Phew. 3 games(and wins) in three days for the Aeros... Stressful ones, too. And then straight to Austin for me after Sunday's game to take care of some work stuff.
As I mentioned last week, I thought I was not going to be playing at all this week but one of the women's league goalies was sick. So I got the call on the way home from Austin, right around Brenham, to come out.
No problem. Tired as shit, but hey, it's ice time and otherwise, I'd just be sitting around the house trying to stay awake until 9 or 10 anyway.
And then it turned out they wanted a goalie to shoot on for the women's clinic before league. So the hour I thought I had to relax when I got home turned into 30 minutes and a rush to get dressed and on the ice.
I forgot how much work it is to just take practice shots. Up and down, up and down. My knee sure felt it. I bailed when they started just taking regular shots on me from the hash marks. Doesn't do much for me and I wanted to save energy for the game.
Game went okay. There were a couple that I didn't feel like I had a lot of chance on. We took the lead late in the game and they pulled the goalie with 10 seconds left, but my team couldn't clear it and somehow it got right to a gaggle of gals on my back door and they got it in with like 2 seconds on the clock.
Honestly, I was so tired, I couldn't get all that worked up about it. Shootout. No big deal. I'd been stopping Captain Danglemitts all night, which I was very proud of and that had my confidence up. I let two in, neither of which were particularly embarrassing, stopped a good shot glove side. We could only get one in their net though, so we lost 5-4.
One weird thing though and I honestly felt bad for our ref, who really didn't seem to know how to handle the call and I'm still not sure what the right answer was:
The play was around my net and I'm scrambling and I guess I slid into my right post at one point and knocked it off the goal line a few inches behind it but didn't realize it. One of my D noticed it and starts yelling, "Net's off! Net's off!" looking for the whistle.
Well, for one, that was pretty distracting to me and while I know I should play to the whistle, I definitely let up. And Captain Danglemitts, who occasionally plays past the whistle a few beats because she's badass like that, converted on a wrap-around chance at the left post (which was in place).
So, my D is like, "Dude! No goal! Look, the net's off!" Ref looks, sees it's off, waves the goal off, and puts the net back in place.
Of course, the other team, primarily Capt. Danglemitts, goes apeshitbananas and gets up in his grill arguing her side.
He fucking changed his mind, y'all.
You could see him struggling with it before he waved it off. He wasn't sold on his initial decision, so I wasn't surprised by the change. And honestly, the net being off didn't affect my ability to save or the validity (in spirit) of the goal. My D screaming about it while the play was going on and my letting up as a result was a 95% of the reason the puck went in.
Anyway, I don't know what the rule is, but if there's room for interpretation in the rules, then I'd say he got it right (ultimately). If the rule is black and white "if the net is unintentionally off its moorings, any goals scored don't count regardless of whether the ref knew the net was off during play" then, of course, he was wrong. I really don't know.
Of course, the whole thing pissed my team off so much, that they went down and rang up two goals in quick succession. Haha.
That deal on top of my team getting 8 or 10 minutes of PIM, plus at least one 5 on 3 (maybe two?)... it was kind of a clusterfuck. But they kill penalties like a boss, so the goonery didn't hurt us much other than having a short bench that was getting pretty tired by the end.
I came right home, threw back some Advil for my aches and Benedryl to short circuit the adrenaline and finally get some solid sleep. Thank god. I almost feel human today.
Tomorrow's another long one though. Busy busy day and then an Aeros game, after which I need to interview Hackett, so send the kid good goalie vibes because I hate interviewing goalies after bad games, but I really have no choice if I want to do the story.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Phew. 3 games(and wins) in three days for the Aeros... Stressful ones, too. And then straight to Austin for me after Sunday's game to take care of some work stuff.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
I spend a week or so every spring thinking my dog is dying because he won't eat the food I sit out for him. He of the unquenchable appetite... surely if he doesn't want food, he's on death's door.
But he finally ate the rest of yesterday's food and a delicious dental bone, so my worrying seems to be for naught.
This was going on as I was wolfing down my 3 oz of whole grain spaghetti with butter and parmesan, my default game day linner (late lunch, early dinner since I like to play on a mostly empty stomach).
As I ate, my mind wandered to wondering what my fellow goalies eat before they play (like, do you have a set thing or just whatever) and are you as adamant as me about not eating within a few hours of playing? I'm terrified of having a particularly tough game and barfing it up. How embarrassing that would be? I put up with the occasional growly stomach in the hour or two before I play in order to avoid that.
Also, are you like me where you're always having to tell your significant other that they're eating alone again because of hockey? I feel badly about it even though Mr.C is very understanding.
One thing he does do on those OYO nights is go eat stuff I can't/won't eat because it's too caloric. See, I've been working diligently on losing weight since December. It's going pretty well, too, but I've avoided talking about it on here because reading about other peoples' weight loss trials and tribulations is as much fun as a root canal.
And that policy will stand, but I mention it only because I find myself obsessed with my thigh muscles lately. Between losing weight and working out to build up my legs, I've got some pretty solid and handsome muscle going on there. I sit on the couch and admire that nice curve of my quadriceps. I flex them. I fondle them. We have a lovely time together.
It's like having my very own hockey player to look at all the time (without the bad things that come with hockey players...)! Maybe this is the cure for puck bunnyism (for those who wish to be cured). Build your own hockey muscles and fondle those instead, gurl..
Women's league was meh tonight. My team was very good after I put them in a 2-0 hole early on a couple of bad goals. Well, not bad bad, but I was too deep on the first glove side shot from the high slot. Toes in. Shoulda been toes out, if not heels out. The puck hit the outer tip of my glove but not enough to change the trajectory.
The other, I just mishandled a tight shot along the ice.
But the first one really got to me and I was grumpy the rest of the game. Relieved that my team bailed me out, but still grumpy. I don't like when I'm fighting the puck and feeling clumsy, which I was a lot of the night.
Did have some good saves down the stretch but didn't see a lot of shots either.
Ah well. A win is a win and we don't beat this team often. Captain Danglemitts wasn't even there, but they've got some good players. Just nobody who can/will straight up humiliate me like she does. Didn't miss it, honestly. Any crankier and I might have ... I dunno what. Let more goals in. :)
Tightened my straps on my persnickety right pad and that seemed to help rotation, but I'm not sure that was a thorough enough sample. A Monday game will tell the tale better as those boys get me moving more.
Alas, I'll have to wait a bit. I have to travel for work Monday, and Tuesday is a bye at women's league. Might see about doing Harpies Wednesday, or I might give myself a break. Sometimes these chances for a break fall in your lap and it's the hockey gods saying to go do something else for a few days.
Plus my gear is in DESPERATE need of a bath. That's tomorrow's adventure. For now... I have a date with a bowl of chocolate Cheerios. Yuuum.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Good night in goal tonight. Been a while since I fell headfirst into the zone and stayed there for a while, but I sure did after letting a few too many in early on.
I wasn't particularly frustrated by the goals or anything. It was some breakaway stuff and a screen and maybe one where I just couldn't get over. Nothing horrible. And then finally, I just got locked in. Man does that feel good.
One guy had a great chance and I stopped it (don't even remember the scenario but I know it was a good save) and he just yells, "BITCH!!" not AT me in an aggressive way, but just sort of to the universe. I was so proud. Why yes, bitch just smacked you down, didn't she?! <3 I feel like I should get another trophy.
(Fun fact: If you Google "bitch trophy," you get a bunch of pictures of show dogs. Not what I was after.)
Another guy who is decent and usually gets one past me at some point if he tries hard enough just couldn't get it done tonight. He's a VERY nice guy, always pegs my net for me, takes blame for defensive failures, just a pleasure to play with. And he was on fire tonight, always getting the puck on his stick.
He must have put 10-15 shots on me all by himself, trying every which way, and I stopped all of them. He was so funny to watch get more and more frustrated and in disbelief. His exclamations got louder with each stop.
And with every stop, I was more and more determined to make sure he got blanked for the night. It turned into a game just between us after a while. He wasn't even passing anymore. He was just on a mission to score a goal. Sorry, sir!
I love my night job. ;)
I missed my women's league game last week, but the other team had to forfeit due to lack of turnout, so my girls won. Tomorrow is another battle royale with Captain Danglemitts' team. I hope I can carry this loose feeling with me.
Lately I've seen frequent mentions that resonate with me regarding worrying about the process rather than the outcome. Women's league defines that concept. Women's league is ALL process. It's nice to win but the fun and the effort and the learning and the bonding and all that good stuff is why we come out each week season after season.
I think the most fun I've had was the last one I played where we lost 5-2. Go figure. Could just be because of how drunk I got after.
I'm back to having trouble with my right pad not rotating when I butterfly. The new pads rotated perfectly until recently, and I guess now that they're broken in, they're succumbing to whatever caused that with my old pads.
The right pad actually rotates inward on me while I play so I'm always adjusting it back to square on my leg, so I'm sure that's why it's landing under me. Maybe it's my pants?
I dunno. It's really frustrating and newbie-esque for those silly things to keep landing under my leg instead of flipping up. Also doesn't stop pucks as well, which is kinda what I like to be able to do.
My pants are getting quite enormous on me as I continue to shrink, so maybe that's on the agenda as the next replacement purchase.
Going to my first Blue Jays games for my birthday at the end of April in Dallas. At night on the 27th and a day game on the 28th. Should be a blast. My parents are coming up and my aunt and uncle are going. I missed seeing them at Christmas, so it will be fun to catch up and see my birdies, too.
I'm highly tempted to get a Meats Don't Clash shirt and see if I can get Snidey to sign it or honk a boobie for luck or whatever. Love me some Snidey.
But I'm also cheap, so I probably won't.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Ahhh.... blissful 4 days without the pads on. I love playing and I'm so so SO grateful that I get to do it, but like a lot of awesome things, I was teetering on the edge of too much.
Especially since I was running for several days on too little sleep. I ended up taking a sick day today and sleeping for probably 6 hours on and off through the day. Needed the rest badly to head off yet another cold that was threatening. Vitamin C is a miracle drug.
But I had a very good drop-in tonight and heard lots of "AW COME ON!" and "DAMMIT!" as I shut those shooters down. So it's a positive way to go into a little break.
Another positive thing is that Bonnie brought me the TROPHY I WON at the tournament this weekend. It's the Unsung Hero Award (Female) for showing up on short notice and getting a solid win.
|DILLO, it says.|
Anyway, I don't think I've gotten a trophy for playing a sport since I was about 8 or 9 playing soccer. I was a fullback and mostly stood around and trash talked girls when they got close to the net. So my defensive mentality and mouthiness comes naturally.
But since they didn't give trash talk awards to 8 year old girls, the trophies we got were basically participation awards that everyone got at season's end.
In fact, I think I've won a trophy for writing more recently than those soccer trophies. First place in some writing contest about going to see the Peter and the Wolf symphony concert with my class. Dorky.
I know it's silly, but this little gal may finally be the thing to get me to buy a shelf for my hockey nicknacks to go in my office, which I'm secretly trying to turn into a Den of Hockey. Don't tell Mr.C. I'm trying to find a Hextall Fathead to put on my wall and then I'll be in business. :)
Monday, March 14, 2011
There are some parts of hockey that I probably will never have an appreciation for, such as why anybody would subject themselves to being a referee. I know a lot of people feel that way about goaltending, but at least as a goalie, you have the satisfaction of playing the actual game.
I'm not sure where referees derive their satisfaction other than staying out of the way and not getting yelled at. And I don't think I've seen many games where that actually happens.
That said, I like refs and have a lot of respect for them, precisely because they are willing to do such a thankless job, take criticism and yelling and disagreement with such grace (usually), and at least where I play, don't have the benefit of linesmen to help "see" the whole game. Just one guy to control an unruly mass of hockey players.
But even I occasionally bark at them for a slow whistle or missed infraction on my teammate. Or like the ref in Saturday's tourney game who didn't call the goal against me until the player who scored it challenged him on it. What?
Anyway, a couple of things I've been wondering about our friends and, I like to think, ultimate protectors of goalies, the men in stripes:
First, I wonder if it annoys them when players compliment them on a call when it goes in their favor. I think I would find it condescending. Compliment me on a tough call that I make right, but not just because I called the play offside to prevent an odd man rush in your zone.
I did that yesterday when the ref waved off a goal that was put in with a high stick. I, of course, didn't see it. I somehow deflected a shot from beside the net into the air and the guy on the back door batted it in before I even knew where the puck was. "Good eye, ref."
I don't actually know if he had a good eye or not but I sure appreciated the no-goal. But I felt a little slimy only praising him because it saved my bacon a little bit.
Second, now that I've played with a lot more different refs around the area, I'm curious about calling Icing. It's important to me because I want to throw my arm up and save my defense the effort of charging hard up the ice to retrieve the puck if they don't need to.
I guess you could argue that I should know if it's icing myself, but I'm focused on the puck and players positions and my position and all that when they're that far away from me, so I don't necessarily notice a) who shot the puck up the ice, b) if they were necessarily above center ice and c) if someone got a stick or shin or whatever on it on its way up the ice that would negate icing.
I think you can tell pretty quickly though if it's going to be icing, assuming you saw it was shot from above the center ice line. Pucks have a pretty predictable speed. And my favorite referees will make that call as soon as they think it's going to be icing.
Arm goes up. "ICE!" And then my arm goes up.
But I keep running across refs who might say ice, but not loud enough for me to hear it, don't raise their arm until it hits the goal line, and don't blow the whistle until it hits the wall. By this time, my teammate is charging up the ice and I'm not sure what the call is because I'm not sure what the ref is thinking.
I guess I'm just wishing for a clear, distinct call (audible and visual) either way as soon as possible so I can communicate it. I think 95% of icings, you know whether or not they're icing based on speed and trajectory by the time they hit the top of the face off circles.
And if you're wrong and the puck takes a hop that either slows it down or puts it on goal, then you change the call and we'll deal with it.
But I'm not a ref and I don't know how they teach this stuff at ref school. And with touch icing in the pros, I don't get to see how the pro refs would handle it.
Goalies? What's your experience with this (or do you even care)? Any refs out there want to chime in, I'd love to hear the decision making process involved, what the "best practice" supposedly is, etc.
Like I said, I really do like refs as I trust them to keep me safe with timely whistles and stuff like that, and they always have. But the more different refs I play with, the more I see differences in how icing in particular is called and the more curious I get about whether my occasional annoyance is justified.
Daylight Savings Time can kiss my round goalie ass.
So, what was looking to be a fairly sedate weekend turned super duper busy at 3 p.m. yesterday when I got a frantic email from one of the folks at the Paddy Dillo tournament down at SLICE. One team lost their goalie, who is a doctor specializing in radiation and had to leave for Japan (as good a reason as any to ditch a hockey tournament). So they needed someone to fill in.
Game at 4:30. Yipes! Especially considering I hadn't really eaten much yet.
So I go with really no notion of the level I'm playing or anything. But I figure I'm better than no goalie at all (which has pretty much been my motto since I started playing).
Anyway, the hockey gods shine on me and give me the best puck luck I've ever had. The other team must have hit 10 posts. An inch here or there and I woulda been lit up like a roman candle, but we got the win 3-1.
Knowing that I played okay but mostly survived on luck left me feeling not very satisfied with my game. Not bothered really but not cranking the tunes on the way home either.
So, I guess I passed muster and they asked me back for the 9:15 a.m. Sunday game. They'd lost their first two games so there was no chance of going to the finals. We were basically just acting as spoilers for the rest of the teams. I think they had to beat us by 5 or 6 goals to get into the finals, and they did.
All that puck luck I used on Saturday was long gone for Sunday. I think I got a piece of nearly everything that went in but it would hit my stick and bounce over my head in to the net. Shit like that.
And in these Dillo tourneys, goals by women count as 2 points. It's smart in terms of encouraging passing to the ladies, but shitty for goalies as it can quickly make them look way worse than they were. Fortunately folks don't seem to take things too seriously, which makes it a pretty fun gig for a goalie and makes up for the statistical downer.
Anyway, the second game, in spite of the 7-1 loss, was actually more satisfying to me. Not sure why. I actually didn't feel like I had as bad a game as the score showed. Plus I was done with a rather grinding 18 hours of goaltending responsibilities (3 games, including one for the Willowbrook novice league Saturday night). I think having that off my shoulders was part of the light feeling after that game.
I had fun at novice (and won 3-2) even though I was crazy tired and didn't really want to be there. It was fun to see the guys I was having so much fun playing with the last couple of seasons (in spite of sort of zoning out on the league in general). A couple of them begged me to come back next season but man, I hate playing Saturdays.
And to be honest, it's hard to get up for the practices. It's just skating lightning or some other warm-up thing, and then a million shots that I don't learn much from and just end up with aching knees from all the up and downs. It's great for the skaters but by the end, I was getting more damage than benefit.
But my knee is a lot better lately so we'll see. They're trying to expand to 4 teams, so there is a goalie need for sure and the potential for a ton of ice time. Maybe if I could work into my contract that I don't have to do skating drills. :D
Anyway, after all that hockey, and then an incredibly-dull-until-the-third-period-6-goal-avalanche Aeros game, I was a zombie tonight. Went to bed at 9:30, watched OTF, fell asleep for 20 minutes and then Mr.C woke me up to show me the Aeros highlights on the news (solid!). And now I'm a zombie but can't sleep.
And the soreness has set in. I've got bruises everywhere. Ankle, shins, the BACK of my right arm, all up and down the inside of my left arm, my hip (from ramming into a stick holder peg on the wall... broke it clean off. Oops. Sorry SLICE.) My groins are sore, my lower abs are sore, my quads are tired, my stick hand is aching.
And I get to go do it again Monday night at drop-in. And then again Wednesday at Harpies (which I signed up for because I'm missing Tuesday's women's league game and wanted to make sure I got enough ice time... uh... yeah, pretty sure I've met the quota).
Vacation was good. 10th anniversary come and gone at our usual spot in Fredericksburg. Hot tub, running around in the river with the dog, hiking the trails in the woods, disconnecting a bit. It was good. Twitter felt pretty overwhelming when I got on Friday afternoon. :)
|My old dawg <3|
Monday, March 7, 2011
The Aeros are tough to write about right now. Tough to appreciate, even though rationally, I know they're doing the best they can in a bad situation due to injuries and call-ups.
But right now, it's like having to write about a wounded animal that you can't help. You just have to watch it suffer and try to convey the whys and wherefores of the suffering to your audience. Here's hoping healthy bodies come back Friday and the suffering ends for a while.
Meanwhile, I've been diving back into baseball. I wrote about that here if you're interested.
I have a drop-in tonight and we've got a bye at women's league this week, so I will miss out on the bar fun afterward. I hear whipped cream is being brought in order to make Blow Jobs. Damn, that sounds tasty. If only the real thing actually tasted like that.
Anyway, since Joy isn't covering Binghamton this week, I have no reason to visit the internet. As such, I'll be on an island* for a few days and back Friday, probably dying for some hockey after being out of the loop so long.
*Kevin Constantine used to talk about how he was "on an island" all summer and there was some debate as to whether he meant that metaphorically or literally (or possibly both). I mean it metaphorically. However, I will have partial Twitter access on my phone so just @ or D me if something comes up.
While I'm disconnected from the hive mind, I'll be reading my first Jack Falla book, Saved. He's long been recommended to me but I've just always had something else ahead of it. I also got a review copy of The Lone Star Skate: Improbable (but True) Stories of Texas's Hockey Heroes that I plan to read. Looking forward to that as well and will get a review up on the blog when I get back.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I've been trying to write about last night's women's league game, but it's been hard to organize my thoughts into something cohesive. Lemme try though...
We lost 5-2. It was Captain Cornerpicker's team and she was actually there for the first time since the horrible spiraling nightmare game a while back. I think only one of their good players was out (didn't miss her, either). We were without some of our better players, so it was clear from the get go that we were the underdogs.
My d-man came over before the game and reminded me to "smile pretty!" basically saying just have fun because you're about to get hammered.
Aaaand she was right. To the tune of 32 shots per our score keeper (11 at the other end). Keep in mind, we only play a total of 39 minutes. In a 60 minute game, that would have been a 49 shot pace. I had to do math to figure that out. You're welcome.
The first period was the hardest. We just couldn't clear the zone and when we did, it was literally JUST cleared, they got onside, and came right back in. Add in a brutal PK (luckily only 1 minute penalties due to the short periods) and I was dizzy with exhaustion by the time I got to the other net for the second period.
I was proud of myself for shaking it off and digging deep and not giving up. And thank god I doubled up on the pasta during the day! I needed every bit of that energy.
During the second, Captain Breakaway finally got her first unimpeded shot at me. She does this crazy shit where she comes in and basically glides to a stop a couple of feet outside the crease and wants to just wait the goalie out. Make a move, tendy, and then I'll put it around or over you. She really can put the puck anywhere she wants.
And she keeps her head up so it's difficult to surprise her. So I've gotta find a way to take advantage of the fact that she is looking at me. I think there are lots of ways to do that, so I'll just have fun with trying to solve her, rather than beating myself up when I can't. She's an A-league level player and her beating me isn't an indictment on me. But if I didn't try to learn from it, it would be. (Fuck me, is that some level-headed shit or what?)
That said, I DID stop her first breakaway attempt. I stayed up, waited her out and batted it away with my blocker. The second one, not so much. I just couldn't get a read on the trajectory off her stick for whatever reason as she roofed it glove side.
I was pissed but still proud that I'd stopped her earlier and that I wasn't taking the bait in her game.
I guess the bottom line is that I don't feel as much like her victim anymore, which is what I tend to feel when someone just has my number and doesn't seem to have qualms about making me look foolish. I went through this with another player back in novice, but once I started to realize some vulnerabilities in her game, I could just let the tension go and play her without all the alarm bells going off in my head.
The second period was pretty tough, too, but Teal started to slow down a SMIDGE and by the third, my exertion was back to a more sustainable level. But up until then, it was like bad sex... if I had a dollar for every time I yelled, "GET IT OUT!" I could have bought dinner for the team.
And I would have, because in spite of the lopsided appearance, they played really hard and did some great things in front of me. It could have been much worse if they hadn't been sharp. Their attitude was great, too. They were having fun, not worried about the score, and that filtered back to me. It just felt like we were really on the same page.
I was very grateful for and embarrassed by all the kudos I got from pretty much everybody, from the ref to the other team to my own teammates, who opened their wallets at the bar and made sure I wasn't feeling any pain. :) So, I guess you just never know what your best game looks like.
I just know I'm overwhelmed with gratitude for everything I got out of last night. An unreal game, some precious bonding with teammates, and some demons sent packing.
And since one of our fans busted out the cowbell during our game, I have to play this song because I kept thinking about it every time I heard the song.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Dude. I gotta fucking learn to poke check. That's all I'm saying about drop-in tonight.
Still amused at the reaction to my last post. Apparently you're a bad person if you call out laziness in a player on the team you support. But a surprising number of people have agreed with me. It's just that the ones who didn't agree took it pretty personally.
If I had $1 for every time I saw negative stuff about MY favorite players... man. But usually what hurts the most is that you know deep down there's some truth there, but it's hard to accept in a player you adore.
Anybody who watches Havlat play for the Wild and can tell me honestly that they think he's working hard all shift, every shift... well.... I can tell you, you're watching through extremely rosy glasses.
He's a very good cherry picker. And I don't care what numbers you put up, I find it an extremely aggravating way to play hockey. At least he stays healthy, I guess. :\
Was talking to my pal @AWoodMacDonald up in Alberta on Twitter tonight about Darcy Kuemper, who is at the forefront of my mind after the Khudobin trade today pretty much assures that it will be Kuemps and Hackett in net for Houston next season.
It's barely March and I'm already giddy with anticipation about having him in Houston. I asked him what it is about the kid that makes him so good and he said it's "grease."
"He battles. He made a lot of greasy stops, that's what a lot of decent goalies don't do well. Technically sound they are above par, but don't have grease. TT has it, Roy had it, Hasek Had it, Price found it, Brust has it"
I love that word for the "it" that draws me to a goalie. It's some combo of confidence, calm, crazy, ballsy, smart, focused, relaxed... I dunno what all.
But I know this:
Grease is the word.
Now if I could just figure out how to get some of my own (see: Sentence #1 of this post).
And one last bit on the Khudobin trade, which made for such a busy afternoon/evening, I almost forgot to go to my game tonight.
I was surprised it happened, but only because I predicted it and my predictions never come true:
Of all the positions I could see the Wild trading, it's in goal because of having Endras available next year.That's what I tweeted this morning. But of course, I long ago said that neither the Wild nor Anton were happily wed anymore and it was time for a divorce. For the Wild, it showed in the Endras signing. For Anton, it showed on the ice.
And I like the Bruins organization an awful lot. I think it's funny that I actually ended up at a game in Providence where he'll be playing. And I think he'll like it there. It's a nice barn that gets loud and can fill up since it's smaller. It's a fantastic change of scenery for him and I hope it re-lights his fire now that he's having to play "hungry" again and impress a whole new crowd of people.
I'm also excited to have Tordjman back. Love him or hate him, he's a string bean of excitement. San Antonio fans warn me that the thrill-a-minute style he has comes back to bite him enough that eventually I'll grow to dislike him. I'm hoping our time together is short and successful enough that this doesn't happen.
I'm interested to see how Hackett responds. Tordjman is the veteran but I'd love to see Hackett take ownership, fly without a net (so to speak), and mature into a pro even more now that Khudobin is gone. It's a tall order and if he doesn't succeed, it's okay. He's a young pup still.