First of all, I want to point you guys to a new blog that started yesterday (but in the making for a LONG time) that is 100% pictures of goalies doing sexy things, like being incredibly bendy or doing that water bottle thing or smiling or making glove saves or whatever.
It's all goalie porn, all the time and it's been a long time coming. Check it out at http://GoingFive-Hole.blogspot.com. They also have a Twitter you can follow.
Fuck me, I'm pretty jazzed about that. Gonna need some fresh batteries...
Women's league was kinda weird last night. The game was moved up an hour but the other goalie didn't get the message (I didn't either, actually, I just happened to see it on the League's Facebook page), so we played the first period with a shooter tutor in the other net and got up 5-1 early.
She was in net by the second period (thank god, or I was gonna have to play for their team for a period and I wasn't entirely comfortable with that).
Anyway, we won 9-4 (though I think of it as more like 4-3). I made a lot of stops and it seems like all but one goal against was on a breakaway or in an odd-man situation where the shooter basically had time and space to have their way with me.
The fourth was a case of the teams being in such similar jersey colors (Teal vs. Green) that in my peripheral vision, I thought the person by my net was on my team (green), so I didn't load for a big push when a teal player passed the puck across my crease and whaddaya know, she was teal. Fuck. Of course, in retrospect, I should have loaded to push across regardless.
Anyway, what was weird about this game was that my team was really happy with my play. My captain even gave me one of the two little "goodies" she gives to the players of the game, one defensive and one offensive.
And yet, I spent all night tossing and turning, literally dreaming of the goals against and trying to stop them in my sleep and jerking myself awake (not as fun as it sounds).
I think the color confusion goal bugs me quite a bit. And then their captain scored on me on clean breakaways twice in EXACTLY the same way. Fuck. This gal may be the reason I finally learn to throw a two pad stack because I'm determined to shut that shit down.
I feel like a damn fool when I let a goal in ON the ice on a relatively slow (but very dekey, patient) play... TWICE. I need to channel my inner Brusty and just go balls out on her now that she thinks she knows what I'll do.
Gah, I'm all tense just thinking about it again.
I just need to...
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
First of all, I want to point you guys to a new blog that started yesterday (but in the making for a LONG time) that is 100% pictures of goalies doing sexy things, like being incredibly bendy or doing that water bottle thing or smiling or making glove saves or whatever.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Chris Osgood isn't one of my favorite goalies, but 400 wins in the NHL is a tremendous accomplishment. My friend Justin, who has taught me SO much about watching goalies but still has more goalie knowledge in his pinkie finger than I ever will, has a great post on Osgood today.
Even though I'll admit to being lumped into the masses of underappreciators when it comes to Ozzie, I obviously relate to having that one goalie who embodies the position and was the catalyst for what is sure to be a lifelong passion. Ozzie is Justin's Brusty (minus the lusty part), so I enjoyed his tribute to him on multiple levels and thought it was worth passing along.
Drop-in was a circus last night. First half behind the white team was a nightmare. I think I made 3 stops the whole 30 minutes. It was breakaways and odd man rushes from the outset, which undermined my mental toughness a bit. Not to mention, one of the dark players really got under my skin in warm-ups by beating me on every shot he took. And he was the one doing most of the cherry picking. Grr.
The goalie switch couldn't come fast enough for me. And it turns out I was justified in my irritation because it was like an entirely different game at the other end. I had great defense and, in turn, I played really well. The white team, as hapless as they were defensively, sure knew how to hold the zone, so I stayed pretty busy and played better for it (though my knee is paying today, dammit!)
Had some sick saves in the second half. My best was on a breakaway, the kid tried to cut across from my blocker side to my glove side. He got the shot off right over my pad, but I had my glove there and trapped the puck in my glove and then pinned it against the side of my outstretched leg pad. Snazzy.
And one of my defensemen told me I need to put Stickum in my glove after I bobbled the puck like 3 times on a save. Doh! It was classic and stick figure worthy, but I'm too lazy. Finally pinned the damn thing against my chest and we had a laugh. I'm so hopeless glove-side, it's non-stop comedy.
Anyway, women's league tonight. I'm a little bit walking wounded today, but it's mostly just turning my head sharply and walking up stairs that hurts. Maybe that will save me from getting drunk after the game tonight if we win. Then again, there's an elevator up to the bar....
Sunday, December 26, 2010
Hope all you crazy kids had a good Christmas, or at least a good few days off if you don't roll Christian-style.
Mine was good. Very low key since we stayed home. Not a drop of hockey to play, which means I was stuck with the dreaded REAL WORKOUTS. You know how I hate that. But it's okay. Had to balance out the apple pie...
Got back in the swing of things today with the Aeros game, which you can read about here because I covered for Andrew, who was in Green Bay freezing his keister off at the Packers game.
Nice to get an early goal and a win in the skills competition.
Hackett's getting better in all areas except playing the puck. I know I'm spoiled in that regard, but he's just rough at it. The issue isn't technical skill; it's reading the ice and decision making.
Too many hesitant plays where he seems to want to defer to the skaters rather than just quarterbacking that bitch, launching it up the ice, and letting the chips fall where they may.
I know it will get better and I suspect it's something that only gets better with experience but, man, it's tough to watch. I stand by my rule of, just let the D get it if puck movement isn't in your wheelhouse as a goalie. Not every goalie has to be a third defenseman to be successful.
Anyway, check out my hack ass giving advice. Ha! Speaking of, my hack ass has got games Monday and Tuesday. Looking forward to hitting the ice again. Then only ONE game the week after. :( And then it's off to Boston/Vermont/(beyond?) the following Thursday-Tuesday, so another week without playing.
Which means more real workouts. Suckkkkk. But I'm moving to "phase 2" of my goalie training this week, so that should be fun. After I get back from my trip, I'm starting yoga for a few weeks. Got a deal for 10 hour-long yoga sessions for $30 total. What a steal. I'm looking forward to a change of pace and it looks like I'll have company from a good friend. Everything's better with Sheala. Well, everything I've tried, anyway. ;)
And luckily, goaltending has taught me the humility to not give much of a fuck when I make an ass out of myself. I've always done yoga at home with just me and the TV watching. Going public is a little daunting, but hey, we all start somewhere. If embarrassment hasn't killed me yet, it won't ever.
Monday, December 20, 2010
I wrote this yesterday but got busy on the post below about applying graphics to my goalie mask, and I failed to publish this one...
I'm still buzzing today after an awesome game at novice league last night. As I mentioned earlier this week, it was my last game for a while in that league. I've had my ups and downs there, but I'd really grown fond of my team the last couple of seasons and had a moment early in the game were I got a little choked up realizing it was my last time with this particular group.
But I put that aside and turned that sentimentality into hustle and played probably my best game ever. The game ended up 6-2, I think. Not sure on the 6. They failed to put a 2nd period goal on the board (yes, there WAS a goal in the 2nd because I remember audibly cheering for it, which I don't usually do, and then felt a little bad for, but they were up 2-1 at that point and I was feeling a little desperate). And then the rest of the goals came late in the third so I'm not sure how many they ended up getting.
Anyway, the two goals against were screens. First one was my d-man moving right through my field of vision as the puck was shot. It was flying past me before I even knew it was shot.
Second one was about 5 people in my way. I went down to try and stop low shots but it went in over my shoulder (maybe? I dunno. It went in, regardless.)
The red team did a great job putting traffic in front of me and a couple of times going down when I *thought* they were about to shoot paid off with some sneaky pad/toe saves. Phew!
My defense was freaking AWESOME, too, bailing me out a few times when I lost the puck down in front of my pads (this is happening to me too much lately, BTW... I think I have a glove on it, but it's just sitting there. Eep!)
And a couple of my guys are just beasts at blocking passing lanes. Honestly, I love the self-sacrifice of shot blockers, but putting the kibosh on passes in front of my crease is superhero shit in my book. Capes for everybody!
I was worried we weren't going to get the scoring we needed to pull off the win, but they pulled it out at the end and started racking 'em up late in the third. It was awesome to not have to sweat the last few minutes. I was so proud of the boys (and gal!)
That was the hardest I've worked in a long time, too. I really thought I was gonna barf late in the third. This is why I play on an empty stomach! I was busting it and so in the zone and seeing the puck so well that I think if people had started shooting bullets at me, I could have tracked them.
It felt just like that shutout game I had in women's league a while back. Just perfect energy (both mental and physical), perfect focus, great vision (which is saying something for me) and a great team in front of me keeping shots to the outside and breaking up dangerous plays.
The fact that I've had two games like that recently really have me feeling positive about how my game is improving. I know shit games are still gonna come and I have a tremendous amount to work on, but these "knock it outta the park" nights really diminish the influence a bad game has on my confidence.
I'm sure drop-in tonight will put me back in my place, but it's fun to feel like Queen of the Crease for a while.
Ages ago, we had a post on InGoal Mag about companies starting to experiment with using vinyl applications to "paint" goalie masks. I was pretty excited about that possibility because I've never been sold on shelling out $500 for the paint job of my dreams.
But it wasn't really a mainstream thing. Just a couple of sign-making companies in Quebec dabbling in it. Not the sort of thing you can just click "Buy" and have shipped to your door.
Then a couple of weeks ago, IGM again reported on Head Strong Grafx, who finally has come out with vinyl graphics on a turnkey basis. They have about 20 designs and you can pick your color, or for an upcharge, you can get metallic or other finishes.
But really, I was left with a LOT of questions about what I was going to get from them. In fact, it took me a while to even figure out that the application didn't cover the whole mask. I'm a little slow.
Anyway, I figured for $25, it was worth a shot, so I ordered a set of flames in white to go on my solid black Hackva.
It took them about a week to get here and what I got was 3 smaller flame graphics and 2 large ones cut out from a larger sheet. The graphic is sandwiched between a tacky translucent backing and a stiffer, non-sticky blue backing.
Bowl of soapy water
Soft cloth to apply soapy water
Sharp Exacto knife
Credit card, driver's license, etc. for squeegeeing the graphic smooth
- Take your cage off and then clean your mask with Windex or something similar. If you need to touch up paint or anything, I'd do it at this point.
- Place the graphics on the mask and see where you might want to put them. Keep in mind that it's exponentially easier to put the graphics on a flat surface or where there's only one curve. When the same piece of the graphic has to curve two ways, like on the side of your chin, where it's curving forward and down, it's very difficult to avoid wrinkles. More on that later.
- Peel BLUE backing layer away so that the graphic is stuck to the translucent layer. (Aside: I've spent 35 years using bandaids, so when I saw a flap where the translucent layer overlaps itself, I assumed that's where I'm supposed to peel. I WAS WRONG. DON'T DO THAT. Ruined one of the big flame graphics doing that.)
- Wipe a thin layer of the soapy water on the area of the mask you want to apply the first section of graphics. If you apply too much water and the graphic is sliding around too much, just wipe it off and start over with a lighter layer. You want the tackiness of the graphic to come through enough to stay in place while you squeegee the bubbles out.
- Place the graphic on the mask and smooth it down with your fingers. As mentioned above, if it's not generally staying in place, it's too wet. Press as much down with your fingers as you can before doing to the squeegee.
- Use the credit card squeegee to press the graphic down. Really rub it on there. Here's my suggestion for wrinkles you can't fix: Just leave them, and after you take the backing off, you can cut the wrinkle with the xacto knife to flatten it and just overlap the excess. You really can't see it. What I recommend against is smooshing the vinyl or trying stretch it. It just doesn't work and will look like crap.
- Now, their instructions say to let them dry before you pull the backing off. I didn't do that, but you probably should. I was too impatient to see it if would work, but I'm here to tell you it does. So once you've applied all the graphics and let them dry, you can peel the backing off carefully. I found that peeling back sharply (but slowly) rather than pulling UP on the paper works better. The flame design (and several others) have lots of pointy edges, so just be sure as you're pulling the paper off that those stay down.
- Trim the excess from around vent holes and edges of the mask with the exacto knife.
|Getting started: 5 decal segments, clean mask, soapy water|
|One of the small graphics with the blue backing peeled off, sticky side exposed.|
|First graphic added|
|All graphics applied|
|Final look with paint chips touched up, excess trimmed, and cage back on.|
Thursday, December 16, 2010
There needs to be a word for those little dreams you have between snoozes on your alarm clock. You know what I'm talking about? I guess you remember them more because you wake up so quickly after them. They need a name.
I had a funny one this morning. In fact, I woke up laughing, which is the second best way to wake up, IMO.
I dreamed that I was in goal and Matt Kassian was shooting on me and I was stopping EVERYTHING he put on me. He just could. not. score.
So he started getting frustrated, not in a mean way, but really determined. Trying to pick the corners, fake me, freeze me, anything. Shot after shot.
Finally, I just stopped him by my net after a glove save and gave him a big hug and we laughed about it.
How nice is that dream? I'm an awesome goalie, I'm hugging a big foxy hockey player, and I'm laughing. I'm not sure it gets any better.
Had a fun surprise last night of subbing for a group at Memorial City. Finally an ice time that doesn't have me up until 2 a.m.! Just a quick hour of hockey, but it was mid-afternoon before I knew about it so I wasn't as prepared as I'd normally be.
Like, I wouldn't have stayed out drinking until 1 the night before. I would have been hydrating during the day. I would have eaten more. On and on. So I actually got really light-headed with about 10 minutes left. So much that I went down on my knees just to make sure that if I did pull a Pavelec, I wouldn't have far to fall.
God, that would have been embarrassing. In a mall filled with holiday shoppers, with a new bunch of skaters, etc. Lordy.
Fortunately, I felt better after about 5 minutes of just praying they kept the puck away from me so I could gather myself (and they did, thankfully).
It's funny how different groups that play together a lot develop a style of play. At my Monday drop-in, there's quite a bit of work behind the nets and passing low in the slot, back door attempts, etc.
At this one (which has a very drop-in vibe, even though there's a ref) pretty much everybody just shoots the puck. Most of the passing seems to be done above the hash marks. So I got burned a few times cheating on the pass. I ALWAYS made the save when I just took the shooter and challenged them.
Not sure if it's always like that but that'll be my approach next time. I wasn't real happy with my game, but I never am when I play with a new group for the first time. Takes me a game or two to figure out the tendencies of the group.
I had a good time though, in spite of not feeling super duper. Nice group of folks.
I've noticed that one save that seems to really frustrate shooters is with the shaft of my stick. It's such a small, narrow thing, it must really irk them when I flash the wood. ;)
Honestly, I'm not sure whether to attribute those saves (and I make them fairly regularly... more than glove saves, sadly) to dumb luck or some fantastical 6th sense. I'm telling my ego it's just a gift I have. But I'm pretty sure it's just dumb luck. Whatever. I'll take it.
Only problem is it nearly knocks the stick out of my hand sometimes, if it's a hard shot. The tape around the top of my paddle where I hold it has really helped with that though.
It's always funny playing at Memorial City Mall during the holidays because at one end of the rink is the main entrance to the mall, with some activities, like a rock climbing wall, and some other stuff. Hell, I think Santa might even be back there.
They have tables and chairs set up right by the glass for people to have a seat and snack, so you get some glass bangers along with just amused onlookers.
Last night someone was taking pictures. I kept seeing the flash behind me, and all I could think was that if this slow ass rec league is interesting enough for you to take pictures of it, you REALLY need to get to an Aeros game. The Aeros need to be advertising the shit out of that place.
Stopped a hard shot with my bicep last night. Like, just stopped it cold. We're all looking around for the puck and it's just laying on my arm. O hai!
Anyway, not much of a bruise yet, but damn if those bicep shots don't hurt for days after. So much padding... so many bruises... It's amazing.
Pucks are just 6 oz. of pure sadism. And I like it.
In fact, is goaltending just one big sado-masochistic act? I mean, don't you feel like you've "really played" when you've collected a few ouchie spots? And isn't that a great feeling? Maybe you don't quite get off on it, but ... maybe you do a little? ;)
Maybe I just need to get laid. That's probably it.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Awww, I love women's league. The gals are awesome and, while I'd love to say that my team is the awesomest, I think any of the teams would be a blast to play on.
But my team probably is the awesomest. At least at the bar after a win.
That free pitcher of beer was a drop in the bucket compared to the parade of pitchers and car bombs that came after it last night. God bless 'em. What fun.
Mostly just tasted like funky Baileys to me, but this was after a few Shiners, so I really didn't care what it tasted like.
Of course, you indulge in this nonsense and then have to sit around for a while to get your land legs back. No big deal. Lots of laughs.
As for the game, as usual, you just never know what to expect. Turns out my team is REALLY good at holding the zone, so I maybe stopped 10 pucks all night. MAYBE. I let two in. One was a backdoor feed that I shoulda dived for but, as usual, didn't react fast enough.
The other was a breakaway and I guess I bit on a fake shot low and she popped it over my blocker shoulder. Dammit. Even when I know what she's going to do, she beats me at it.
But we won 3-2. I literally did not see a single shot the entire second period. My hair had dry spots still, which NEVER happens. It was a very easy night for me. I definitely did not earn all that booze.
The orange team (Harvard Crimson -- don't try to make sense of the jersey colors) didn't have a couple of their best girls but they're gonna be scary from a breakaway perspective this season. I'll get good practice at that.
Ahhh, so much fun. I fucking love hockey.
And speaking of which, don't miss this fantastic feature piece on Brusty that ran in the Bingo paper today.
I don't really know what else to say about my goalie that I haven't said a million times already. So, I made up a new word: BAMFtastic. Brusty is BAMFtastic.
I considered GILFtastic but decided that might be awkward and inappropriate. So let's all pretend I didn't say that and I can avoid embarrassing myself. *ahem* I may still be a little drunk.
Oh, and speaking of potential drunken embarrassments, I've got my ticket to Boston for early January! Have fucking amazing seats for the Boston - Minnesota game on the 6th. Like, I 100% guarantee I'll end up on the Wild broadcast, these seats are so good.
I'm going with some guy I don't know, though, so I hope to god that Kiss Cam doesn't find us.
Then it's a short drive over to Vermont for a few days, and hopefully the stars will align and Brusty will have a start that weekend in Bingo, and I'll trek over to see him play if the roads allow it. Regardless, I'm killing so many birds with this stone, it's not even funny.
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
I corrected my post yesterday after a flurry of emails came out from the Women's League folks that filled me in on what's actually going on with the league. The bad news is, there's only 3 teams again. The good news is, there's 3 full-time goalies, so we each got our very own team!
Now, I know I've had a team in Novice League all this time but players switch sides if needed and it's more of a collaborative, keep it even, kinda thing. But in Women's League, your team is your team and things are more structured.
So, this is really my first time being the goalie for a team like that and I'm really excited about it. I don't mind playing for a different team every week, but I was always envious of the skaters having that team bond and stability. As such, I'm super proud to say that I'm a Badger. :)
Or maybe I should dredge up this classic. I think the snake is a breakaway, right?
Ahhh, good times.
To celebrate having my very own team AND my 2 year goalieversary tomorrow, I'm bringing cookies for the girls tonight.
My girl Hammer posted this gem today of some of her Amerks doing a calendar or something in all their young beefcakery. God, I feel dirty, but look at 'em... all muscles and hockey gear...
Anyway, I know I've ranted about this before but I don't understand why teams don't make it standard issue to do a beefcake calendar every year for charity.
Not only will every straight woman in the building buy one (plus some for friends), people who were fans of guys because they used to be on their team will want them, too. Like, if Bingo did one? Yeah, I'd be shoving bitches out of the way to be first in line.
I'm not saying they need to be full on, greased up soft-core porn (though I wouldn't say no to that). Even what the Aeros did last season, with funny photos of the guys in their gear doing stuff you'd never do in your gear, like washing dishes or auto maintenance with a goalie stick, was fantastic. (It's still April 2010, right?)
Shit, just put 'em in suits walking down the hall with post-game shower-wet hair...
What was I... oh yeah...
And don't give me any objectification objections. They know they look good and they worked hard to get that way. Even the milkbag lookin' guys are bound to have nice legs. Make it work. Plus, if a team is willing the dress them in those ridiculous, clownish jerseys in the name of "charity," I don't see where this is any worse.
When I win the lotto and buy myself a hockey team, we're doing this. Consider yourselves notified.
Speaking of hot boys, though Carey doesn't do much for me personally, Drew just sent me this and it's just epic.
Monday, December 13, 2010
Two days shy of my two-year goalieversary, the email I knew would come eventually finally came:
"Someone wants to try goal. How would you feel about stepping away from novice league for a season?"
My answer wasn't exactly an emphatic YES!, but it was definitely Yes, with 100% willingness to sub when needed. And it might only be for one season, after which, I'll likely be glad to take the spot back if nobody else wants to try it. But really, I hope she loves it and wants to keep playing.
But Willowbrook's Novice League is where it all began for me. The horrors of skating out for a season... my first game in goal... this crew has suffered through all my growing pains as a goalie. It has rarely been smooth or pretty as I've learned to be a good sport (most of the time, now, anyway) and learned the position.
And I really do like the bunch of guys I've been playing with there lately, so I know my replacement is in good hands. They've been very good to me, have a great attitude (just work hard and have fun but don't take it too seriously) and I know they'll do the same for her.
So, apart from subbing, it's Monday drop-ins and Tuesday women's league for a while, unless something else crops up.
The internet lied to me on this. Only 3 teams BUT I get my very own team (except when I have to sub for another team). This is pretty cool. :D
Anyway, in spite of the nostalgic streak, I'm happy with how things are going. I've got plans I'm working on but, if you can believe it, I'm actually keeping a few things to myself. I hope I can stay the course and that the year brings good things between the pipes as a result. #AirofMystery
My fantasy team really did have a fantasy day today. I had 7 skaters active (no goalies). 9 goals, 5 assists, +12. Whatever I fed them for breakfast, they're eating every day now. Just sorry Corey Perry had to blow up against MY team, but whatever.
Between my +8.5 and the guy behind me with -6, I've finally got a bit of distance there and made a nice gain on the guy in the #1 spot. I'm coming for you, Kevin, and not in a good way.
Got Friday's Binghamton game from AHL Live to watch tonight while I did some stitching and repairs on my goalie gear. Fun game and they weren't kidding about some big saves and some loud chanting. Lots of moving the puck behind the net. The team is clearly getting better at responding to that and taking advantage of it. THAT is fun to watch.
The Sens won again today in Rochester, but not quite as stalwart a defensive effort and it took 5 goals + 2 shootout markers to get the win. But hey, a W's a W.
Aeros stunk it up though. Expected a let-down after such a wild game Friday and some tough travel, so NBD.
Some fuss about the Everblades hideous Christmas jerseys, including getting on the front page of Yahoo! Sports as a Puck Daddy feature.
A non-hockey friend even tweeted it to me, and the fact that she even knew it was off the hook sorta set me off. Ugly jerseys have always been a bit of a burr under my saddle.
I don't understand why teams would want to do that to their players. I know it gets media attention but it just seems disrespectful. To have to roll out and face a team you know is going, "Fuck man, you look like a Florida tourist shop barfed all over you." and have to grind it out. I dunno. Just seems like a bad idea. And just to make my point, the Blades lost.
I'd want my players to look good and feel good, wouldn't you?
Reminds me of when I shaved the dog at the beginning of the summer. He's just a dog but he knew he looked stupid and he was giving us stink eye for days over it. So you really think you're gonna get your best from guys you've dressed up like clowns?
And the SOCKS! My god, the socks....
I bought this vinyl mask "paint." $25 for a totally new look for my mask. Worth a shot, right? I'll be sure and offer up a full review here, assuming I win the battle and am able to take my cage off. Hopefully it won't be like last time and require a drill and much frustration.
Um. You can't un-see stuff like this. Especially at 2:45. Oh my.
Saturday, December 11, 2010
I almost tweeted it today, but I held back. Sometimes the hockey gods teach you to just STFU and not make silly predictions. And sometimes I actually listen.
But what I wanted to say was that I had a really good feeling about both the Aeros game and Brusty's game against Albany tonight. Used to, when I had a good feeling, I was usually wrong. More and more, my intuition is getting righter. Maybe Andrew's freakish knack for predictions is rubbing off on me.
I was driving to the rink tonight and looked at the clock. It was about 6:07 and I realized Bingo was playing and I was thinking how much I wanted them to win. Like a big butt whippin' kinda win, you know? So I concentrated all my powers of concentration and sent some big time, big game mojo right to the crease there in the Broome County Arena. (Unfortunately, I'm not even remotely kidding about this. I don't even remember about half a mile of my drive on Allen Parkway, I was in the zone, man...)
I'm happy to report, it arrived safely and not only did the B-Sens win, B-money got his 3rd shutout of the season. I keep saying I'm going to buy a game archive to watch. I think I've found my game. Apparently some big saves and the crowd chanting his name, "BAR-RY! BAR-RY!" several times. Must. See.
One of the fantasies I have as a goalie is for my name to be chanted by an adoring crowd. (Attention whore, much?) The first time I heard that was at a Rangers game, and hearing the crowd chant, "HEN-RIK! HEN-RIK!" over and over made the hair stand up on my neck.
But I'm 99.9% sure that's never going to happen for me because there's never more than about 3 people watching my games, and also, I suck. But when it happens to a goalie I care so much about, it's almost as good. Vicarious chant fuzzies -- I'll take 'em!
I'm just so proud of him. After a really shitty year--year and a half, even--it's just so gratifying to see the stars aligning to give him loads of playing time and for him to be making the most of it and for the fans to be appreciating what they've got there.
Have I mentioned, darlings, that AHL All Star Voting has begun? Have I mentioned that if you love me, you'll get your butt over there and vote for Brusty as your most favoritest Eastern Conference goalie? GO. DO IT. NOW. PRETTY PLEASE.
And the Aeros game was pretty awesome, too. You can read about that at T3I. :)
Also, dig this tweet from Brett Cecil. OMG. I'm ordering my Blue Jays Cecil shirt right now, bitches. I'm in love.
Friday, December 10, 2010
So I was sitting there watching Sabres v. Sharks because Miller's in goal for my fantasy team last night (man, is that guy good. Just clean, focused, sharp. Show-off.) And they show this Degree antiperspirant commercial featuring Ryan Miller that talks about how the deodorant kicks into gear when you really need it like when you're being the best goalie in the world.
I had to laugh because a) Crunchy doesn't give a flying fuck if he stinks when he's playing. He's wearing stinky gear, surrounded by stinky men, in a building that smells like Zamboni exhaust, stale beer, and cold, musty concrete. (If only they made hockey arena-scented candles...)
And b) he's sweating so much that unless you're smearing that stuff all over him and suffocating his pores, ain't nothing stopping the Sweat Machine that is a goalie. Maybe Crunchy sweats less than a regular person because he's 7 feet tall and weighs 137 lbs, but still...
Come on, man!
The other day I heard an interview with some DJ asking the lead singer of the Constellations what their song "Felicia" is about.
What the hell do you think it's about?
Come on, man!
Of course, the singer isn't gonna say, "Well, it's an ode to fellatio... dumbass" so he says some BS about "Felicia" being a combination of various girls he's known. Good for you, buddy. Come on...
My girl Ally posted this video on Facebook and since I wanna be just like Justin Bourne, I'm gonna throw it up here cuz we know people love animals on hockey blogs.
I was telling Jerina that it reminded me of me in goal. I occasionally get chest-puffed out, jersey-poppin, arms-spread excited when I accomplish even the most obvious and simple things in goal. Hey, when you're a flightless bird, some things aren't as obvious and simple as they look... so just... shut up and let us enjoy our victories.
Not really a "come on, man" to that... sorry for going off-theme.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Oh man... I wish I could always feel like I do after a great time in goal. Or after one strong drink. Or BOTH.
Nah. That's just being greedy.
Anyway, drop-in was a blast tonight. Had some nice stops and some crap goals but honestly, you see enough breakaways and 3 on 1 or 4 on 1 and it's like, whatever, I'm gonna do something goofy here and see what happens (goal, pretty much every time).
Had to yell at the white team a bit WHILE I was playing for the dark team. I would look up the ice and see 2 white players waiting to cherry pick while their goalie was just getting HAMMERED and struggling. Pissed me off.
So I got after 'em a couple of times to stop cherry picking and help their goalie. I know it's drop in but the ones cherry picking are ones who are still learning to play and aren't above learning the defensive end of things.
That was before the goalie switch and they played better for me, lucky for them because I was hell bent when I took over their net. I love this drop-in though. Everybody battles hard (at one end or the other) but still has fun and keeps a sense of humor.
Had one surprise shot that I went straight down on my knees for and it sent a jolt all the way up my back. I'm Adviling and heating padding tonight in hopes that it won't get worse, but it's definitely tender in my lower back.
Luckily, I don't play again for a full week since there's no women's league tomorrow or novice Saturday.
Since it's a light week, I stayed after and played some 3 on 3 with the boys once the other goalie left the ice. I'll be raring to go by next Monday. Meanwhile, I have to do ... real workouts. :( BOOOO. I hate working out. But I'm excited to start my new training program. Should be a good workout.
I wrote some stuff about baseball. I feel vulnerable. I need a hug.
Doing some trip planning today. Flying up to Boston in early January, going to the Bruins/Wild game, then heading to Vermont to visit one of my oldest and dearest friends and meet her beautiful twin babies.
I'm anti-kid but hers are just sublimely cute and I'm excited to spend a few days in her new world.
Then in February, I'm making a quick trip to Minnesota to basically spend all of a Saturday at the Xcel watching the Aeros and then the Wild. FINALLY after all this time, a game (2!) at the X. Seems long overdue, no?
Looking forward to both, but it's gonna be colder than a witch's tit and I'm NOT looking forward to that. Burr. Speaking of which, it was so cold at SLICE tonight, I had to take my blocker off about 10 minutes into the game and put the tip of my middle finger in my mouth to warm it up enough to get feeling back. It was crazy cold in there. I'll take it over super hot though. Definitely play better when I'm not having heat stroke.
Just saw the preview of 24/7, the HBO series about the Pens and Caps and the Winter Classic. I'm not sure what HBO costs, but we're getting it.
Thursday, December 2, 2010
My poor blog has been all boring game recaps and Brusty-gushing for a long time now. I figured out it's because I toss my random thoughts on Twitter and don't really ever do anything else with them. I'm not sure they're even worth expanding on, but when you're bored with your own blog, you know you gotta do something. Hopefully I'll be doing brain dumps like this a little more often.
I know I generally only let my cougar purr loose for goalies, but I gotta say, one really sexy skater thing is a tall defenseman skating backwards. I was just watching Brent Burns skating backward into the zone. Man, I dunno what it is. That hip wiggle? Whatever it is... it's hot.
I run across the occasional rec d-man who is a pretty enough skater to inspire a tingle. Always a special, but distracting, treat to get to see the those long legs and swiveling hips coming at me on the ice. Mmm.
Is Zetterberg cute? I can't tell. I feel like if he'd shave, I'd know. He's so furry.
Speaking of which, HOORAY DECEMBER!!! All my hockey boys are pretty again....
Hiller is a really weird looking goalie to me. It looks like he keeps his knees pressed together all the time. Maybe it's just the shape of his pads? Gotta be an illusion.
But somehow he can get in such a ridiculously low stance. I think I've seen Rask do this, too. It's almost like they're half-way down in the middle of dropping into a butterfly, but they HOLD that position, with the pads maybe a foot off the ground at the highest point in the middle.
Some kinda crazy sharp skates combined with really bendy ankles? That's all I can figure. The strength to pull off the physics of that kinda boggles my mind. I get that low, my cowlings are wiping me out and hello groin pull.
I'm watching the Panthers only because Vokoun is one of my fantasy goalies. Well, fantasy TEAM goalies. Haha. Big difference. They look like an AHL team. I was so disappointed with the Wild tonight until I started watching the Panthers, and now I see what a team who really doesn't give a shit looks like.
I think they're trying to get moved. That's all I can figure. I haven't seen hockey this bad at the NHL level in a long time. So inept.
TSN.ca came out with their AHL player rankings. Dex, Irving, and Brusty were the only goalies in the top 50. Not sure how that ranks as fantasy news unless there's AHL Fantasy Hockey somewhere. But nice to see he's continuing to get positive press.
Not a single Houston player in the top 50, BTW. Ballzzzzz.
Gotta say though, Dex was fuckin' unbelievable in Houston last week. Not so great on the shootout, but when it mattered in regulation and OT, he was the best AHL goalie I've seen all season. I think shootouts are in his head a little though. His body language changed.
Khudobin's almost the reverse. He's like a puffer fish in the shootout. You can see him sticking his chest out, he gets more and more amped and confident with every save. I don't know anybody I'd rather watch in a shootout (beside the obvious). It's a lot of fun.
Got some good advice on my post earlier today. Apparently a lot of NHL goalies are using the "toes just at the top of the paint" as the depth rule of thumb. Any higher and you're opening up too much space behind you. Lower and you're showing too much net.
So, I'll experiment with that for a while and see if I can get some comfort. At the very least, it probably means I get to shove people more often.
But when, if ever, DO you move back off the top of the crease, assuming the puck carrier is coming from somewhere between the faceoff dots? Or do you just hold your ground?
John Madden has no lips. He's like a Muppet.
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Here's a goalie thing I've been thinking about for a few days and something I'm finally piecing together as a reason I get burned sometimes:
You know how when the puck is beside or behind your net and you're on the post, but then it gets passed either up the boards or even somewhere in the slot?
The reaction you SHOULD have is to make the appropriate depth change as you square up to the puck's new position, which usually means at least being at the top of the crease.
The reaction *I* have is to just square up with the puck, but I'm almost always still at least halfway deep in my crease. I'm thinking about why that is so that I can change my reaction.
I think the reason I do that is because when there are lots of bodies around me, I get nervous about back-door plays, so I want to stay deep and basically not have a 3 feet of empty space behind me for opponents to fire a rebound if it goes off deeper to the sides.
Here's a picture of my nightmare scenario and the reason my mind tethers me to the net. Obviously, I leave a LOT of open net in the B position, so anybody who can lift the puck and has some aim to their shot probably has a goal there, but if it's on the ice, I'm stopping it AND the rebound as the amount of lateral movement required to get over and stop that rebound is minimal. Whereas in the A position, I'm in a great position to block the shot, but am pretty much helpless on the rebound. Kinda have to hope you swallow it there.
So, I know I need to get it more instinctive to push out higher when play moves from out behind my net, which means getting over the fear in the image above. I mean, if you're playing the odds, I think you're still better with A, but it's hard to convince myself of that in the heat of the moment.
Lord knows I've done plenty of "push off the post to the top of the crease" drills, but when it's a drill with a set movement pattern ("start here, go here, shot"), maybe I'm developing a movement skill, but I'm not learning to react to a specific situation where there's variable risks involved.
In other words, if I've got one person shooting on me in a drill, there's no risk in coming way out of the crease. But when I can see a couple of opposing jerseys out of the corner of my eye and maybe my defense isn't all that stellar.... oooo baby am I cheating back and playing deep.
Maybe there's a happy medium? I'm not sure.
Thoughts from my goalie peeps? Compliments on my stick figure prowess?
And green, gosh darn, we lost. And it was a weird-ass game, too. The other team only had 6 players, while my team had all but one (so almost a full bench).
You'd look at that + the offensive prowess of the green team and go, "Okay, easy win."
And I probably did do that a little.
But the other team had all their best players, so it was like playing the top line (both front and back) all night. Break away after break away and really strong defensive play even when our top girls turned it on. I let in 3 in the first period and we just never recovered.
Normally I'd go through the goals but honestly, it's not worth re-living. The good thing is, I think I'm walking away from it with a decent perspective (aka not shouldering all the blame like I usually do). There are things I could have done better, there are things my team could have done better, and that's okay.
I did have one slick save where their best player exited the penalty box right as the puck was drifting past the door. So she's suddenly on a breakaway and I just stayed with her, slid across, and got the tip of my glove on her shot to send it to the corner. It would have been a good goal, and that makes it an even better save.
The championship game is fun though. Music at the stops (though speakers seem to be an afterthought at this rink), player introductions, photos and trophy presentation, MVP award, etc. And while usually just the winning team sticks around for beer after, both teams did tonight, and it was fun to just shoot the shit and, for me, have a couple of chilled glasses of liquid perspective. :)
Monday night drop-in is still my favorite ice time, but I <3 this league. It's just a completely different animal from playing with guys. You really can't even compare it, but it's good. It's a breath of fresh estrogen air.
Anyway, as usual, I'm looking forward to letting the Aeros play the real hockey on Thursday and Friday while I sit in my ivory tower and judge them smugly.
Friday is "Hug the Goalie Day" on Facebook. Don't forget to hug your favorite goalie.