Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Calamity in the crease and other catch-up crap

Wow, was last night's hockey ever craptacular. But I'm oddly okay with it. It was clearly one of those just "not meant to be" kinda nights, and the other goalie struggled in weird ways, too, so it wasn't even just me.

Starts off, I'm getting dressed and I tie my toe ties on and get my pads halfway strapped up before I realize I haven't put my jock or pants on. I was thinking I seemed pleasantly mobile and cool for a change (goalie pants are hot and bulky in terms of needing to dicker around with your skates/toes/etc).

Okay, take the pads off, put pants on, it's all good. Then I hit the ice and think, "Man, it feels so good to have this cool breeze in my hair! Why don't I appreciate this every time I hit the ice?"


Ugh. So I trudge off, feeling stupid (but delightfully cool... amazing how much heat those lids hold in) and put my mask on. I think it's so tidy in its new padded, ventilated mask bag (in anticipation of my beautiful new paint job, if the guy will ever finish the renderings so it can be painted), I just failed to notice it in my bag.

So finally, I get out there. Have a good warm-up. Happy with my first period, though the teams are unbalanced as usual when Big Bird is there, so I'm not seeing a ton of shots.

Then I switch ends and it all goes to shit immediately.

First, I don't know if the zamboni fucked it up or some brat kid did, but the ice in the crease at the end (B rink at SLICE by the zam door) had huge ruts in it and was sloping downhill towards the net. I guess that's one way to learn to play at the top of your crease is to basically make the bottom of your crease unskateable.

THEN, as if I needed more skating issues, my toe tie laces came untied and I kept slipping on those. Half the time, I couldn't tell whether it was the ice or the skate laces screwing me up, and sometimes it was actually both! I just couldn't keep them tucked up out of the way for more than a couple of minutes.

Needless to say, I was a wreck that half of the game. Let a ton of stuff in because I was so distracted by the mess at my feet, I was just a pylon out there. Bleh.

On one goal, one of my defensemen slammed his stick against the boards. Dude. It's drop-in. Anybody keeping score at this thing is just setting themselves up for disappointment. And the other goalie and I both struggled at that end, so if they were keeping score, it had to have been ugly.

I've already tweeted SLICE to please get that fixed before tonight, because I'm back on that rink again at 8 p.m. tonight.

Playing Memorial City Wednesday, too. I figure I need to get some more ice time in to get ready for the heavy load I'll be facing in the Memorial Day weekend women's hockey tourney in Dallas in a couple of months. 4 games in 2 days. Assuming they're full 60 minute games, and I haven't played even one of those in ages.

This will be my first real tournament and I adore all the girls going (at least the ones I know), so I know it's going to be a lot of fun. The other thing is that the Jays are in Dallas that weekend, so I know I can catch Friday's game, but Saturday and Sunday will be difficult, I suspect. Still, very excited to kill two birds with one stone there. Even if Snidey did get demoted (lousy bastards).

Anyway, if you missed it (but I don't know how you could, the way I pimped it), I've literally spent years contemplating hockey as a religion, at least for me, but there seems to be some consensus among my readers, too.

I've wanted to write about it for a long time and I still don't feel like I did it the justice it deserves. I think part of the problem is that I'm half kidding, but also half serious. Would have been better if I were earnestly committed to one direction or the other.

But anyway, here's that post on Backhand Shelf from Sunday.

Amazing how I seem to get the haterade in the comments on the posts that, generally, most other readers seem to connect pretty well with. Working on my thicker skin in earnest so it doesn't discourage me, and honestly I don't know a single writer, even some I consider the very best at it, who doesn't get some prick strolling by occasionally telling them how lousy they are.

Part of the game, I guess, but certainly doesn't leave me awash in enthusiasm for it. Still, I do it to players all the time, critiquing and/or criticizing their play and I know they don't always like it or take it well. Ah well. Have Ambien, will still sleep at night. Thank you very much.


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