Sunday, January 31, 2010

Donkey punch


Bitttterrrrrrrrrrr........ again.

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Your Sunday Battery Burner....

Giggity.



Giggity.



*shudder*


*ahem*

Goalie Porn by Chris Jerina, to whom I owe undying gratitude for finally capturing Ben Bishop's pre-period stretch on camera for me.

Sweet mother of giant bendy goalie...

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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Quick Hits: Gear mods, sweat, comeback, coming up

Some goalie stuff rattling around my head today:

I ordered a new cat eye (double-bar) cage for my mask this week. $100 from Don Simmons. Easy peasy. Never changed my cage out before. No clue if that's difficult, but I figure I'll manage.

I don't think USA Hockey approves of cat eye cages, but screw them. They don't have exotropia. I really hope it helps, as I'm more and more distracted by my bars lately. I've gotten in this habit of shaking my head when someone's about to shoot on me. I'm not sure why I have to do it, but it's something to do with seeing "past" my bars. Would love to just forget the cage is there.

Dear Skaters, please don't jam your sticks in my eye. That's all I ask. Love you, Ms. C

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Back to trying knee pads again. My knee hits right in that open spot between the calf protection and knee stack. Lesson in just driving to fucking Dallas and choosing your pads in person.

Couldn't find any that were comfortable, so I had to rig some. I got some Under Armor volleyball knee pads, cut the solid back out of them and sewed wide elastic across the back. Ohhhh so much more comfortable.

I guess volleyball players don't have man-calves like me. :) Oh wait. Gotta throw out some sexy antidote to that comment:



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I'll get to test them out tomorrow when our new season of Novice League starts.

It's a practice and I'm already trying to get my attitude right about it. Hopefully I'll get to work on some things *I* want to work on, but even if I don't, I'll do my best to be coachable. I can put up with anything for a little while, right?

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On a similar note, I was reading this post from the Razor (fun blog, BTW, I recommend it even if you aren't a Stars fan) and was struck by the quote about Rick Chartraw saying he retired because he just got tired of showering.

I get that. Whenever I'm in a fit of working out a lot, the main thing I hate is that it feels like I'm always either sweaty or about to be sweaty. It's just a non-stop cycle of sweat and showers.

That's what's kept me from working out more religiously... I loathe being sweaty. It's messy and uncomfortable. The one thing that saves it when I play goal is that blessed sweatband in my mask. It remains my favorite piece of gear because I really REALLY hate my face being sweaty.

To sweat's credit, however, I do use it as a guide, particularly in the summer when it's pretty mild-to-warm in the rink. When I feel that trickle of sweat drip down the center of my back, I feel like I'm ready to play.

Anyway, no point really. I'm just impressed by athletes' tolerance for that endless sweat/shower cycle. Mine is quite low.

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Unbelievable game for the Aeros tonight. I don't normally do a big recap of away games, but this one was so worth it. Comeback of the year, fight of the year. Unreal.

Also, stay tuned. Bishop was in goal for Peoria, so I've got a treat for the ladies coming up. You can't even believe this stretch the guy does. I'm not responsible if it makes you pregnant. That's all I'll say.


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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Harding and the goalie food chain

Josh Harding was a freaking STUD tonight. I wasn't even planning on posting tonight but shit, he was clearly in pain with just about every move and still managed to get a shutout. It was an epic, Kerri Strug-esque performance. (I'm probably insulting one or the other in making that comparison, but I mean it in the best possible way, while still sort of mocking Josh because I'm mean like that.)

Anyway, first star and a shutout for that guy and well earned.

But this certainly makes things interesting. My boy Jaeger might wanna keep his phone on him where ever he is in bumfuck CHL, because neither Backs nor Hards seem to be in particularly good shape.

If the goaltending experience is remotely universal, Harding had adrenaline in his favor tonight, which dulls pain. Imagine, with all the grimacing he was doing WITH the adrenaline (and whatever superman painkillers they'd put in him), how he's gonna be feeling in the morning. Ouchy hips make everything hurt. It's one of those deep pains. You can't ice it. It just sits there ... hurting. Ugh. I feel for him.

But the whole team just played their nuts off. It reminded me of some of the heroic defensive performances of the Aeros two years ago, back when all they had was great goaltending and gutsy defense. God, I loved that team.

I'm watching the recap of the game on On the Fly, though, and there was no appreciation for what Harding really did there. Was kinda like, "Well, normally they mostly suck so this was kind of a fluke because they have Colorado's number." Pfft. Kevin Weekes would have nailed recapping that game. Not kidding. Everything he does that isn't goalie-related is intensely uncomfortable, but his goalie commentary is often pretty good.

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Still, that means Brusty is in the AHL where he belongs (at the very least). So as much as I feel for Harding, I also feel like the planets are aligned again.

Ha! They just said, "He loves to ride the hot goaltender" on OTF. Who wouldn't? *sigh*

Anyway, Brusty's in Milwaukee. No clue where it goes from here, but I'm feeling mellow about the whole thing. It's all gonna be fiiiiiiiine.

Here's a pretty cool video of Brusty's greatest hits (and some warmups?) put together by the Blades, who are surely crying in their beer at the moment. Not only is the music funktastic, but you also get to see how often he gets run by his own fucking team. Honest to god, those boys need to learn to stop. I've never seen a goalie get run by his own team more. He's not a tackling dummy, guys, he's a person.

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Gonna try something new here. Like how I made my bitterness cute with sweet, fuzzy animals, I'm gonna try and make my my aching knees and other lamentations sexy:

I totally knew a change in the weather was coming tonight thanks to my knees feeling crummy.


How's that working? I think repetition is key. We'll see.

Buenos noches, gatitos....

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wet Wednesday Live Blog

In honor of Wet Wednesday in Estero, I started early.

Had an annoyingly grumpy afternoon, given that previously I had a pretty awesome morning of watching my clothes spin-spin-spin in my new washer. It's a thing of beauty, this washer. And I may love the dryer even more. It's so fast and everything is so fluffy. It's wonderful. This is about as domestic as I get.

Anyway, figured I'd distract myself from my grumpy self by live blogging the games tonight. Kicking off with Brusty in goal for the Blades at 6:30 CT vs. Trenton. Then it's Wild vs. Detroit on the big TV and Aeros v. Chicago on the netbook at 7:00 CT.

Have I mentioned it's utterly ridiculous that Brusty's in the ECHL? Maybe if I say it now, I won't feel compelled to say it 300 more times tonight.

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I really dig the way the radio guy introduces Barry. It's like a boxer. "SWAN... RIVER... MANITOBAAAA" Yeahhhh.

Game on. I need another beer.

Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap. Tap.

Did they just say the other goalie, Coleman, is "Ken Dryden-esque"?

Big scrambling save there on a turnover right in front of the crease. Brusty's awake.

"Sloppy in their own end" Ewww. Stop saying that.

Still haven't gotten another beer. Really sleepy. I wonder what shots are right now. Pretty high I'm thinking on Brusty's end. The bad defense is back.

Brusty nailed in the head (by a Devil, not a puck) apparently and is pissed about it, griping at the ref for not doing anything about it. Get the feeling we're going to be treated to fired up, pissed off Barry tonight. Double the fun!

Blades penalty kill coming up. Big trip and dramatic, slow get-up by victim. Please. But at least that means we get to watch Brusty more. Can't clear the zone in the second half the kill. Talking about how big Barry is and how good he is down low. He's a "burly guy" but if you're gonna beat him, it'll likely be high. (Gotta say, that pretty much applies to every butterfly goalie, fellas.)

Other goalie had to wake up from his nap to handle a Blades power play at the end of the period. Score sheet shows 11 shots on the Blades net in the first period but that's horseshit if it sticks. I know he saw more shots than that.

Okay, time to pull up Aeros and Wild games.

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Easy peasy goal for Mittens around the Wings' sleeping defense. And it sounds like Sifers and Zingoni are both back in the lineup for the Aeros. Yay! Dubie in goal? Interesting. Your All Star goalie is a non-entity.

Lehtonen in goal for Chicago, still on his rehab assignment to Chicago.

And now an easy goal for Detroit. Datsyuk, who just blew two snot rockets on the bench. Sometimes I think hockey players were raised by wolves.

Wow, sick stick handling by Burns at the feet of Osgood.

Bayrack is being interviewed in the Blades intermission and is pretty much in awe of Brusty's mad skillz. Yeah. Get that guy a Lusty for Brusty shirt, will ya, girls?

Aeros down 1 already with a sneaky play by Jason Krog. I didn't see it and there's no replay on this feed, but Joe says Dubie didn't have a chance on it. Just a great play and bad defense, it sounds like.

And now they're down 2 with a tip-in from Tim Stapleton. Turn out the lights, the party's over. Knowing the Aeros, I think I'll just focus on the Blades and Wild now. Pfft.

Brusty's really playing the puck nicely tonight and the team is making good use of it.

Great stop by the Trenton goalie. He's a big dude.

Stop running your goalie, Blades.

Another goal for Mittens, who has Osgood's number tonight. But Detroit answers right away. God damn, Josh Harding, we're never gonna get rid of you, are we?

And now Gillies scores for the Aeros on the PP. Good for him! And unlike Harding, Dubie makes a HUGE save to stop Chicago from answering quickly. 2-1 Wolves.

And now Ebbett tips one in past Osgood. Perfect screen by Earl to make that happen. 3-2 Wild.

And Brusty's shutout with me watching is OVAH with a goal from Trenton. And, pissed, he launched the puck down the ice and got an unsportsmanlike penalty for it. Grumpy Brusty. Tap tap tap tap tap...

Radio guys talking about how the Devils are trying to get under Brusty's skin and how he needs to get a grip. Frankly... I wouldn't blame him if he went off on someone, but really, if there's anybody tough on this team, they need to do it for him.

And Trenton scores again. Can't really tell what happened, but unless the Blades can get some goal support going, it really doesn't matter how many get past Barry. 2-0 Devils.

Not feeling good about this game. B seems rattled. Something needs to happen to let that tension off. And this penalty to the Blades just now isn't what I'm looking for ... ugh.

OMG, now B gets a tripping call during the power play. Deep breath, B. LMAO, as soon as the play resumes 5-on-3, Barry whacks another guy with his stick ask he skates by the crease. Okay Barry. Look. If you wanna cut a bitch, then cut a bitch, eh? Go big. :)

Hmm. Harding looked a bit gimpy there getting up. You can't imagine how I hawk all the goalies to see if they get up a little slow or whatever. LOL "Ohhh! Is he hurt? Is he hurt?" Terrible, I know, but I do same to Brusty, too, though for the opposite reason. Especially when he's getting piled on 5 times a game by his own freaking teammates. They've really gotta get over that. We all want to sprawl ourselves on top Barry (what? that's just me?) but he's working there.

Man, I love cheese. Maybe I shouldn't eat swiss cheese while Brusty is playing. Heh. Kidding B.

OMG, 17 shots on Barry in the 2nd period. I think the first was more like that, too, and the shot counter wasn't quite awake. No wonder he's pissed.

Aaaaaaand another goal beats Dubie back door. 3-1 for the wolves. Blah.

FINALLY a fight in the Blades game. Some good punches thrown there. Maybe that sparks the Blades or at least settles down the chippiness aimed at the goalie. Too little, too late, I'm afraid though.

Big save by Brusty that had the radio boys screaming. Impossible to tell what happened on B2, so maybe Bethani snagged it.

WOO! Bayrack puts the Blades on the board finally, with only 3:46 left in the game.

Brusty on the bench with 50 ticks left but Blades can't hold the zone and the one good shot, Coleman makes a wicked glove save to shut 'em down.

37 shots on goal for Devils, 30 for Blades with 12 seconds left. Guarantee that's too low for Trenton.

Woof. That wasn't fun at all. Just frustrating. Though I'm kinda enjoying the jubilation with which Coleman is skating off the ice. Happy goalie. Anyway, Trenton wins 2-1.

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Oh man, beautiful goal from Belanger to Latendresse. Holy hell. Every Red Wing in that end looked like they were made of stone. 4-2 Wild.

And now Havlat with another just sick sick goal from Mikko to Havlat that Osgood pretty much tips in himself, it looks like.

Now the Wings are getting grumpy. Can't imagine why.

Wolves go up 4-1 now on a tic-tac-toe play up the ice. Fire the bus up. Good grief.

Wow, the Aeros narrow the gap to 2 goals down with a Daoust shot right from the faceoff. 4-2 Chicago.

With 5 mins left, Constantine pulls Dubie, but just a few seconds in, the Wolves score to go up by 3. Sometimes I wish you could just call the game.

Really hoping there's a good West Coast game to redeem a less than thrilling night of hockey so far. Neither the Blades nor Aeros games looked like they were even any fun to play.

Calgary/Dallas and then on to Blues/Nucks. Think I'll watch those in bed. Not too sure I like this live blog concept. If you got this far, man, props. This post is as bad as the hockey it's about. I guess that's appropriate.

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Monday, January 25, 2010

Awesomest post ever. Or not. Whatever. You people are so demanding.

I was going to wait until later to post Saturday's Brusty pics from the lovely Ms. Shilladay, but my Google Alerts magically brought me this blog post and I though it was worth sharing (and frankly, I've got such a sieve for a brain, I'd forget about it if I didn't post it right now).

This guy takes sports road trips and blogs about them. Gives a pretty good idea of the scene if you're looking to take in a game somewhere, from costs to facilities to the game itself.

He's obviously a very smart man since he liked Brusty and I'm assuming a Leafs fan based on this quote:

I was also impressed by Brust (shown below), who was unruffled after giving up the early goal. Turns out he is down with Florida on a rehab assignment from the AHL, so maybe we will see him back in the NHL at some point. He can't be as bad as Vesa Toskala, can he?
Rehab shmeehab. But yeah. Brust > Toskala. Do it, Vegas.

What a sweet set up for Vesa though. Sure, he's a punchline now, but any time he does well, it's all, "yaaaay, you DID it, Vesa! Have a cookie!" Unlike a guy like Luongo, where Nuck fans start cutting themselves when he has a bad game. No pressure, big guy.

Okay, on to Saturday's Barry pictures. But first, did you know, Mr. Mill, that he's the top goalie in the league right now with a 9-2-2 record, 2.26 GAA, and .925 save %. Seems pretty healthy to me.

It wouldn't surprise me to see him get Goaltender of the Week for the ECHL this week, which I assure you will cause no shortage of cognitive dissonance for me. Nice honor but ohfuckI'msobitter.

My bitterness is this adorable kitten. Meow.


*Ahem* Anyway... On to the fabulous Mr. Brust in the Blades' 5-1 victory Saturday. Here's some music to swoon by.



I tried to do an animated GIF of this series of shots but after two laborious attempts suggesting to me how much more laborious it would be to actually do it so it looks as good as it deserves to look, fuck it. Scroll down fast and maybe it will look like an animation.

A little old school, two-pad stack action that turns into a manage-a-trois in the crease. How cozy.


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Close one.

Barry the Peacemaker makes a rare appearance during a scrum around his net.
Usually he's causing trouble. :D

Lucky Olson.
Next time I see Barry, I'm gonna pretend to wanna fight someone so he'll have to hold me back. OMG, that's a genius plan. Must remember to fight a guy, though, because no man is stopping a girl fight.

When I make a save like this, I'm thinking, "MY PUCK!" like a 6 year old. I'm so dumb.

Mmm-hmm, just like that.


GOAL.
Because goalies can't make saves with their teammates reclining on them.
Also, put your pointy little hand back in your pocket, ref. :P
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NO GOAL. Snack on that, bitches.

ALLLLLL PHOTOS by Bethani "Superwoman" Shilladay
(Thank you again, Beth!)

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Upside down, inside out, round and round

My first night back in the net after a couple of weeks off was a seriously rollercoaster affair. Started off letting in 3 of 4 shots, then settled in a bit and started making some saves.

Didn't see a ton of shots, then let one horrible HORRIBLE trickler in (fucked up depth perception... thanks stupid eyes!) and had several, if I may say so myself, rather sick saves that redeemed the night and forced me to not come home and consider retirement a la Brett Favre and that guy in Arizona with the too many kids. Warner. Yeah.

I'll tell you about one save and then I'm moving on to something else: Mikey on a breakaway. I challenge. He has to shoot. Right into my glove and batted down into my pads. OMG that felt gooood.

Also had a nice little series of saves where I stopped the original shot AND the rebound with my left pad. It was a sure goal but I got over.

Anyway, started cold, ended pretty hot, except Coach Dan got hurt, so I'm concerned for him.

The knee was pretty good all night except when I went down awkwardly by the post one time and jammed it up a little bit. It feels okay but it usually does after I play since it's numb and I'm jacked on adrenaline.

Still having the issue with my right pad, but I consciously adjusted it back to its proper position most of the night and found my butterfly to be more consistent. Such a weird thing. I'm wondering if even just loosening my straps would help.

I play SLICE tomorrow night, so I'm glad this was a bit faster tonight and I ended on a good note, so maybe I'll carry over the correct level of arousal (as Shaun the Mental Coach says) for that game from the start.

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OMG enough of that. You know what's AWESOME after a game of hockey that you'd kinda rather forget?

Ruffies.

But I don't have any so, instead we're gonna drink our chocolate milk and look at pics of Brusty from this weekend. If that isn't a recipe for soothing the savage bitch, I dunno what is.

Much "I bow to thee" to friend of the blog and Everblades fan, Bethani Shilladay, for taking these great shots of Barry playing this weekend!

I'll kick it off with Friday's seriously sexy win:

Want.
(The FTM beard is coming along nicely.)

*sigh* Yes.

Tracking the puck into the corner.

Among the things Barry's always struck me as being particularly good at is his visual attachment to the puck. You can see this one getting batted around in mid-air. Not to worry. He's on it.

Here's another like that, with a great blocker save. No rebounds!


I'm not sure what exactly happened in these next two shots. The first one, the skaters are looking past Barry and the second, the puck is under the Gwinnett player.

Regardless, my favorite part is the lady in the background with her hand over her mouth. I spend most of Barry's games in person pretty much in that same state of OMGWTFBBQ.



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Um. Lucky crease.

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Here's another case of BITCH, DON'T RUN MY GOALIE!

Sweet buttered mercy.

ALL PHOTOS by Bethani "Superstar" Shilladay

Okay, that's all for tonight. I'll post Saturday's pics tomorrow, but I'm getting sleepyyyyyy.

I love how Diana Ross seemingly always has an industrial fan blowing on her. Suppose she's got a full time "Fan Guy"? Oh, to be Diana Ross.

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Saturday, January 23, 2010

O Canada

So, Cody Almond has 9 points since yours truly informed him during an interview at the end of December that KC promised on the record he'd play in the NHL.

Now, I know it's Cody's hard work that's got him where he is right now and it was clear he was on the cusp of this, but hey, nothing like a crazy-positive scouting report from the bossman to put the wind at your back.

Tonight he got a career high 3 points, assists on all three power play goals the Aeros racked up in the first 6 minutes of the second period tonight. He also got the third star (and the only star for any of the Aeros).

I think it's safe to say that the Aeros have Abbotsford's number on the power play. It's really been exciting to watch the last couple of nights.

Dubie was not super sharp in goal tonight, and the Aeros allowed 4 goals (1 PP), so the game went to OT and Rogers just straight up hard-worked his way to the GWG.

Great start to this road trip, for sure.

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Blades won tonight 5-1, and Brusty was Brusty. I'm really out of superlatives. All the guy does is validate my adulation. The team played well in front of him, too, for the most part. It never ceases to amuse me when a fight breaks out around him, he's jumping in there to pull guys off or whatever. None of that typical goalie aloofness. More reasons to be lusty for Brusty, as if you needed more.

He also got the third star, after I jokingly fussed at the Blades beat writer for leaving him off last night. His performance last night I thought was more deserving. Lots more great chances for Gwinnett but still, tonight he stopped 28 of 29 and the one goal was a PP goal.

Also, once again, I got called away from my laptop to help Mr. C, and boom. Goal. So, Brusty's still pitching a shutout while I'm watching. :)

Dear Blades, I'll happily take cash or a practice sweater in exchange for being glued to the screen. *call me*


Gotta say though, my heart kinda went out to Gwinnett goalie Dan Taylor, as he got scored on literally at 19:59 in the third. :( It didn't matter in the game, but stats-wise, that's a punch in the gut for the guy and he went off clearly in a pissy, stick-swinging way. Clear a path for that one.

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Jaeger hasn't played in a while, but his partner Joe Palmer got his ass handed to him last night, so I expected Jags would be in tonight.

Well, he was and man, what a game that must have been. One of those rare games that goes through regulation and OT without a single goal on either side. Just a total tending clinic at both ends for Texas and Corpus Christi, with shots 34-37 respectively. Wow.

Texas ended up winning with Jaeger letting in only 1 of 5 shootout attempts and the Brahmas potting two in the skills competition.

To complete the hat trick of game stars for "my boys," he took home the second star, but more importantly, hopefully he's earned some starts over Palmer at least for a while. I know it seems crazy to award starts to the BEST goalie, but apparently some teams actually do that.

Is my bitterness getting any cuter? No? Here have a puppy and pretend it's my bitterness.

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I've been following this little blog that's all about Atlanta's Kari Lehtonen since last summer. The writer digs that oft-injured goalie an awful lot, so you can imagine, the blog speaks to me on a certain level.

Anyway, Lehtonen had his first conditioning start in Chicago for the Wolves tonight. Chicago lost 5-4 to Peoria, and from the Peoria tweets I saw, it sounded like Ben Bishop stole some of the game from Chicago with some really huge saves (though, does that guy do anything small?)

But I was just thinking how excited that blog's author must be tonight. Their goalie back in action at long last! Best wishes to Lehtonen on a solid return to the NHL and congrats to my fellow blogger on getting your goalie back. It's like the world getting back on its axis and definitely something to celebrate.

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Friday, January 22, 2010

Ridiculous

My little life lesson on fleeting greatness is eluding me tonight. I can't seem to shake my frustration that Brusty is playing such a kick ass game for somebody else's team.

I understand the business decisions and the logistics and the shitty luck of the draw, but logic just doesn't matter. My goalie is tearing it up for someone else and that just makes me want to cut a bitch.

Anyway, he was amazing tonight in the Blades 3-2 win over Gwinnett. I missed the initial goal against, which came only :24 into the first period. Oops. But he was a whirling dervish the rest of the game.

I actually missed the second goal against when Mr. C needed some help with something. I growled at him when I heard the goal. I'd like to point out, with absolutely no regard for modesty, Brusty had a shutout while I was watching.

---> Magically Delicious is, in fact, my middle name.

He stopped 31 of 33 and MANY of them (ahem, TOO many--I'm looking at you, Blades skaters) were grade A chances. But Brusty just manages to fling that big, athletic body to the right place to get a piece of the puck, regardless of how unlikely it seems.

The crowd was certainly behind him... you could feel it even watching online, so it must have been pretty electric to be there in person.

*sigh* We used to get that in Houston. Thanks for nothing, Mr. GM. I've gotta find a way to make bitterness cuter. This could get ugly.

Anyway, the three stars choosers misfired tonight and didn't give him any star even though really, this game would have gone an entirely different way without his amazing play. The radio dudes agree with me, so I'm pretty sure that makes me right.

But hopefully relief is in sight for my Brustyless existence. One more Blades game tomorrow and then presumably he'll join the team for the mid-west run next week and I'll get to practice enjoying the fleeting moment of greatness at having him "home." Or not. Fuck.

Watching the second half of the Aeros game now. Awesome that it's in Abby and so late. Even had time for a cookie between games. That's a good night of hockey and cookies, my friend.

Bethani took pictures tonight so I'll be back with photos later. Maybe I'll stack 'em all together and animate them and it will be like watching in person. No? Poop. Well, they'll still be awesome. Stay tuned.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

The Hip


We'll see what happens. Harding's injury will need to last a while for Brusty to be required. The team is set for goalies, even if Anton gets called up (because Backstrom The Headcase and Anton The Winless are a great tandem), until Wednesday when they play in Chicago. If Anton's still up then, they'll need to recall Barry.

So I suspect you lusty Bladers will still get him through the weekend regardless for the games against Gwinnett.

Meanwhile, Woody focused on Barry in his Blades article today and it's a good read. Though I had to laugh at the irony of reading it as I was finding out Harding was hurt. Heh.

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Um, and not to distract from the issue at hand, but my new goalie half-boyfriend Alex Stalock has a really excellent interview here. The only thing he got wrong: Star TREK. Come on. Embrace your inner nerd, Al. Even the cool kids have an inner nerd.

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Greatness is fleeting and that's okay

My go-to radio station lately is Alt Nation on XM radio. I love this station.

(Except for one of the DJs, Madison, who is like nails on a chalkboard. To her credit, she seems to be aware of this and does it anyway, which if you know me at all, well... I'm pretty much the same way. Hopefully not nails on a chalkboard but, you know, eff off if you don't like how I roll.)

Sorry, tangent there. Anyway, it used to be that I never got into music because so little of it seemed like it was more than a one-hit wonder. And what's the point in that? I wanted to find an artist or band who I could hang my hat on and say, "That is my favorite."

I found a few through the years who could fit that bill. The latest is the Hip. The only one that has really stood the test of time is Simon & Garfunkel. That concert in Central Park album is still probably my all time favorite album in the history of albums. I even have the dialogue between songs memorized.

But as this Alt Nation station has grown on me, I've come to appreciate that something can be both fleeting and wonderful. I may never hear another song from As Tall as Lions, but I still love this song.



And I was driving around today (driving! my car works!) and thinking about the notion of greatness being fleeting and ephemeral. Not so much the notion itself but embracing the notion.

In other words, living in the moment with what's great in that moment and not worrying about what came before or where it goes next.

I think you can probably see where this has a goaltending application, right? I mean, the mindset of a goalie is 100% in the moment. And greatness is breathtakingly fleeting at times. Sure, the best of them can be consistently great over long periods, but even they have bad games, injuries, and other rapids to navigate.

So to be able to appreciate and enjoy those moments of greatness even if they're surrounded by less-than-stellarness would be a nice thing to be able to do, right?

My litmus test for what matters is, when I'm old and on my way to tend the ol' net in the sky and I look back, what do I remember? That I let in that floater from center ice? Or the moments of greatness that weave together to make the tapestry of my experiences?

The takeaway, as my corporate peers like to say, is that ideally we could embrace and appreciate the moments of greatness for what they are. Moments. Fleeting and rare and wonderful. And likewise, understanding that the space in between that is average-to-crappy is what makes us appreciate the greatness when it reveals itself again.

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Speaking of greatness, after my staunch declaration yesterday that I have no use for a goalie sweater with another goalie's name on it, Google Alerts tests me and sends me this.

In a million years, I wouldn't pay $350 for a hockey sweater unless there's a player in it. I'd rather have new pads. But damn. PURPLE FLAMES, BITCHES! FMD. It even looks like the sublimated kind, which I love to sleep in when it's cool enough.

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Big shout out to my girl, Artnhockey, who is IN Bonita Springs and went to the Blades practice this morning and is going to the Blades game tomorrow night. Can't wait to see pics of Brusty and all the rest of the boys (okay, don't really give a shit about the rest of the boys... not gonna lie).

Safe travels, you guys!

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In honor of my boys Simon and Garfunkel, one of my favorite movie scenes. Can't imagine why.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Quick Hits: Rapper's Delight

I've got my little superstitions. Nothing too crazy and some are just habits that I feel weird not doing.

But one of my bigger ones is that I won't wear another goalie's sweater to play goal in. Like if you gave me a goalie cut Brusty sweater, I'd totally love you forever, but I wouldn't wear it to play because I don't want whatever shitty goalie mojo I have jinxing him.

Who knows how detail oriented the hockey gods are? Maybe they get confused and punish him for something I did. I can't live with the uncertainty!

Anyway, I've got a thing about that and I just won't do it.

But then in my Google Reader, among all my AHL goalie news hits, I get this from Ebay.

Dare I test the theory?

Ha! Nahhh, not with MY $125+...

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My knee is feeling better! I can kneel on it, it doesn't have that squishy "fluid on the joint" feeling anymore. I'm still aware of it, but I'm delighted to see any progress!

I'm so glad I was able to take Sunday off and really give it a rest. I had a dream last night that I could drop into the fly with no pain at all. Pretty sure that's still just a dream but I am going to bust out the Stretch-a-Flex tonight and see if I can get a really good stretch in.

So much for my wonderful plan of going for a massage this week, though, since my car is dead. Again. And Mr.C is out of town. Again. This is getting old quickly. At least there's a CVS in quick walking distance. I'm getting hungry.

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So, I'm having this issue with my pads, you know, where the right one won't flip up a lot of times when I drop.

And then I notice that I'm having trouble keeping that pad centered on my leg. It wants to turn inward on me.

So, the other day, I'm standing around waiting to play and kinda thinking about this and trying to figure out, mechanically, what is going on here. Because when I shift my right pad over to where it should be, it pushes on the padding in the front of my pants.

I start feeling around to figure out why that's happening on one side and not the other and I discover the following:

The hard padding on the front of my pants is basically flat and about the width of my pads. On the left side, that flat surface matches up with the back of my pad just fine.

On the right side, however, the pants padding sits a little off center, turning inward. So, when my pad meets the front of my pants, it also shifts inward.

And when I straighten it back out, the pad is pushing on the curved outer edge of the pants padding, and eventually, invariably slips back off center again.

The drawing shows what it looks like when I shift the pad over to where it should be. The red area shows where the pad shifts back to when it's sitting naturally against the pants.

It doesn't seem like much but it's actually a pretty big difference.



I'm going to try lacing the pants up looser Sunday and see if that helps the pants sit differently on me. They're fairly loose now, but it's all I can think of to try, other than new gear. But if anybody has any ideas, let me know.

The good thing is, now I know it's not my knee pads screwing up my pad rotation, so those are coming back. I'm tired of slamming them on the ice.

Also, almost on the boobie drawing, right?! Shame I'm not having a problem with my chest protector....

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Tuesday, January 19, 2010

AHL All Star Wrap-up (Spoilers Ahead!)

Well, shit, that was actually the most fun ASG I've ever watched. If you're having to watch it on delay, stick with it. It gets really good at the end. I'll stick a photo here, but after that I'm talking about the game so don't read if you don't wanna know what happened yet.


That would be Alex Stalock, my new boyfriend, pictured there. Oh right, I promised Nicky I'd share. Okay, that's my new Half Boyfriend, Alex Stalock. I would like the bottom half please. Haha...

Anyway, so the skills competition was only so-so yesterday. It was complete retardation that Noreau wasn't in the hardest shot competition, unless he's hurt or something. And Anton went first in all the goalie-oriented events, which meant he was the guinea pig for the director figuring out the best cameras to use for the event. Never saw him very well.

But the game tonight really made up for it. It ended up tied and going to a shootout, with the Canadians pulling out a slim victory. And to get to the tie, it was a whole goalie-pulling situation and a near miss on an empty net and the whole shebang. Like real hockey!

Which is in stark contrast to earlier in the game where my inner goalie was screaming, "PLAYSOMEFUCKINGDEFENSE!" at all of them. I know that's just how all star games are, but you'd think if your being honored as one of the very best at what you do, you'd want to show why you're there. I guess they were saving it up for the end, eh? Like when Vishnevsky deflected the puck in on his own goalie. Dunderhead.

The most fun part of the night was, of course, watching goalies I don't get to see.

In the first period, I fell in temporary love with Alex Salak, the cocky little rookie up in Rochester, after he literally drop-kicked the puck halfway up the ice after making a stop. Who does that? But really neither he nor Bernier had a chance. Neither D was playing at all and all the forwards had fresh legs.

The second period, however, Justin Peters and Khudobin played and my goodness, Anton was terrific. The first period ended 5-2 for Planet USA, so obviously the Canadians were all in the room like, "You hosers need to get more pucks on the net, eh" and they came out firing on all cylinders.

They put 23 shots on Anton in that second period, at least half of them odd-man rushes, and he let in 3. It was looking a little dire at first because the first two goals came 13 seconds apart just 2 minutes in. The first one, however, wouldn't have counted in a real game as it was VERY clearly batted in with a high stick (McKenna agrees, thank you very much).

The second one was just brutal, but the rest of the time he was just stoning everybody. It was pretty phenomenal and he represented the Aeros and himself well.

And speaking of representing the team, I was pleased to see Max actually playing some real defense and still getting some shots on goal, though I think he hit the post about 5 times. I was hoping for a penalty so he could QB the PP and "work from home," but no dice. Silly ASG.

Anyway, Peters was in the other end and he stopped 9 of 11, and looked really impressive at times, but Anton just mopped the floor with those guys.

And then.... ahhh.... Stalock was in net for the third period. He started out the period by playing the puck a whole bunch. (Ka-ching!) and then made some huge glove saves (Ka-ching!) and then has that kind of upright stance and aggressive style like another goalie I adore (Kaaaa-ching!).

Oh mama, count me in on the Alex Stalock Bandwagon. And to think he wouldn't have been at the All Star Game at all if Neuvirth had been able to participate. Thank you for being hurt, Varly!

Anyway, it was an exciting finish so if you missed it, be sure and check for a replay of it somehwere (try 5 p.m. Friday on NHL Network). Pretty fun stuff, especially if you like to goalie-watch. It's like a buffet of the best goalies in the AHL. What could be better?

The end was great too, with the always-buzzing PK Subban (who made me a fan tonight as well by really embracing the experience and being a total attention whore for the cameras.... please don't squash the joy out of this guy, Montreal!) racing to his home goalie, Desjardins, to celebrate the win. *squee* Goalie nuzzle!

Alright, enough of that. Got a good Quick Hits post percolating in my head for tomorrow that will include a drawing. Aren't you intrigued? I might draw boobies or something. You just never know with me.

In honor of the Canadian All Stars win:

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Monday, January 18, 2010

All Star Game Live Blog

Just FYI, I'm hosting a live blog for the AHL Skills Competition over at The Third Intermission. Come check it out if you like.

Starts at 7 Central and the game is being broadcast as described here.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sampler Platter

Man, I hate not playing on Sunday nights. I feel restless and antsy. That's my net and my team. I hate it. They start in just a few minutes. :(

But I have to listen to my body better than I have in the past. This knee has been nagging since Thanksgiving. I've been to the chiropractor and I'm not sure he helped. May try a massage this week. Definitely going to do some yoga and try and get stretched out a bit better.

Thanks so much to Scotty for filling in for me, and to K for giving him a hall pass.

It was kind of annoying me to watch these NHL games tonight though. Goalies having fun while I'm at home browsing knee braces online. Craaaaaaaap.

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I love when guys get misconducts in a game. Because in my narcissistic mind, I honestly have a split second of thinking, "Oh! Ms. Conduct! I'm Ms. Conduct!" It makes me smile.

I'd love to be up to some misconduct this week. Who wants to get drunk and tell inappropriate stories a little too loudly for being in public?

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"Perry will feather it in for the Ducks." Heh. Cute.

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Went out in the garage tonight with my outdoor puck and my glove and blocker and whacked it around a bit until my stick arm was burning. (Oh stop being dirty.) Gave it a rest and went out again later. Was hoping that would scratch my goalie itch. It didn't, but it's something I need to do more often.

I actually think I made a little progress, at least in terms of hand placement of my glove. I hold it Turco-style (fingers forward/up rather than down) and find that if I get lower and put the pressure at the top of the paddle rather than on the stick right above where the paddle starts as I had been doing, the blade is more stable on the ice and I can get a pretty good shot off. Otherwise, I end up just sweeping the heel of the stick and the rest whiffs the puck. Yuck.

Still can't get any lift, but even getting a good low shot off would be a big improvement for me in this area. Looking forward to getting on the ice again and trying it out with the added height of skates and slipperiness of ice and bulk of my gear.

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Did I tell you, the other day, I played against a goalie who was using a wrong-handed stick? Funneled those pucks right into the net. Awesome.

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When I was a little girl, I played soccer a year before the age at which there were all-girl teams, so I was the only girl on an all-boys team.

Anyway, there was this little boy named Chase who, every time he kicked the ball, he would fall down. I think he just liked the drama of it, which I thought was silly at the time, but I sort of appreciate nowadays.

The Ducks' Bobby Ryan reminds me of that kid. Seems like every time he scores a goal, it comes with a flying leap or slide into the boards on the follow through. That fucker has burned my Aeros so many times when he was in the AHL that I really have no love for him, but that part of his game amuses me.

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Had a dream Friday night that the Aeros moved to Des Moines. And I didn't much care in the dream. I guess Friday's crappy game found me in my sleep, huh?

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Dear Twitter,

Please make a way for me to "Hide" somebody's tweets without unfollowing them.

Thanks,

Ms. Bitchy

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I love pro goalies who share a little of themselves on Twitter. It's so superficial but it's fun to get a sense of them "in the moment" in their lives. Dan Ellis (http://twitter.com/dellis39) and Mike McKenna (http://twitter.com/mikemckenna56) are the two most active I've found and therefore, my favorites.

Ellis had me laughing today with this series of tweets that trickled in through the early evening:


I mean, really. That's funny. And this is after him tweeting this morning that he gets his massages at the mall.

Come on. I don't even do that. Get a real MT, Danny.

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Okay, I think I'm finally drained of the little tidbits that have been rattling around my head.

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Nightly wrap-up and whatnot

So, I was kinda dreading the Aeros game last night. I mean really. That Rockford series was like a weeklong thumb in the eye. But last night was good. Nice way to leave things before they run off for like 3 weeks of no home games. It was also nice to not be playing Rockford. I'm so over that big red pig.

Plus, it's never a bad night when Kassian scores, amiright? I'm guessing he would agree, either direction you wanna go with that.

At one point, I said, "Dubie's playing really well" and John about fell out of his chair. Yes, I can be objective. Even about goalies. Even about goalies I don't like. That said, he wasn't as good in the third. So there.

Up in Trenton, things were even rosier in goal, at least for the Everblades, for whom Brusty was fantastic, stopping 25 of 26 for a really solid win. And the one goal against was a power play goal that was poorly played by the defenseman covering the back door. But other than that, the team played pretty well in front of him, so muchas gracias for that.

Anyway, the big goalie took home first star honors, which is full of win and awesome and well deserved for sure.

This was his third straight start for the Blades and now they head back to lusty Florida for the All Star Break. They face Trenton 3 more times again before the month is out. Soooo, sick of them by February? Yeah, I figure that's a big affirmative.

BTW, here's videos from the shootout of Friday's game in Trenton. Good stuff.

Meanwhile, the Wild in Arizona. How about those Yotes, my friends? What a great story they have going this season. What's going on really though? I'm gonna say a lot of this is just plain better coaching. Imagine if Gretsky had bowed out 3 years ago and let someone else coach this club.

But of course, there's the whole "us against the world" factor that brings a group of guys together.

Back to the Wild, though, Latendresse! Name a trade that's been so mutually beneficial in the history of trades in any sport. I'm not kidding. 6 goals and one assist in 11 games for Benny, and frankly (more importantly) a huge smile on his face every time I see him. I love that.

And Latendresse is virtually unrecognizable, he's such a new man. Look at this:

In almost equal games, from scoring to PIM to +/- to shots on goal, the guy has gone from Clark Kent to Superman. Seems some Habs fans are still cranky with him, and I guess that's fair to some extent. Like, "where was that when we had you?" but I sure don't feel that way about Pouliot.

What's interesting is that they're praising Pouly up and down up there for going to the net and getting his nose dirty, when that's exactly what he wouldn't do for the Wild. You have to wonder if there was a certain mental block after all he'd been through with the Wild.

Maybe it wasn't so much a reluctance to do that stuff at all, but to do it for the Wild. Not consciously, I don't think, but you really have to be committed to play like that, and it's hard to be committed to a team you don't feel is really committed to you, right?

Ohhh, I thought the psychoanalysis of Benny would go away when he finally got traded. That's probably the last of it. But it is pretty fascinating.

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Tonight is supposed to be my only game of the week, but I've asked Scott to sub for me. My knee is still aching badly and I'm back coughing again (this shit will just not go away), so I think my body is saying it's time to take advantage of not playing Monday or Tuesday and also take Sunday off to really rest everything.

We'll see if he's up for it. I hate missing a game, but I've never missed a weekend of games and NOT come back fresher and better for it. Still. :( I hate missing a game.

Thinking I'll go get a good massage and see if Cheryl can work on my IT band and hamstrings so I can do some good stretching this week.

I was sitting on the edge of my bed the other day and held both my legs out in front of me (okay, I admit I was doing it to admire my wicked quads) and I couldn't straighten my left leg out completely without a ton of tightness. So there's definitely a kink in the works.

Hope I can get in though. The Houston Marathon is today and many of her clients are runners who will likely be seeking relief this week.

I should go out this morning and cheer for our friends who are running, but meh. I've done my marathon and watching people at Mile 21 where I live brings back not the fondest memories. Have I mentioned how much I don't miss that shit? I hope to god I never look back on playing hockey the way look back on that.

Not that I regret it, because it gave me a ton of courage to do the things I'm doing now, but man was that a helluva lot of time doing something not remotely fun and entirely painful.

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Big Pimpin' Hockey Night

Shout out to my boy Jaegs, who got his 100th career win tonight with the Brahmas. It's been a frustrating year with injuries and the new kid, Joe Palmer, getting lots of starts, so it's good to get a win and reach a milestone.

Jeers to the Aeros who still just can't get their shit togther. Didn't help that Dubielewicz allowed 2 goals in the first minute of play. The IceHogs actually broke a record for the fastest two goals to start a game in the AHL era of that franchise. Sweeeeeet.

I think Anton ended up playing literally 59 minutes (except for the bit where he was pulled at the end, when I guess the boys were supposed to score THREE goals in a minute... did Corey Locke come back?) and he let in 2. Then a rather predictable empty netter for the 5-1 final (Fraser with the goal).

But to tell you the truth, I didn't watch but the final period and I barely watched that. I was still recovering from watching Brusty's game and subsequent shootout.

Apart from one scary minute early in the second just after the Blades had gone up 2-1 and Trenton put two in past Brusty in less than a minute, it was a... well, I called the Blades a lot of names, if I'm being totally honest. Hack. Fucker. Lazy son of a no-backchecking-bitch. Move your feet. (Here's Barry's quotes on the game.)

Guess it could have been worse but I felt uneasy the whole time. And then it went to the shootout and I thought, "Ugh."

But I should know better than to doubt, eh? Brusty was once again money in the shootout and got the win, allowing only 1 of 5 shots. The drama stops were a big poke and the final stop, which the video person for the Devils replayed about 10 times at the end of the game trying to figure out what exactly happened.

I watched it over and over and still couldn't quite tell. It looked like some giant slight-of-glove trick and I have no idea how the puck got in his mitt but that's where it was.

Quote of the night was from my goalie friend who just had to see this Brusty I've been pimping, since she appreciates similar qualities in a goalie. Her comment after the shootout:

"Oh god. My ovaries."

Word, girl. Word.

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Rabbit Stew

I must be bored because normally I avoid the whole "puck bunny" vs. "real fan" debate, but honestly, sometimes the "real fan" proponents are even more annoying than the puck bunnies.

Not sure why that is, other than the "real fan" women feel the need to make strident arguments defending themselves while trashing someone else's choices in the process. "Be a hockey fan the way *I'm* a hockey fan or it's not valid."

Whereas "puck bunnies" really don't seem to feel any particular need to defend their behavior. They seem to know it's silly and tacky and don't really give a shit. Party on, Fluffy!

Look, here's part of my experience and why I don't get too hung up about bunny behavior: Some day you're gonna be old and married and if you don't have some naughty fun to look back on fondly, you might regret it. I think you need to know that wild child is in there somewhere or the most exciting part of your life is gonna be the new season of Project Runway.

And I'm not saying go be a fool. Actually, I'm not saying do anything in particular at all. We've all got different stuff that drives us, thrills us, entertains us, gnaws at us. If you wanna spend your youthful energy as the post-game buffet for a beefy hockey boy, more power to ya. Spend it however you want, but... go have some fun, just for you.

Still, neverminding my cougar lamentations, my point isn't to defend puck bunnies as much as it is to say this: I know we kinda think guys are all a little... simple. And in a lot of ways they are. And it's a joyous thing and why I adore men. They usually mean what they say, assuming you haven't hen-pecked them into silence, and that is a blessing.

But simple =/= stupid. Any man worth knowing can tell the difference between a woman who is just at a hockey game to attract some hockey beefcake and a woman who is there to watch hockey.

In fact, I would say that with the men I know who understand my passion for the game, I can dish up the most redonk crushing on a player, but they don't ever question my heart for the game. The hot boys are just window dressing.

And any guy who is calling you a puck bunny when you haven't exhibited puck bunny behavior is doing it to irritate you.

Let me say that again: He's doing it to irritate you, because you're being uptight and it's fun to poke at women who get uptight about other women.

So here's the question I have. Why do you need the validation of male hockey fans at all? Why do you worry so much about how female hockey fans are perceived by men? I almost get the sense that it's a female form of "machismo," this need to prove oneself to ones challengers.

I can tell you, after spending LOTS of time around hockey people, mainly men, that their opinion of me is 100% driven by my behavior. Not that of some other woman. That would be pretty retarded to look at the "Marry Me Sidney" chick and think, "Oh, so all women are here for the hot boys." And why would you even engage with a guy who thought like that anyway? That's why god gave us middle fingers.

Just be who you are, surround yourself with quality people, stop worrying about what the men think, and enjoy the game the way you want, in a way that's meaningful for you. Have the confidence to be your own person without needing to prove anything to anyone.

And to make it fair, quit worrying about what other people are doing while you're at it.

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Goaler Plexus

I've always had really amazing friends. I think this happens because, frankly, you have to be a saint to put up with me, but also because fakers just won't pass muster. I don't have time for people I don't like, and I won't work very hard to pretend otherwise.

So, I've been blessed in the friend department. At times the numbers were thin but they were always high quality. Now I feel like I've got quality and quantity. What a lovely feeling! And that's mainly due to hockey, through which I have met a wealth of people whose very heartbeat says, "hock-ey hock-ey hock-ey," just like mine.

Many of them are goalies, because goalies somehow just find each other. It's a fraternity that I'm so proud to be a part of and on bad nights in goal, that's the group to whom I feel beholden to do better but who I know feel my pain, having been there themselves.

One of these goalie friends is Nicky and she's got a goalie friend who wrote this to her, describing her 5-1 loss the other day:

Sadly, nothing was going to salvage Sunday's game. I was *terrible*.
My luck shifted some later in the game. At one point my toe tie came unlaced, I stepped on it, fell down and landed on the puck.
Sometimes the hockey gods decide you've had enough and step in to save you from yourself.
I don't know if you guys are like me where you have a really visceral reaction to certain aspects of the position? I feel it right in the center of my chest, like where someone would poke you if they were goading you into a fight.

Anyway, I read that and felt it right in that spot. It's just heartbreaking and funny and spot on with the humility and triumph that go hand-in-hand as a goalie.

Honestly, does it get any better? I really don't think it does.

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Quick Hits: Randomness and Save Cal

Fact about me: My first "love" wore Stetson cologne and, even though he was a total dog, that smell is like fast-acting tequila. It's scary.

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Is there a cheat for Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook? Motherf**ker. I'm sick of hovering around the 160k mark for my high scores. I'm blaming the exotropia. Suck it!

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I'm very worried about Cal. I'm not buying that he's okay and while my maternal instincts are much too weak and pathetic to have any desire to bear children of my own, what little I do have comes out in full force for my beloved hockey boys.

I know the kid is made of steel but there's a soft pink brain inside that steel skull and the Wild is just terrible at taking care of these guys with concussions. Coach says he's concerned, Cal has been concerned, Russo has said repeatedly that he just doesn't look right.

Bah. Good heavens. I hope he has the sense to pull himself if things go swirly on him. I know people who know him read this blog. Please make sure the right thing is being done.

*fret fret*


Oh and fuck you Colin Campbell, you nitwit.

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Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Back in the teeth

Well, let's see, it was a fun night of hockey for everyone but the Aeros, who lost 3-2 to Rockford. This continues Khudobin's 10ish game losing streak, though I'm told that none of the 3 goals were bad ones. A couple of of defensive lapses and one just heavy traffic and some friendly interference.

One thing that stood out to me was during the first intermission, KC was talking to Joe about how the number of defensive penalities the team is getting indicates that the team isn't possessing the puck enough. They need to control the puck more and win battles for the puck more, etc.

You know what's great for helping that? A goalie who plays the puck like a third defenseman and get the puck back in his team's control closer to their offensive zone.

But where can you get one of those? Hmm... let me think....



The Wild knocked out a big, decisive win against the Canucks, including chasing Luongo, which warms the cockles of my heart. It's not that I dislike Luongo... but he's one of the few goalies who I really don't mind seeing lose. Maybe it's because he's a Nuck and that team just grinds my gears. Or it could be the greasy mullet. Not sure.

And not only did they win on the scoreboard, there were numerous fights and John Scott's in particular was a monstrous beat down of Bolduc. Scotty used to kinda halfass his fights like he didn't want to hurt anybody, but I guess NHL money says, "If he dies, he dies." Rock on, Drago!

And if it's true what Boogaard told Russo about the Nucks coach telling his guys to go fight... man, that's... I dunno. That makes me squidgy. Bolduc got fed his own face and doesn't know which way is up now. It's just not cool.

Oh and, BTW, Latendresse Bitches! And also very relieved to see that Clutter seems to be okay. I don't trust the Wild medical staff re: concussions, but it sounds like Cal's being cautious. You'd have to be seriously concussed to not be able to look around you at the scrambled and re-scrambled brains in that room and not take ownership of your condition to some degree.

And finally, #(ahem)35 had a heck of a game for the Blades tonight. Had a shutout 58 minutes into the game and then one got past him.

Whoever said "shutout" needs to fess up and take your smack on the back of the head. Come on. You know who you are.


The shitty thing about watching online, even with a really spectacular feed like the Royals produce, is that generally you're following the puck by inference. Which is to say, you often only know where it is because of how players are moving and looking. So sometimes it's tough to tell what happened on a goal.

I'd guess by body language, it was deflected in or took a weird bounce, because Barry appeared to be well positioned for where the puck was at the last point I could actually see it. And then it was in.

Anyway, he stopped 20 of 21 in regulation and OT (perhaps the greater victory being that that's all the shots he saw), and then stopped all 7 shootout shooters. Thrilling!

Bonus was, of course, a big poke that honestly, the guy's head must have been up his ass because I don't know how he didn't see that coming. I even saw it coming and I'm fucking clueless.

Regardless, it worked. It was a fun shootout for a goalie lover, though to be truthful, these ECHL guys don't really seem to have much up their sleeves.

A couple went high glove and Barry Roy'd it up a little bit, which makes me laugh. Holding that glove up a couple of beats and then dropping it to the ice like, "Oh hey, you left this." I don't really know how that makes a shooter feel, but it can't be good because I know it makes goalies feel fucking great. Literally. KWIM? Yeah you doooooo....

My girl, Swamp Hockey has a great photoshop of Brusty the Wall here.

And also, um, I just have to get this off my chest: Matt Dalton is a weird lookin' goalie. Something about the way he skates and moves. Very stiff or something. *ahem* I'm totally NOT going to make the "normally I don't mind a stiff goalie" crack you were expecting. Oh wait....

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Well that sucked

Used to be that my Tuesday drop-in was a time slot bought by one guy and everyone paid him to play. But I guess a while back it turned into a regular, rink-driven drop-in.

And before, the goalies were somewhat controlled by the guy who paid for the ice, though there were sometimes still too many or not enough. But it was during this time that he asked me to basically be his reliable goalie and always be there and I'd be guaranteed my own net if I wanted it.

Well, if there are 3 goalies. I wasn't going to be an ass and make the other two share a net. I did do it once because I was missing part of an Aeros game to be there.

Anyway, now nobody's regulating the goalies and the rink guys don't even have a goalie limit. It really should be at 3 or 4. 4 is pushing it for an hour and a half ice time unless it's an All Star Game.

Tonight we had FIVE. Luckily one of the guys l.eft after his second 10 minute shift, but I drew the bad straw timing wise and also only got 20 minutes total in net. And I think I let just about every shot in. The only good save I had was in minute 19, which was a mere 15 minutes before the ice time was over. Talk about playing ice cold the whole game, I had 20 minute breaks between my 10 minute shifts. BOOOO.

But that was only half the issue.

My head just wasn't in it. I drank a bunch of Dr. Pepper to get through a work project that I basically spent all night last night on. I knew I shouldn't but it was DUBLIN Dr. Pepper and I was tired and not being rational.

Well, caffeine in medium to large doses causes panic attacks for me. And sure enough, here one came when I was heading to the rink. This one came to me in the form of a horrible sense of impending doom. I just had a terrible feeling that I should not go to the drop-in.

But I knew somewhere inside that I needed to press ahead. So I headed to the rink and on the way there, I realized, "OHHHH, this is a panic attack!"

I even laughed out loud at myself for not realizing it sooner. But at least I realized it at all, and instantly settled down as a result.

But at some point in there, I turned off and shut down for the night. And yet I still had to play. So my head was not in it at all. My eyes are super tired, too, so I wasn't focusing well and my exotropic eyes were challenged to track the puck even on simple shots.

Bad night all around. Worst part of all is that I turned down an invite to go get my beer on for it. Of all the things I did wrong tonight, I won't make that mistake again.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Waterproof Mascara

Man, I'm really going through the tear-stained hankies with Brusty this season. Which is to say, he's back with Florida again. Au revoir, gardien beau. *le sigh*

The wonkiest part is that he actually has a better record (6-3-0-2 combined between Florida and Houston) than the other two goalies in Houston, and this is with most of his games behind an Everblades defense that is truly a hot mess at times.

And I don't mean like how the Aeros are a hot mess. "REALLY???" is what you're thinking watching them 50% of the time. It was blowing my mind to watch Brusty see 22 shots in a single PERIOD, while the Houston goalies were seeing that many or fewer in a whole game. It's a really tough proposition for a guy trying to earn his way back to the next level.

But he's healthy and in great shape (and not just in the "my, what strong thighs you must have" way) and playing well, but so is everyone above him, for the most part. Anton's in a slump, but I imagine they're gonna let him work it out, and Dubie is playing well/lucky. Hard to justify a change, regardless of your opinions on style, when it's the result that matters.

Anyway, Brusty is heading up to Reading, PA to meet the Blades on their current monster road trip. I was reading today that he holds the single-season win record for the Royals, winning 27 games in the 2004-05 season, his rookie year.

He also had 27 PIM in 45 games that season. Who's got two thumbs and loves a high-PIM goalie? This girl. Some good stories there, no doubt.

Awww, shit. Gonna miss you, B.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

THIS

The Texas Brahmas are hosting a Ladies Hockey 101 "course" next month.

Two things:

  1. That is so money. Good job, Brahmas. I'm not even really sure what they're doing at this thing but $25 to sit around with the girls and watch the boys do hockey things and smile at you? Hell yeah. Plus dinner? Double hell yeah.
  2. Ladies, watch out for this one. Also money. ;) (Nice new mask, BTW. )
Photo by Robert Keith

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Sweet Disposition

Kinda weird night at novice tonight. I didn't see a shot for the first 10 minutes, and then I let the first two in. Once I started to see more rubber, I started to get into it more, but it's always a little bit of a mindfuck playing against Scott TFCG, who was in net for Jessica tonight.

I want to play well and I want him to see that I'm doing well, which means I'm putting unusual importance on the game and that takes me out of my zone a bit.

I knew that mental challenge was going to be there and I'm not sure I got a handle on it like I wanted, but I guess awareness counts for something.

My team ended up winning but I saw so few shots and he saw so many, his GAA would send mine to bed crying and without dinner. It was really lopsided and he played great. Made some sick pad saves on passes in close. "Wow" stuff. Nice job, Scotty.

I had some good saves, too, but one goal really bothered me because it was a straight up mental lapse and that's something I've been working hard at lately with a good bit of success.

It was a 2 on 0 breakaway and I'll just walk you through the mistakes I made:

  1. I saw the breakaway form and every green sweater behind them and thought, "Well fuck. Someone skate!" when I should have thought, "Okay, what are the risks here?" and figured out my plan of attack.
  2. Mikey had the puck and was bearing down hard and I really really really wanted to stop him because he's so good and I'd love to just slam the door closed. But, I focused so hard on Mikey that Jessica, who was streaking in at center, was a mere speck on the radar. She said after, "You should have seen that coming!" Indeed, I should have, but I lost my focus on the big picture, went exclusively after Mikey, and all he had to do was wait for me to commit and he passed to her. Easiest goal ever.
  3. I gave up on the play. I should have flung myself across and at least tried to get my stick or something in front of Jessica's shot.
  4. I got mad. I whacked the cross bar. I screamed FUCK! Can't tell you the last time I got really mad about a goal. I guess it happens from time to time. I really wanted that one and ended up looking stupid, so I guess that just didn't sit well.
It wasn't that I didn't make the stop, because 2 on 0 is a tough proposition even for the best goalies, but the fact that I played it so poorly and didn't give myself a chance really sticks in my craw.

Oh well. Learn and forget about it.

Looks like I won't have Monday hockey again until the 25th, unless something comes up. I think that's good because my knee hurts so bad tonight. Definitely calling the chiropractor tomorrow and getting adjusted as soon as I can. I feel so out of whack and I know that's part of the problem. Not playing 3 in 3 will help.

Cripes. I'm so hungry, I'm contemplating getting dressed and going out to get some food. Don't have much in the house. But that would mean going up and down the stairs on my aching knee. Need to go down and take some Advil anyway.

I try not to be mouthy at Novice because... well, I just try not to... but something about goal shuts off that filter between mouth and brain, which is already getting sievier and sievier as I get older anyway and quit giving a fuck what anyone thinks about me. This song seems appropriate:

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