Thursday, April 29, 2010

Absenteeism explained and a very fond farewell

So, the blog's going to be quiet for a while. After Monday's awesomewinfunness, the little bit of "ooo, that's a bit uncomfortable" in my knee went to "er, holy crap, what the crap is wrong with my knee???" It's really stiff and angry.

Which means there's no way I'm playing next week. I need to this to get better. Gonna see if I can get in with the chiro today or early next week. I think something is a bit off in that regard that's making it worse.

Also, work is eating me alive. Got a massive MASSIVE project due in early August and I'm afraid it's going to take a majority of my time until then. It particularly sucks because I was really excited about my hockey projects this summer, like the adult goalie blog (which sounds potentially pornographic, but sadly isn't). But I'll get around to it eventually, if only because the banner I made for it is so freaking awesome. (Click to embiggen. Thanks to Chris Jerina for use of the photo.)

For those I've promised sweat bands.... they're made. I just need to mail them out. I'll do that early next week.

For those waiting on emails from me, I promise I'll get back to you eventually.

I'm considering rewarding myself at the end of this project in 2011 with a hockey road trip. Don't know what that will entail just yet, but if I can get Mr.C on board with the idea, it will be fuckin' awesome. But that's a long way off and really just a daydream to keep me motivated through what is going to be a really tough year of work. Now that Brusty's gone, I gotta have something to daydream about, right? :)

Speaking of which...

~cue music~

I've thought all along that I would do some weepy, poetic, fantastic, heartfelt post to send Brusty off after this season, but now that the time is upon me, I feel like all the words I try to put to it are too trite.

It suffices to say that his presence in Houston has been profound for me. Sometimes in life, we need something and don't even know we need it until we cross paths with the person who can give it to us. And then it's like this amazing, random gift from the universe.

And that's what Brusty was for me. People fall in love with hockey a lot of ways, and I really fell hard when my passion for goaltending took off. And it was watching him that made that happen, and made me want to be a goalie myself. That passion for goaltending and the rest of the game has driven nearly everything I've done in the last 3 years. And holy crap, what a ride it's been.

I hope I gave a little something back in my way over the course of things.

So, there's that. Hopefully not too trite. I dunno.

Back to work. Ugh. See you crazy kids on the flip side.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

AHL Playoffs: 1st Round Check-in, 2nd Round Predictions

Let's see how I did:


Atlantic Division

Worcester Sharks (1) vs. Lowell Devils (4) - Lowell in 6 

Bombed this one. Worcester in 5. Admittedly though, this pick was biased because I dig Mike McKenna.
Portland Pirates (2) vs. Manchester Monarchs (3) - Manchester in 6
Got the winner right, but it was a sweep. Manchester in 4.
Round 2: I would have done these before round 2 started (though I really have no idea who's done what since it started) but they actually started round 2 in the East well before the West. That seems like a very bad idea to me as once the finals come, there's a potential for a rather large rest for Hershey (come on, it's going to be Hershey and we all know it). That could be good or bad, I dunno. Anyway, I'm picking Manchester in 6 here. Bernier is money. End of story.

East Division

Hershey Bears (1) vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (4) - Hershey in 4
Much to my amazement, the Sound Tigers actually won a game. And went thru 3 goalies in 5 games. A little concerned about Lawson, who landed in the hospital after game 2 for cramps (and presumably dehydration). Anyway, Hershey in 5.
Albany River Rats (2) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (3) - Albany in 7

Another sweep! Really surprised about this one. Albany in 4.
Round 2: Hershey in 4. Resistance is futile.


North Division

Hamilton Bulldogs (1) vs. Manitoba Moose (4) - Hamilton in 5
Close! Hamilton in 6. Honestly after stealing Rosa and the "call your doctor" level hard-on they've got for Schneider up there, I was okay with this result. Hopefully Marco will go to a team where I don't have to root against him next year. Love that guy.
Rochester Americans (2) vs. Abbotsford Heat (3) - Rochester in 6
Ohhhh, Abby proved me WRONG and won in 7. In fact, I was 100% "WTF are THEY doing in the playoffs?" about Abbotsford. They really got their shit together and David Shantz turned out to be the hero for this team. This after he was released from the Florida system last season. Neener.
Round 2: Hamilton in 5. I still think Abby got lucky in round 1.

West Division

Chicago Wolves (1) vs. Milwaukee Admirals (4) - Chicago in 6
SO close here. Milwaukee took 'em to game 7. Maybe the Wolves aren't quite the masters of their domain that I thought?
Texas Stars (2) vs. Rockford IceHogs (3) - Texas in 7
Doh! What HAPPENED, Rockford? I thought you would make it hard for them. Instead, you offered yourselves up with cookies and milk. Oh well. The outcome (Texas with a sweep) was right and by golly, Chicago v. Texas is going to be a fun series.

Round 2: Toughest one of the bunch. Both good teams with good goaltending, but I'm giving Texas the edge here. I think this could drag out though. Lucky for Hamilton, who will get the beat up victor at the end. Texas in 6.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010


Today was so good, I'm STARTING with the music.

One A+ happy hour at the Leaf during which I was a good girl and didn't get too happy on the booooze. I decided that a vodka cran was the most athletic drink I could think of. Clear booze and fruit juice. Can't go wrong, right?

Tangent: Of course, the first sip reminded me why I don't drink vodka crans. Relates back to a rough post-breakup night in my singleton days during which I polished off a bottle of Stoli and however much cran I had on hand while I bellyached to my friend on my phone. I'm pretty sure I turned a little bit Russian that night.

Anyway, I sucked that down while enjoying the truly charming, handsome, and wonderful company at my table. Like, really. A lot. Like, how good Halak was tonight? That's how happy my happy hour was. Snack on that, Monday! You don't win this week!

So then I jetted over to SLICE for my drop-in and was really happy with my game. Made some big big stops on some pretty good players. Of course, I got burned my fair share, too, but my play was consistent even though I was getting hammered in the second half.

I find that I earn some respect points from the hot rods by staying out to play around after the other goalie's given up and the game is over. Though after tonight's game, I was so tired, I just stayed down in the fly while they passed and I knee shuffled and tried to be on angle and as big as possible while still down. Kind of a fun experiment. The crazy thing is that I stopped all but one shot, basically just sitting on the goal line in the fly. One finally got past me high blocker side over my shoulder.

It's nice to get time like that to just goof around and everybody's just having fun and experimenting with their game. That's the good stuff to me.

And it's why I love this Monday group so much. Nobody takes themselves too seriously and that's nice because I know I play better when I'm not taking myself real seriously. It's hockey, it's fun. Lighten the fuck up.

The best was when the big guy with the hhhhheavy shot comes bearing down on little ol' tired me. He always picks the corners on me, so I jokingly put my glove and blocker up in the corners of the net, closed up my fly and tried to flare it out wide. I was basically a human shooter tutor. Ha. He's got this smug look like, "There's NO WAY you're stopping this."

Oh I totally stopped him. ;)

So, that was super fun. And I'm NOT going to Tuesday drop in. I've been feeling so shitty about my game lately, I just want to enjoy this for a few days.

Happy Motherfuckin' Birthday to me after all. Take that, 35. My big bottle of Advil and I own you.


Monday, April 26, 2010


So, let's just say I've had better birthdays. In fact, most regular days are better than today was.

Feels kinda like when your team is crap on the power play, and you kinda start groaning when they get the man "advantage." Like, next time, don't do me any favors.

Oh well.

Had a good game tonight. Won 5-3 or something. The other goalie is a genuine Canadian and he plays C and probably higher. But that's novice for you. It will take even good goalies and just turn you upside and down and steal your change.

But I didn't see many shots, so it was mainly my team that rocked it. Particularly the defense, who kept chances low and relatively non-threatening. Had some good saves though, particularly a righteous toe save on a breakaway attempt. And when I say "toe," I literally mean it hit the plastic cowling on the toe of my skate. Wouldn't be surprised if it hit the tip of my skate blade, too.

Had some lucky bounces. One rebound off my right pad right onto the stick of the blue team's coach. He fires high. Crossbar. Phew! Thank you, pipes! And a glove save, too, though I dropped it right after the whistle. If someone had just batted my glove with their stick upon making the save, it would have been a goal. I would have deserved it, too.

I got to the rink early and bounced a tennis ball around some. I think that helped with my glove a bit tonight. Snagged a bunch of them in warm-ups and I don't think I got beat glove side at all tonight.

Anyway, back at it in Sugar Land tomorrow. Looking forward to that and really want to play well. Challenge challenge challenge!


Meanwhile, le boohoo for the Kings getting ousted tonight. They were a joy to cheer for though, and I cannot wait to see what they can do with a Quick/Bernier tandem next year (allegedly). Should result in more rest for the starting tender and have him fresher for the playoffs. And then it's just a matter of that team doing what that team can do. I don't even know who the hotties are on the team and I still love them, so you gotta figure it's gen-you-wine sports love, baby.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

Hawks/Preds Live Blog, bitches

Hoping for more of this:



Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Quick Hits: Links, Sore, Tuesday, Birthday

Urgh. So much negativity last night, I need to bury it with goodness and light.

So here's some stufft:

If you enjoy reading post-game goalie analysis like mine (aka the Post Game Unburdening), please to check out my girl Maalivahti's blog, From the Couch to the Crease. It's all about the many highs and lows of goaltending and is great stuff.

My favorite Flames fan, WalkInvisible, threw some love my way on her blog yesterday and it made my day. Check it out. I hate ALL OVER her goalie and she still likes me. That's the mark of a BAMF in my book.I'm not that cool. If you dumped on, say, Brusty? We're done talking. Buh-bye.


My whole torso is sore. What is that about? Feeling very much in need of chiropractic. My hip and lower back feel janky, I'm sore in weird places, especially considering how absolutely NOTHING I did last night at drop-in. MFers. Anyway, all that usually means I've got something out of whack. I've had a few clumsy butterflies lately that have gone a bit Bambi on me. That always makes things feel out of whack. Maybe yoga will fix it.


I'm such a liar. I've already committed to going back to drop-in next week. Someone owes me money and it's just $5 and normally I'd say forget about it, but what the fuck. That's half a skate sharpening, so whatever. Plus, I already know I'll be flying solo, so I might as well go play some puck while I won't bug anybody by rolling in at midnight.

Looking on the bright side, at least I learned of the glory of pineapple on pizza thanks to Tuesday drop-in. Seriously? My biggest regret in life so far is going nearly 35 years without trying that. I honestly just thought Hawaiians and hippies put pineapple on pizza.


Speaking of 35, my birthday is Sunday. I feel way too fucking stupid to be 35.

But I think that's the goaltending slump talking. Amazing how that colors everything. What's the opposite of rose colored glasses? Crap colored? I dunno. Maybe the hockey gods will bring me a good game Sunday. That would be the best gift of all.

Good news is that the Aeros are out of it so they can't lose on my birthday like they have the last 2 years. Win!


*vapor lock*

The Ms.Conduct threat level tonight after drop-in is at "Hey, this is the wrong time of month to be this angry!"

Let me regale you with what a f**ked up ice time this was.

  • 3 goalies (one good, two of us... um, "learning"). We agree to swap out every 10 minutes.
  • White team, it's clear early on, is a lot better than the dark team
  • As things wear on, it's obvious the balance of the teams is akin to an ECHL team playing a C league team.
  • White team asks good goalie to play in the net they're shooting on the whole game, and for me and the other goalie to switch out at the other end.
  • Good goalie comes down to me and tells me this. He says, "I hate it." But he's a nice guy and agrees to it anyway. I understand the request, but think it's pretty fucking douchy. 
  • The entire ice time is like that swarm-the-goalie drill at the other end of the ice. Occasionally one of the better guys on the dark team manages to break into our zone, but pretty much every time the white team picked their pockets and went the other way.
  • I played for 30 minutes and saw 6 shots. So, do the math. 1 shot per 5 minutes. And it wasn't like they were battling around the net on defense and I was having to move around and track the puck. They literally were only got down into the circles or deeper 6 or 7 times.
  • The white team, instead of letting up, was knocking guys down, tripping, checking. That's when I really got pissed.
  • Finally, the other goalie was coming on the ice and I just said, "You're in for the night. I'm going home." 
For one thing, I've never been in a drop-in where one side was so selfish. Usually guys will switch sides and try to level it up. I've certainly never seen them ask for one goalie to play the busy end the whole time. He shouldn't have agreed to that, and I'm not allowing it again. Either they can even out the teams or they can have less fun scoring a goal per minute. They can choose.

But let me tell you something, assholes, I may not be a very good goalie, but my time and energy is just as valuable as yours and I'm not going to waste it standing around on a half empty sheet of ice while another goalie gets worked to death at the other end. It's stupid and incredibly douchy.


To his credit, one of the few guys I really enjoy playing with at this drop in did change sweaters just a few minutes into the game. He's a stand-up guy and tries to make sure people are having fun and doesn't take it too seriously. And he ended up leaving the ice not long after me, sick of the douchbaggery himself. Agreed it was one of the worst drop-ins he's ever seen but wasn't quite as "fuck all y'all and the stick you rode down the ice on."

What was really incredible was when the dark team did get in the zone and score, my "defensemen" were like, "Who celebrates a goal in drop-in?" Like THEY were the ones being douchenozzles! Of course they're happy to get a goal! They were happy just to get in the zone and get a shot on goal! And of course, I was so cold by the time I got a shot, my timing was off and let 3 in. I should have just gotten one of the white team guys to come shoot on me between visits from the dark team. WTF else was there to do?

Anyway, damn. That was just a complete waste of time and I leave that rink a little angrier every time I go. I'll play for the Koreans when they buy the ice time, but I'm not going to the rink-run drop-in anymore. When the rink employees are both on the dominant team and basically just shrugging at the whole situation, come on. Shove your $15 up your ass. Half the people on the ice didn't have any fun and none of the goalies did.

Okay, but for something good: One of my new twitter buddies, who is basically the Jeff Crawford of the Manitoba Moose, gave me some advice on lengthening the tie from the front of my blade to the toe bridge of my pads. That's one adjustment I'd never tried and I do think it made a difference. The idea was for it to help with lateral pushes, and it did somewhat (though that is still mostly a strength issue), but the bigger deal is that it seems to have improved my butterfly. Pads seemed to flip up more naturally.

But the real test of that is when I'm actually having to play goal in real time, which I did maybe once tonight. So we'll see on Sunday how that goes.

*deep breath*

Anyway, yay Nashville for their win tonight. Blah blah. I'm hungry. Wish I'd gotten something on the way home but I was too pissed to be hungry then.


Monday, April 19, 2010

Two two two games in one!

Boy was that a frustrating game tonight. I mean, not Dan Boyle frustrating, but still frustrating.

Game was 3-1 into the third period. It's all love and pad taps and "Woo goalie!" from my team. I'm in the zone and getting great defense from my team.

Then they get 2 quick ones on me midway thru the third and the floodgates opened. We ended up losing 4-5. Then played an extra (refless) period and I lost that, too.

Most of the late goals came on odd man rushes, so I have to keep that in mind while I beat myself up.

I'm trying to just be happy about the 50 mins or so I played well, but you goalies know how it is. It SUCKS to bomb out at the end of a good game, but I needed more help than I was getting at the end. More importantly, I should have recognized the situation and talked myself up for it and gotten refocused for the different type of game I was seeing in my zone.

I'm sure I was playing too deep by the end, as I usually do when I'm feeling frustrated.

Ahhhhh wellllll. It is what it is. Gotta shake it off and be ready for tomorrow night.

Here's one thing I know: My next vehicle will have 4 wheel drive. Rained hard all the way to the rink and back. White-knuckle!

Another thing I know: Cookies will not give me the end of that game back. So, I'm not making any. #fatgirlaffirmations

I'm in a Hip mood.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Caps/Habs Live Blog: 6 p.m. CT

If you're sitting around tonight, ignoring your family and watching hockey, like I'll be doing, come on by and join in the Live Blog being hosted by the crew, including Wild Nation's Blake Benzel and USA Today's Justin Bourne.

Don't be shy. I only bite if you ask me to and Justin only bites if you startle him.


Friday, April 16, 2010

Jon B. Quick

Can I nom on Jonathan Quick for a bit? Jesus Mary and Joseph.... what a goalie. And not my usual heart-attack, ornery type of goalie either. I like to think that my taste for goalies is expanding a bit, though if you consider my "goalie fetish," as Bourne calls it, that might also be a little scary.

Someone on Twitter last night compared him to Kipper, which burns. I don't like Kipper at all. That mayyyy have something to do with how badly he screwed me in a couple of fantasy leagues 2 seasons ago. I mayyyy be a bit of a grudge holder. Mayyyybe.

Still, there's nothing lovable about Kipper. He's shady and greasy and a diva (see: 2010 Olympics - Team Finland).

In fact, I've now thought about him for too long and need brain bleach.

Don't you wish your goalie was fat like Marty?

I just realized why Marty gets me so hot and bothered. He looks so much like this really sketchy boyfriend I had in junior high. Big football player. Dumb as rocks. A real shit, to be honest, but... remember that episode of the Simpsons where Lisa falls for Nelson? It was kinda like that. Oh my poor mother was so disapproving, at least of the stuff she knew about. Ha.

Anyway, really similar features to Marty. This guy is also the reason Stetson cologne turns me into a drooling beast.

Ever feel like you've said too much?


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

My AHL Playoff Predictions

Ahhh, the time of year when Wild fans convince themselves that they might actually enjoy the playoffs more without the "stress" of having a dog in the fight. I'm doing that double-time this year with both the Wild and Aeros.

But I am actually pretty stoked about the match-ups, especially in the West where I'm fully prepared to have my heart broken by the Kings and Preds. I'm also watching some of the AHL match-ups with some interest. Lots of good, up-and-coming goalies being put to the test, so it's exciting to see who prevails. I have my predictions below and if I were remotely the gambling type, I'd totally put money on them. But I'm too cheap to gamble, so I'll put my pride on the line, throw 'em out here and we'll see how I do.

The links are to my write-ups for looking at each division's goaltending and how the teams match up. I didn't explicitly get into predictions there, but those pieces may explain my thinking on these predictions:


Atlantic Division

Worcester Sharks (1) vs. Lowell Devils (4) - Lowell in 6
Portland Pirates (2) vs. Manchester Monarchs (3) - Manchester in 6

East Division

Hershey Bears (1) vs. Bridgeport Sound Tigers (4) - Hershey in 4
Albany River Rats (2) vs. Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins (3) - Albany in 7


North Division

Hamilton Bulldogs (1) vs. Manitoba Moose (4) - Hamilton in 5
Rochester Americans (2) vs. Abbotsford Heat (3) - Rochester in 6

West Division

Chicago Wolves (1) vs. Milwaukee Admirals (4) - Chicago in 6
Texas Stars (2) vs. Rockford IceHogs (3) - Texas in 7

So, there ya go. I'll circle back and see how I did when round 1 is over and let you all mock my shame for being so cocky.


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Everybody Huuuuuurts... sometimes

Damn. So, I didn't want to write about this but I have to to purge it. I dunno how other goalies do it. I can't let go of the bad without writing about it. Even a beer didn't fix it (but did help me get to sleep at a reasonable hour last night).

So, everything that was great about Sunday was horrible about Monday. My timing was off, my skates hurt, my blades felt like they were sharpened at like 1/4 or something. Felt like skating on thumbtacks rather than blades.My shins and calves and ankles were burning in warm-up. My pads felt enormous and awkward and in the way.

And then I started playing and some things got better (the burning) and some got worse (the other burning). I was so bad in the first half, I nearly had a panic attack without even having any caffeine! I was just playing so bad that it was better to think maybe I have a brain tumor or something rather than accept that I simply suck this bad.

Didn't help that I'd been up since 4 with no nap, and that blessing to all women, PMS, was starting to pump evil through my veins. It only lasts for about 24 hours but when I'm PMSing, I feel like someone else. Like I'm out of my head with inexplicable rage. I didn't hit peak rage until I was driving this morning and nearly got t-boned twice in the span of about 1/4 mile. *kaboom* But it was definitely making me squirrely last night.

Anyway, the only thing good that happened was successfully using a tool I picked up watching Brusty's camp last summer. There were a couple of attempts to shoot the puck from the side of the net to the slot and I learned watching that camp to put my stick out in the shooting lane and cut them off.

Normally, they either just shoot elsewhere or they're shooting a bit wide of how far I can reach but last night, TWICE, they shot it right into my stick. This is why I use white tape. :) Both times, it was picked up by my D and carried out.

But that's it. Everything else was miserable. One of those nights where after the game, nobody really talks to the goalie because there's no "good game" to say. We all know it was craptastic. Let's just talk about baseball. (Speaking of which, woo! Go Jays! Except for the home opener which they lost. Sorry Canada.)

I'm done for the week though. Opera tonight and then back to some regular workouts the rest of the week.

This is probably what I get for finding it hysterically funny when the Aeros played "Everybody Hurts" when the Aeros got scored on late in the season. LOL Okay, it's still funny.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Long-winded goaltending brain dump

So, I was 2 or 3 minutes away from a shutout in 40 minutes of scrimmage (so, not a REAL shut out, but still, would have been nice) and Joe is cherry picking at my blue line. Outlet pass, my team is still deep in the blue team's zone and tired, Joe comes in on me and roofs it backhand. It was such a blur, I had to ask Scott TFCG how he scored on me.

I nearly cried. I was so excited to be so close and boom. One stupid breakaway. Oh well. Disappointment is motivation, right? And I only allowed 1 goal. And it was still a fun practice. Had a little time to just goof around and worked on butterfly slides and puzzled over the hybrid post position and how to 1) find and 2) seal the holes around my feet in that position. Grr. I hate that position, even though I know how useful it would be if I could get a grip on it.

Went out on the 5/8ths sharpening for the first time. Definitely easier than the initial sharpening and I don't see any problem getting to 1/2 by early July and being comfortable on that for camp. It's amazing to me what a difference it makes in all areas of my game.

  • Quick (a relative term for me) recovery to my feet is massively easier. I feel like I can just pop up when they're sharp. Even if my balance isn't 100%, I've got so much bite, it's easy to adjust.
  • I feel so agile. Like my movements are more crisp and more "sure."
  • I have less pain. My knee finally feels fine post-game for the first time in months and I think part of it is reducing strain from my muscles having to accommodate for work my skates should have been doing for me. 
  • I worked on butterfly slides while the skaters did some drills, which is one of those things that real goalies make look easy and natural when it totally isn't. It's very tiring on your legs and very hard to get your balance and momentum such that you actually move side to side and don't just spin in a circle. Still can't do it much at all but the sharper my skates, the closer I can get. It's more a strength issue now.
  • Shuffling still sucks, especially to my weak side, but as before, everything else is so infinitely better, I don't care. 

Lowell Devils goalie Mike McKenna and I had a brief twitter exchange about sharpening a while back and he equated even 3/4 as being like skating on banana peels for him. I totally get that now. I could tell my skates were getting dull because I was starting to feel uncoordinated and "slippery" again like before the sharpening. I vow to keep the sharpenings up before that happens this time.

Not sure what that means for how long I can go between sharpenings though. Last time it was about 7 weeks, so I'm thinking 4 weeks would be more ideal. If I play all 3 ice times in a week, that's about 4 hours on the ice. 2.5-3 if I only do Sun/Mon or Sun/Tues. So that's 10-16 hours of ice time in a month, probably averaging 13 hours. Sounds about right. Though with softer summer ice coming... I dunno. Urgh.


I've had trouble with my skates loosening up on me while I play, so that precipitated the switch to waxed laces last night. It seemed to help, but sweet honey mustard, those bitches are hard on the fingers. Gonna have some nice callouses from dealing with those.

And I had to do them both twice tonight. On the right side because they were just too loose. And on the left side because once I got them on, I could tell this (quarter-sized) blister on my heel (from walking the dog in sneakers without socks) was going to be extremely painful. Luckily Michelle had some moleskin, so that skate had to come off and back on. The moleskin helped a ton through the practice portion, but once the scrimmage started, I felt that fucking blister with every single move of my left foot. Every little shift of my heel. Ouch, the burning!

It was a long limp back to the dressing room when we were done. Was never so happy to get my skates off and flip-flops on!


Anyway, back to SLICE tonight for my beloved Monday drop-in. I'm trying to mentally gear up for the faster shots and faster play tonight. I played well at novice but often that means a bad SLICE game because I get comfortable with Novice speed and this bunch is a couple notches faster. It's the quicker releases that burn me when I'm still on "novice timing." It just requires more focus and patience to beat these fast releases. It's a great challenge though, so I'm stoked.


Wondering when the Aeros equipment sale is going to be.

Priority #1 is to pick up a stick or two. I like Khudobin's that I'm using now, but he's switched to an RBK stick from Sherwood, so I'll be interested to see how that compares. It's funny how many people I see using Brusty's sticks from last year, though they're easy to notice since you don't get that coloring any other way. But I suspect his stick would overwhelm me. *ahem* You know, because he's tall. And it's probably bigger than... wait, what?

I suppose Dubie's sticks would be in the right size range for me, too. I'll have to compare his and Anton's and see which is best. I wear out the heel of my stick faster, which I read means it might be too tall for me. If Dubie's is a hair shorter, I might go that route. We'll see what's available.



I'm making another batch of sweat bands. This time I'm using real ShamWOW material because I couldn't find the cheap knock-off kind. So, any goalies out there wanting to try one, shoot me an email and I'll make sure you get one. I think I got enough velcro to make 12 and only 4-5 are spoken for, so don't be shy.

I've been using mine for a while and the only thing I don't like about them is that they do take a couple of days to get dry to the bone either after washing or playing in it. And you can't put them in the dryer (though you can machine wash them). I find machine drying them makes them somewhat less effective.


Talked tonight about possibly playing goal for one of the two Willowbrook Houston Hockey Series teams next season. Or it was more like Dan asked me if I wanted to and I said, "You'd want me?" and he said, "Well, we need a goalie." Hahaha... Not "yes" exactly. Ahhh, some day I'll be wanted rather than merely "available." I laughed though because I understand. Those guys have lived through my growing pains, which have been pretty awful at times, and probably appear even more awful to them not having been in the clown skates themselves.

But part of me says it would be good for me to have to play games that really matter. I'm not very good under pressure and it would give me at least 12 games of practice at getting better at that and just trusting myself and not getting all tight and scatterbrained. I've avoided tournaments for that reason... I'd hate for people to spend a bunch of money and me just blow up in goal and ruin it for them, so I get a little tweaked about it. Perhaps knowing I have multiple chances, I'll be more calm.

Haven't decided though. Seems like to drop $500+ bucks on something, I should be excited to do it and I'm pretty ambivalent. Might rather spend that money on better fitting gear, to be honest.


I heard this on the way home last night. Windows down, crank it up, bitches. I know I've posted it before, but I love this song.


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The one where I make a dorky Pinocchio reference

I'm in a foul mood but BrustyBobble is making me laugh in my attempts to make him say "No." It's pretty hard to get a good, solid "No" out of the little fella but the failed attempts are pretty funny and I need a laugh, so thanks BrustyBobble! When you become a real boy, we'll get you a proper goalie stick and leg pads!


I'm learning about balls today. I actually had no idea there were different kinds of fast balls. I've heard of a bunch of them, but didn't know they were all fast balls. And there are four-seamers and two-seamers, which I had to consult Wikipedia on, but still don't quite understand.
My favorite? The Yellow Hammer. That sounds downright artful, though I understand nobody does it anymore. How sad. You can bet I'll be watching pitches intently tonight when the Jays get beat by the Rangers again. (What? I told you I was cranky!)


So, my other goalie, who has one more goal than the rest of you hack goalies this season, CHRIS HOLT!, is down with Elmira for their playoff run, since Bingo isn't going anywhere. And whaddaya know, they're playing Florida in the first round.

And since my girl SwampHockey understands my goalie love, she snagged a bunch of shots of Chris for me. He had a rough game, I gotta say. The happy-go-lucky fella wasn't real happy with his team last night in a losing effort, but hopefully he'll regroup and be cool like Fonzie tonight and get the win.

As much as I appreciate the photos, I am pulling for Elmira here. Any loyalties below the AHL level travel with the goalies I'm following. No ill will toward Estero or anything, of course.

You can kinda tell it's a tough game because he pretty much looks like a crazy person in every picture. Here are my favorites of the "wouldn't wanna meet him in a dark alley" genre (and many thanks to SwampHockey for letting me post them):

Bitch, please!

If I can't see them, they can't see me.... Ninja Goalie!

Chris Holt offers you a knuckle sandwich. Or a fist pump. I'm not sure.


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Goodbye and Good Luck, Brahmas

Well, my boy Brett Jaeger is done for the season. The Texas Brahmas lost their series with Odessa last night in game 6. I didn't look at the final shot count but at the end of regulation, it was 43-23 in favor of Odessa. Talk about some defense that isn't doing their goalie any favors.

Apparently they'd lost their two best defensemen prior to the playoffs and were struggling on the back end. And then last night, their top scorer got a game misconduct, so that didn't help matters. Dumbass. The final for the game was 5-4 though, so I'm sure his goaltending was the only thing keeping it that close.

Not the most consistent year for him, and there were as many low points in the season as high points, but hopefully he'll get a good contract somewhere next year. They really seem to like him there in Dallas, so maybe he's back? Either way, he's gotten some valuable exposure to the hockey ops people for the Aeros, so that's good for him when they're looking around for goalie call-ups in the future.

Joe Palmer, his partner this season, was probably a little more consistent but never really won the #1 job as a rookie. He's Blackhawks property though, so maybe we'll see him in Rockford next year. He only had one call-up and never got in a game with Rockford, so it remains to be seen what he can do at the next level.

Anyway, congrats to those guys on a good season.


Meanwhile, on a totally different subject, my project for today, apart from work, is to see if I can fit all my gear, including my pads, into my hockey bag or if I need a bigger bag to go to Minnesota (and could I get one from the Aeros after the season if so.... hmmm). Update: Yay! It all fits, with room for my skates and undergear, if that won't fit in my carry on!

Also need to pick up my skates at some point. I had a dream last night that they did some kind of effed up sharpening on them and tried to pass it off as this great new technique. I obviously have a ton of faith in them....


Monday, April 5, 2010

I have things to say

First, a letter, from my heart:

Dear Alex Burrows,

Look, you weaselly little stain, if you're gonna do that douchey diving shit, at the VERY least, don't go sit on the bench and grin ear to ear about how much you just got over on the refs.

I hope the hockey gods have a serious smiting in store for you. 



Wooo @ Cody Almond for his first NHL goal last night!!! So proud of him! And I'm kinda feeling like, "Uh oh, we might not get him back next year..." which sucks.

I was writing to someone about him the other day and wagered that Almond Joy is going to be sort of a Stephane Veilleux type of player in the NHL. Without the attempt at self-representation and tennis obsession... And cuter.


Why didn't any of you hosers tell me that Brent Butt (of the beloved Corner Gas) had a Twitter account? What other awesomeness are you holding out on? Dammit, Canada!

But thanks to Bourney for the heads up. Now he has not one, but TWO Twitter accounts. That's when you know you're either really funny or really annoying. I'm gonna wager funny in this case.


Speaking of Twitter accounts, I'm pretty picky about my follows because I read them all and that could really add up if I weren't selective. But I've accepted my need for sport in the summer, which means I've gotta start watching baseball.

Now, I understand baseball and I enjoy the games, but I have no context. Like, I don't know any of the players or their history other than a few Astros or the ones who have been famous for steroid usage or dating Madonna. I vaguely know which teams are good and which are hopeless but not trends up or down.

So, I've volunteered John and Andrew, both huge baseball fans, to be my tutors this summer. So far, they haven't told me to bugger off, so I'm gonna keep annoying them with questions.

I probably should be an Astros or Twins fan because those are the teams I hear about the most (knowing so many Minnesotans), but I'm a self-loathing masochist so I'm following the Blue Jays. Ha. The great thing about the Jays is that there's a lot of hockey crossover. So all those Torontans (?) who are hilariously miserable about the Leafs are often also hilariously miserable about the Jays (see @eyebleaf). I'm all about efficiency.

So, I've added a few baseball tweets. My two favorites so far are @OzzieGuillen, who tweets just like he talks, so it's pretty funny even if he's not saying anything I care about. Also, for Jays coverage, @MLBastian has been good. If he's a hack and I should follow someone else for beat writer-type coverage of the team, someone tell me. He's got a sense of humor though, so I've enjoyed him so far.

And of course, there's the always lovely, always drunk, @DrunkJaysFans. I promise not to write a bunch about baseball though. If I'm doing that, then I'm not doing the hockey writing I should be doing.

But I do enjoy watching a completely different sport in the summer. The pace of baseball after a winter of hockey is a nice contrast.

We'll see how it goes. With both my beloveds out of the playoffs, it will be easier to pick up something new this summer. Though I am pretty jacked for the playoffs. I'm going to have a lot of mixed loyalties in the West, which makes a lot of games worth watching.

Anyway, I got lucky in that the Jays are playing the Rangers today on Opening Day and I can watch it on FSSW. I think that's a sign that I'm doing the right thing.


If I'm Anton Khudobin, I'm cracking the whip on a new passport as soon as I lose mine. It's been 3 months since he lost his (well, stolen... allegedly) and he's probably losing $10k+ as a result of not being with the Wild this week, including a promised start in Edmonton tonight (that I was super excited for). Never mind that Dubielewicz has no business playing up there, so Backstrom has pretty much no choice but to play. Be well, angry Finn.

Not to say that there's more going on there, because I wouldn't write about it at all if I knew there was more and couldn't say what it was... but that's one thing I've finally started to learn in a couple of years of writing about sports. If something doesn't make sense, there's more going on than people are willing to talk about on record.

On the one hand, it helps you be less knee jerk when a team or player does something that seems completely wrong-seeming or out of character. On the other, when they make it a trend, you have to start figuring maybe they really are that stupid.


Okay, you baseball freaks, enjoy your opening day. I'm not quite "boner" excited about it but I'll be watching.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Bambi: It's what's for dinner

If only this shirt were a cougar instead of a tiger, I would order it right this second.


And on an ENTIRELY different subject. Really. Forget any parallels to what I just said. I wrote some more on Darcy Kuemper tonight. This time for In Goal Mag. I wish I could have talked to the kid for another 15 minutes, just to bask in his glow a little longer. It's not often you get to see someone so off the charts happy, it's a bit contagious. I smiled all the way home.

The guys are obviously enjoying him as much as I am, as he got not one but two slaps on the ass from teammates while talking to us. They've all been there. That first defining moment of one's pro career. It's just one of those things that makes hockey transcendent at times.


To the guy who threw his hat after the Aeros third goal (luckily it didn't make it to the ice), I offer you this.


Thursday, April 1, 2010

I love Mondays!

So, I'm not much of a goal setter. That's so Type A. I figure, if I want something and something is meant for me, it will happen, or it won't. So far so good with that strategy, but then I don't run with the high-flyers much, so I guess to each her own.

However, I really really REALLY wanted to be in the main rotation for my Monday night drop in. I've been playing this drop in for probably 6 months and it's always been on an "emergency" basis, where the regularly scheduled person couldn't come or whatever and I don't find out I'm needed until Friday or the weekend or even Monday.

But now I've got an actual schedule for the month. I'm pleased as punch. Only thing better would be if I could play every week, but I'm sure the occasional break from it will make me appreciate it more.


This is my only night off this week. I'm ordering pizza. Pepperoni, sausage, and pineapple like I've been craving for 2 weeks. Then I'm watching hockey. But first....


Coach Scotty tells me it's time to shift from playing hockey to work out to working out to play hockey.

I'll tell ya, I hate working out. That's why I love hockey so much. Because it never feels like a workout. It feels like playing a game during which I get very sweaty and earn cheeseburgers.

Crunches and pushups feel like a goddamn workout and I don't like them. But I know I need to do it. So, before the pizza and before the hockey, I'll do some core and upper body work. Especially since I'm not playing until maybe Tuesday, if at all this week, so I gotta do something.

But I insist on hating it every step of the way, because that seems productive.


I wrote about Darcy Kuemper's pro debut last night and I kinda like how it turned out. Go read it. If you want.

He's a cute kid, but for 20, I do mean kid. He'll be getting carded until he's 35. He's tall (have a cheeseburger tho, honey) but just a baby face. So young that I would actually feel creepy being attracted to him, so lucky you, Darce, you're off the hook. You landed in the "Maternal" bucket rather than the "Lusty" bucket. Phew. Frankly, I'm a little worn out from all the unrequited lust this year. It takes a toll on a girl.


Alright fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine. Off to work out. *gag*


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