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.