as Sunday night and found myself drifting mentally a few times, especially if I didn't see a shot for a while. But that didn't happen much. I stayed busy.

Jason, the other goalie, had probably the sickest save I've ever seen outside of the pro ranks. 2 on 1 and he dove across the crease and made a mid-air glove save. The place erupted like I've never heard at a drop-in. It was a special save.

I wore my cat eye cage for the first time, too. WOW! What a difference. But one that I didn't really notice other than a complete lack of ever thinking about my cage. I definitely felt like I wasn't having to work as hard to see the puck. Felt like natural vision, rather than through a grid.For all the frustration getting it installed, it's totally worth it.

Did the music-in-the-head thing again tonight but could never settle on a song. Gonna have to be more prescriptive about that, I guess. Random choices on the radio didn't work for me. But I still believe in the strategy because I didn't find myself overthinking at all.

Underthinking was more the problem. I guess that means I should take my happy ass to bed. Ugh, shower first though. I'm gross.

One of the songs in rotation tonight. Not on purpose. I just love it and it sneaked in:


Monday, March 15, 2010


There ya go. No more "scrollingrealfast" down the page. We're making Grammar work for you, ladies. Atta boy, Grams. Stay thirsty, my friend.

Big props to Wrap for spotting the Animated GIF beacon I sent up and busting this beauty out. You rule, as always. Go Chiefs! ;-)


Suck it, slump!

Nothing fills me with a sense of well-being and contentedness like a good game in goal. You know that feeling when you're a little buzzed but not quite drunk where you want to tell everyone you love them and all is right with the world? That's pretty much what I'm feeling right now.

It's a calm, tempered pleasure though, because I certainly did make mistakes tonight. Four of them to be exact, but apparently 4 is exactly the number of goals against I can remember, so I can actually talk through them now:

  1.  Didn't come until about 5 mins into the 2nd period and NOT, for a change, because I wasn't seeing shots in the first. I saw a ton of shots. Probably the most I've ever seen in novice. And it came from the son of one of the regular novice guys who plays junior A in Canada. He basically deked my entire team out of their jocks and came in 1-on-0 at me. I should have gone for the poke check but instead just tried to stay with him and he poked it right around my toe as I was down and sliding. Wish I had video of that one so I could have another look at it and replay it in my head.
  2. Second was a chumpy goal that I absolutely should have had. I didn't battle enough to get over on the correct angle and Joe put it in short side on me. Dumb, lazy goal. *shame*
  3. Third one came in the 3rd period and was a really nice pass in tight and I JUST missed getting a toe on it sliding over. I didn't read the play fast enough to get over in time. Don't feel terrible about that one. Great play.
  4. Junior A boy again, broke away and, god bless her, my defenseman was BUSTING her ass to catch him and did manage to hassle him some, but he was still able to just rip one at me. To be honest, I should have had it, but I was dazzled by my defenseman's effort and wasn't ready for the shot. Got caught watching. A real pisser, too, because we were just a couple of minutes from a win. That goal tied it up and we ended 4-4. He's good, but I was on angle and it was just a mental lapse.
Now for the good stuff:
Hot shot broke away again after that goal and ripped another one at me. BLOCKER SAVE bitches. :) Ohhh, it felt good to get him, but he had no one to pass to, so I knew he had no choice but to shoot, so I just got set on the right angle (one that I often have trouble with) and nailed it. Definitely the save of the game for me, but was the only one with any particular drama. Most of them were low and right into me. A few cool saves around the posts, though.

Also, my defense was fantastic. I left some really juicy rebounds out there but they let me see everything and were ready to pounce on any loose pucks. They were amazing and gave me a ton of confidence. I was definitely 100% <3 <3 <3 for them all game. And one had never even played D before but she was a natural! Great vision.

Feel good about my mental game and employed a little trick another goalie suggested that I feel helped me tonight. What he does is get some riff of a song in his head and uses that as sort of a noise-canceling device. What he said to me was basically, "You can't stop the noise in you head, but you can choose the noise in your head."

I actually hadn't planned to employ that tonight but I ended up having a riff of a song stuck in my head and thought, "Okay, let's give that trick a try!" Also started the game with the mantra, "I can stop this." Positive thinking + one puck at a time. That lost out to the song riff though, which stuck all game. Any time I started thinking thoughts other than positive, constructive thoughts, I went to my song, sung quietly to myself, just let it fill my head and push the other stuff out.

I'd love to tell you what the song was, but I have no idea. Just something I heard either in the car or in the rink before we started. I tried searching but couldn't find it, so I'm thinking I have the lyrics wrong in my head. Haha! Oh well. Doesn't matter. It did the job.

Warm-ups were awful, which is interesting. I was letting everything in. But sometimes that means I'll end up having a really good game because it puts the fear in me a little. Also, before the game, while I sat in the car and listened to the Aeros lose in the shootout (again), I did one of my eye exercises to get them teaming and focused AND I tossed a tennis ball around for a little bit while I got dressed. Just little things that are easy to add in and I think make a difference.

Stupid move of the night was that I left my jock hanging on the wall in the garage. Luckily, I didn't have to stop any slappers with my pelvis. Not usually a big worry in novice league, but still, I definitely thought about it a few times during the game.

Anyway, fun stuff. Got me a ripping headache now, though. Stupid daylight savings time always makes me feel crummy for like a week. Gonna hit the hay and try to get some good sleep. Maybe get that hour back those bastards took from me!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Quick Hits: The "Whatever" Edition

Lordy lordy, Aeros. Night after night, the same thing lately. Decent start, late game choke.

It's like going on a great date and then finding out over dessert that the guy wants 5 kids and is the president of the Young Republicans. 

"Um. I've, uh, gotta get up early, so... if you're done with that key lime pie... no, no coffee, thanks... I think I may have left my oven on....I need to let my dog out... *sigh* .... I used to have sex dreams about Bill Clinton and my tubes are tied... Oh, you're ready to go? Great."
I won't miss this season. Nobody's fault exactly (though I'd be happy to point fingers offline). Just a perfect storm of mediocrity. 


Speaking of clusterfucks, that's what my goaltending has been lately but I'm feeling focused for my upcoming games. Adding a few preparation things. Yada yada yada...tap tap tap.... #nottalkingaboutit.

Anyway, we'll see how that goes. Ready to play though. Feeling inspired. :)

Speaking of goaltending, here's a cool article a goalie friend sent to me about how it's tough for goalies to be "superstars" due to the humble, masked nature of the position. Good stuff.


Bad hockey fan confession: Enough with the headshot crap. I honestly just don't care how it gets figured out because I don't really think there IS a good solution other than players taking some accountability, but I'm tired of reading about it. Still, just in case the horse isn't dead, here's my suggestion:

Step 1: Fire Colin Campbell and hire someone else to basically hit the Reset button on league punishments so that "consistency" doesn't continue to mean making the same mistakes over and over.
Step 2: Get back to whining about Sun Belt teams performing poorly financially, because I enjoyed that discussion more. Which is really saying something.


Here's my $50 idea for the day: A microrecorder that a goalie can somehow keep on themselves during the game and keep notes about goals against or whatever they want.
Of course, it has to be something that's inside the mask, like a wireless mic (that transmits to something in a protective shell that straps to the water bottle?).

I have a miserable short term memory, which is great for forgetting goals but also terrible for learning from them. Would be nice to take some notes.


Still haven't gotten the screw posts in order to put my cat eye cage on my mask. Grrrrr. Lame sauce. I still don't get why they wouldn't include new ones of those along with the new screws when you buy a new cage. I love you, Hackva, but that makes no sense at all.


Alright. Naptime maybe, or Aeros game. Or both. Or neither. Whatever.


Jeff Deslauriers? Yes. YES! Phuck yes!


Friday, March 12, 2010

Brain litter and more goalie porn!

Here's a post that demonstrates why Dan Ellis, Preds goalie and goofball, is my favorite NHL Tweeter. As usual, goalies represent and Mike McKenna is likewise the best AHL Tweeter. He was sewing up his dog's toys with dental floss the other day. Christ, that's adorable.

Don't be afraid of the Tweets, my friends. Twitter is fun. And anybody who harshes your mellow? You just unfollow their tweety little asses. Thank God for that. Of course, that goes both ways, doesn't it? :)


Speaking of goalies, Backstrom is hurt, Harding sucks, Brusty is broken. So, could Khudobin go to Buffalo, Dubie start in Houston, and Scruffy get a call up? Oh my.


And now for something completely different. This is a masterpiece of cheesiness that just seems worthy of .... something..Probably NSFW, but still relatively tame all things considered.


John "Grammar" Grahame was back in action in Milwaukee Wednesday and Chris "No Homo" Jerina was a good sport and snapped a few more money shots for our enjoyment.

"Goalie hard work. Grammar thirstyyyyyy..."

"Mmmm... nom nom nom"

"Ahhhh. Okay, camera guy looking? Here we go."

"See how hot Grammar is, ladies?"

"You gettin' this, picture boy?"

"Just reinforcing how hotttttt Gramar is. Am I steaming?"

"Ahhhh, ready to get scored on some more"

Seriously though, Grammar, swallow some of that water next time.

Oh and if that wasn't enough, just to finish 'er off:

Ohhhh sweet Grammar Grahame. Thank you for amusing the goalie lusting faithful with your thirsty, hot, wet, flexible, camera-friendly self. I don't care how many goals you let in (but seriously dude, that was a lot), you're still a winner in my book.

And as always, many thanks to Chris "Aim to Please" Jerina for the photography.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Jeff Deslauriers & Inspiration

I've got goalies on the brain. More than usual. Which is a lot, if you know me by now.

I realized last night, that with Brusty not playing, I've got no "inspiration" goalies to watch, and I find myself really missing that, both as a fan and a player.

I realized this while watching Jeff Deslauriers in goal for the hapless Edmonton Oilers last night. He was unbelievable. Doing everything I find completely charming in a goalie. He battles his ass off and does everything he can to get in front of the puck. Some saves are so unreal, I think opponents don't capitalize on rebounds because they're so shocked it didn't go in.

Not to mention the personality stuff... scrum near the net and he doesn't wander off. He gets in there and pokes a guy with his blocker. A couple of quirks I've noticed is that he lifts his mask a LOT, and he wedges his stick in the thigh rise of his pad rather than under his arm when he needs to free his hands up.

Silly stuff, I know, but man, so many NHL goalies are so boring, it's a complete delight to discover one who is a little different.

But bless his heart, he's not perfect. His team is a putrid mess and no matter how focused and disciplined he is, it's really hard to to hold up under that kind of pressure. And as this excellent article points out, he can be his own worst enemy at times.

But he's a rookie who has truly been thrown to the wolves. It's one thing to be thrown into the #1 spot on good NHL team (Hi Jimmy Howard), but another thing entirely to have to make your name backstopping a disaster like the Grease.

And yes, I know they beat the Wild. That's not the point.

The point is, I'm impressed as hell with this kid. The Oilers have bent and bent and bent him and he doesn't break. Compare him to Carey Price last year. Beat down by his bad team, the Montreal media, etc. Swept up in the high profile nature of his position. He lost focus badly. But Deslauriers, though not in the fishbowl of Montreal, does his work in a hockey mad Canadian city and still exhibits confidence and moxie and competitiveness this late in a futile season.

To me, it's glorious. I don't know what will happen with him down the road, but I'm completely inspired and I can't wait to see where his career goes.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Leggo my Ego

Wow, so I've written this post 3 times now (this is the 4th) and the first two I deleted because I was whining.

And the third, my battery died and reverted to my last whiny version. Crap.

So, here I go again, being even more succinct that last night SUCKED ASS in goal and I hope I never see its like again.

I sucked. One of the skaters was a complete douchebag to me (but I knocked him over on a save, so snack on that Douchy McDoucherson). The rink was fucking HOT. I continued to suck.

There's this black, human-sized "thing" just outside the boards by the Aeros locker room end of the rink, and I must have looked over at that thing 30 times thinking it was someone standing there watching me. Jesus H. Move that thing, SLICE!

Got a couple of nice bruises for my trouble though. Or at least one. The one of my foot hasn't bruised up yet but it's tender. The one on the inside of my upper arm (glove side) is puck-sized and going from pink to purple as the day wears on. Beauty.

Oh well. There's always next time. I think I'm just frustrated because I feel like I'm plateauing... and not in a comfortable place. Right around the first of the year, I was playing so well and now ... bleh. It's up and down but mostly down. Last night, I really felt like, "What am I doing?" That's an awful feeling to have about something you love.

But hey, slumps hit everyone and I stand by my theory that, for me, a slump buster should be a really hot guy. :) Fill me with your "confidence," hottie. I'm taking volunteers.

Alright alright. I'll behave.

Unless you don't want me to.

Ahem. Anyway... where was I?

Oh yeah, I suck. I'm in a slump. SLICE rink A is weird and hot.

Thought I'd feel worse watching On the Fly last night, but Steve Mason's game saved my evening. Those goals he let in? That was like me on nearly every shot last night. Got a piece of everything but rarely enough to stop them. That's how it was last Sunday, too.

Ohhhh, fragile goalie. Toughen up, will you? *sigh*


Monday, March 8, 2010

As promised.... goalie porn

Though it's not who I thought it would be.

John Grahame, recently signed by Lake Erie because both their goalies are out with injuries, apparently has the whole "goalie making love to the camera" thing down really really well. Color me surprised, and delighted that Chris "Enabler" Jerina caught these battery burners.

Wait for it...

Wait for it...
Wait for it....
Ahhh, money....

Other side...

Dear Baby Jesus,

Thank you for goalies.


P.S. And cameras. And accommodating photographers. 

All photos by Chris "Accommodating Photographer" Jerina


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Walkabout & Calling All New Adult Goalies

I'm outtie for a couple of days, gang. Sorry I don't have anything awesome for you to read while I'm gone, but I don't have anything awesome for you to read while I'm here, either, so perhaps I've set your expectations appropriately already.

Chris "Tell It Like It Is" Jerina tells me there's goalie porn waiting for me, so that's something for me and all the ladies to look forward to. I promise not to dawdle on that.


Also, something to think about over the weekend: My goalie peeps, especially those of you who started playing goal as an adult, be thinking about the things you wish you'd known, things that have been pivotal to your development, etc. and sharing those with me, either in the comments or via email.

My summer project is building a site chock full of info for people who want to pick up goaltending as an adult. It's a daunting challenge and yet I run into more and more people who have done it or are doing it on their own. Why not consolidate the wealth of knowledge we've gleaned as pioneers (heh) and share it?

So, I'll be bugging people for help, or you can just hit me with it without me bugging you. Your choice. :) Just planting the seed here. Let me know your thoughts.


Finally, a song I like:


Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Phew. That's better, bitches....

I was so off on Sunday that, while logically I knew I'd right the ship, the illogical part of me (which can dominate at times) was fuh-reeek-ing out.

So, I knew I had to hit the Tuesday drop in and prove to myself that I am not as big a mess as Sunday's game made me look.

Well, it was good. Only 3 goalies, not a ton of skaters, so we did 10 minute shifts in each net, which was just right. I ended up just playing 2 20 minute shifts and then took off. Had kinda proven what I needed to and wanted the locker room to myself.

Also, *SCIENCE!* will be interested to know that I nearly induced asexual reproduction by making myself pregnant with my own very hot glove save. Pretty sure the ice melted a little from how hot that save was.

Anyway, it was a blast and nice to play at full speed and see lots of shots and get a rhythm going. Feels really really good to be back in my groove.


Mental Tuesday

One little thought: I'm reading a book on mental training for athletes (they let pretend-athletes read it, too... in fact, we probably need it more) and it's making me realize how negative my thoughts were on Sunday. Every rush, every shot, I was thinking, "Don't let this one in."

Talk about the the wrong thing for a goalie to be saying to herself! (Why don't I realize this in the moment?)

Tonight, my goal is to replace any negative thoughts with, "Gimme your best shot."

I know it's seems corny to have to think like this, but when you're an overthinker like me, you have to have a plan for dealing with it. And that phrase will shut down the overthinking, make me want to play at the top of my crease, make me want to challenge and be aggressive.

And with that.... it's nap time!


Monday, March 1, 2010

No wonder I sucked!

The Earth is literally off its axis due to the Chilean earthquake!

Perhaps more impressive is how much the quake shifted Earth's axis. Gross calculates the quake should have moved Earth's figure axis (the axis about which Earth's mass is balanced) by 2.7 milliarcseconds (about 8 centimeters, or 3 inches). Earth’s figure axis is not the same as its north-south axis; they are offset by about 10 meters (about 33 feet).
Crunchy, you have my permission to use this as your excuse for letting in that game winner from Crosby, too.

Combine the Earth being off its axis with PMS and fucked up eyeballs... I was due for a bad game, right? Phew.

Love you Carole, but I think you were the inspiration for this:

Oh and here's a little bonus. This series of photos made me laugh really hard. Individually it's like, whatever, but strung together, the different faces and demeanors and stuff. I dunno, I just had a good giggle going through them.

Whoever 22 is, I want to put him in my pocket and take him home. Adorable.


Being Wade

F**k it. I'm pissed tonight. I played like shit and don't really understand why. All night long, even in warm ups, my angles were off and I was fighting the puck. I felt like I was playing with my head on crooked all night. The puck might as well have been a grenade for how much I seemed to want to have any contact with it.

My eyes had been bothering me during the day, so maybe that's part of it. Hard time focusing and tracking the puck into me.

And worse, I didn't react well to getting scored on. Very not cool. But given how bad my boobs hurt, I'm calling it PMS and screw all you men who want to argue with me on that.

Speaking of which, we have a new girl at hockey who is delightful and tonight she was getting played a little rough by one of the new guys, so she told us after that she turned to him and said, "I will fuck you up, good lookin'." <3<3<3!

The first goal against was the only one that was particularly acceptable. The next, I got IN my glove and then somehow still dropped it in the net. I have no idea how that happened.

And then to really rub it in, some joker lobs a big, high arching shot at the net. I try to snag it but of course, I've got shit for a glove and I try to catch it over hand when I should have focused on getting my body in front of it and catching it underhand. Or knocking it away. Or doing ANYTHING but let it fall into the net behind me. Stupid. Just embarrassing and stupid. I could cry thinking about it now.

Anyway, whatever. I don't have enough beer to fix this so I'll just have to man up and swallow it until I can do better. I think this probably means that unless I get an emergency request to play Monday, I'll drag my ass to Tuesday drop-in and see if I can avoid ending this week on such a bad note.

I like this song and demand that you enjoy it as well.

Oh, also, congrats to my Canadian lovelies on your undulating gold medals. I event went out to dinner in my Canada Hockey sweatshirt just to see if I could annoy someone. (See? My hatefulness has been going on all day.)

I feel sad for Ryan Miller, but he has to know individually that he was unbelievable. And his silver medal teammates owe him all the steaks his skinny ass can eat.

I also felt bad for Fatso, who seemed very much on the outside of the celebration scrum after the game winner. Awkward being the back-up goalie in such a situation, isn't it? Yeesh. I still love you, Marty. I'll hug you.


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