Novice had a fun practice last night. For the drills portion, they set the goals up cross ice and played 3 on 3. You never realize how much you rely on your posts being firmly set in the ice until you have to play with them unpegged. And doing 3 on 3 is even worse, since lots of shots are close in at tight angles, so you do lots of post hugging.
Still, it was good, clean fun.
We scrimmaged after and I fell even more in love with my favorite defenseman. There was a bunch of traffic in front of my net and he was on my glove side with more of a clear view.
He recognized that I probably couldn't see very well what the shooter was doing so he said, "SHOT COMING!" when the shooter was winding up. Since I figured I was covered up high with all the bodies, I just butterflied and got my glove and blocker out to try and prevent any corner picking.
I think the puck ended up hitting someone in front of me and my team took it out of the zone, but as they were skating out, I thanked my dman and told him I LOVE when they talk to me.
He was surprised. He said he thought goalies hated that and were like, "STFU" when the D talked to them.
I explained that yeah, I don't want to hear that I'm playing well or, even worse, goaltending advice, but to give me information to help me do my job in the moment? Fuck yeah. All day long.
Maybe I'm only speaking for myself there, but I can't imagine a goalie NOT wanting their defensemen to be their "eyes" at times. His play and his interaction with me really makes the game exponentially more fun.
And really, just in general, I'm having so much fun playing right now. I'm not playing lights out or anything, but I feel good, I'm not stressed or angsty or beating myself up for this or that. Nor am I thinking I've got anything figured out that I don't. I'm just playing a game and this feels like how I always wanted it to feel. Well, with more goals against than I'd want. :)
I finally decided to retire my first Khudobin stick after last night. It's still in reasonable shape after playing with it for over a year, but it's time for a fresh one. So I taped up the one I bought at the Aeros gear sale this year and it's so lovely in its clean whiteness.
I noticed that Anton switched from a Sherwood 530 to a 9950 last year. The pattern doesn't seem real different but I do see that the edges of the paddle are thinner than on the 530. Since that's the first place the 530 started falling apart, I'm much more wary of this stick not being as durable.
Though I think my taping style will help, as I think that's what made my old one last for so long. I actually stole it off of Brusty's picture in the Aeros calendar last year as he worked on a truck motor in full gear with his goalie stick. Cuz that's how he rolls. Mr. April is handsome, handy, and educational!
I tape the knob as usual, then I run a strip down both edges of the paddle to protect those edges a bit. On the back edge of the paddle, I run the strip all the way to the toe of the blade to give the heel and bottom of the blade some reinforcement.
Then I wrap a double-thick strip around where I grip the paddle. This helps me hang on to the stick better and secures the ends of the strips running along the edges of the paddle.
And then start the blade wrapping at the bottom of the paddle, do 2 wraps to tack down the paddle edge tape, and then leave a gap at the heel and wrap the blade like normal, including covering the toe and cutting the excess off. Oh, and then Blade Butter where it touches the ice. MUST have Blade Butter.
Like this, but with white tape instead of red. :)
Might seem like a lot of tape and might make the stick too heavy but if my weak little girl arms can manage it, I'm pretty sure anyone can. Well worth it to lengthen the life of your stick. I call it the Viagra taping job. :)
Okay, enough of that. Time to enjoy some really beautiful weather and absolutely nothing on the agenda today that HAS to be done. Thinking dog park, maybe a snow cone. But tomorrow the work begins. We're having the total interior of the house painted and I have to get all the window coverings and art off the walls and knick-knacks out of the way for them to work.
It's gonna be bitchin' though. Burnt orange on the walls of the man cave, lime green in my office... ahh, color!