Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Victory, Namaste, Backhand Shelf, Delights

I have a lot to say tonight and THANKFULLY I've got that dreaded curse of rec hockey: The adrenaline rush that won't. go. away. 

There's nothing else like this, in my experience. You're just so ON while you're playing, that it takes hours to turn it OFF. No matter how tired your body and mind are, there's that second layer of energy pumping in your veins that always wins the insomnia game.

It's the trade-off for all the fun we have out there.

So, I might as well write some shit while I'm lolling around here waiting on the sandman.


Victory from the jaws of defeat

Women's league was strange tonight. I was a black hole out there for 39 minutes. LITERALLY waved at a puck that was a good shot but I could see it all the way, knew it was coming, watched it zip over the worthless sack of leather I call a glove. "Hi!" "Bye!" "Fuck."

The other team was quite mean to me though, hacking at me all night. I think we play them again next week when the playoffs start. We can kill penalties if we need to.

Anyway, like I was saying, I played like a sack of rotting meat, letting in 4 goals on not a ton of shots, while the other goalie was playing lights out and really only getting beat on really great chances.

I had to talk myself out of tears at one point, but one of the many great things about my team is that we have a lot of former goalies, so they instinctively knew what I needed. The occasional out-of-their-way visit to commiserate, make me laugh, pad tap, whatever, all kept me going and got me back to my "stop the next puck" mantra, which is where I should have gone when I started feeling rattled.

But I was rattled, so of course, I didn't think of that.

We were down 4-3 with less than a minute on the clock and my girl, M, was working her can off trying to get her third goal of the night and tie it up. She finally succeeded and the game went to a shootout. yay.

But after my last shootout success, I was feeling okay about it. And after all that hacking, I was delighted to get the opportunity to stuff them and get the win.

Fortunately, we got one or two goals in (I tried not to worry too much about the actual score... so much that I grabbed my water bottle and started to head to the bench before the shootout was over... oops!) and I stopped all their shots. Strained a groin to get one of them and it was worth it. I'll smile every time I feel that pain down my inner thigh (I'm lying. I go, "Oww!")

So, it was strange in that a) I played so badly but b) I redeemed that bad play (thanks to my team giving me the opportunity to do so) in the shootout of all things. I'll take it, but better play in regulation would certainly have been preferable.


Namaste, bro

I saw a tweet today, in light of Wayne Simmonds' homosexual slur against Sean Avery during a game, that the NHL is sending a notice to players that such slurs will now be a callable penalty during games.

My response was, "Oh NHL, stop being so knee-jerk."

Someone questioned me on what I meant by that. What I meant by that was that I get the feeling the league kinda has its panties in a wad. Shanny is dishing out heavy suspensions DAILY. Sometimes multiple times daily. And now they're wanting to penalize how guys chirp each other on the ice.

That's not to say I condone hate speech in any forum. But the notion of my NHLers, who are rough and tumble, emotional, reactionary, and basically required to be INsensitive (both to survive their jobs and to execute them) having to think, "How will this language make my opponent feel?" before they say anything just... feels... I dunno. Wrong.

I don't want players to be automatons out there. It just feels more appropriate to me to work on some cultural sensitivity for the guys and trust them to make positive decisions. Maybe I'm being a hippy dippy goofball but it's a place to start, right? It would serve them well both on and off the ice to not be quite so boorish (or at least learn to hide it so they don't make fools of themselves), but to make it a rulebook penalty offense... come on.

(Now go read Nick in New York's case for the NHL's actions and my further clarification in his comments.)


Backhand Shelf

Did I mention I have a new gig this season? I'll be contributing to a new hockey blog over on (yeah, my dumb Texan ass is writing about hockey on a Canadian web site--that doesn't have disaster written all over it, does it?)

Justin Bourne is the new bossman over there, and he's a swell guy and thinks I'm funny and said to just "do your thing." Ohhhh lawsy, careful what you wish for, Bourneo. "And today, with another post on what a sexy beast Barry Brust is..."

Anyway, the new blog is called Backhand Shelf, which I'm pretty annoyed by and wasted no time giving Bourney some shit about it. Then again, me writing for a blog named after a move that routinely burns the best of goalies and is guaranteed to burn me, is probably quite appropriate.

Not sure what this means for my other writing. The nature of the opportunity automagically makes it take precedent over most other things. I need to do some soul searching (and quickly) on what this means for the rest of my writing.

Regardless, there's a lot of potential for fun here, so I'm honored to be included and excited to get going. (Now accepting story ideas!)



Things that have thrilled me lately (seriously, this adrenaline just won't quit tonight):

  • My new house. You envision living in a place when you decide to buy it, but this has exceeded expectations. I love it. Now if someone would PLEASE just buy our old one. *sigh*
  • Finding a hockey player who didn't go to college, in fact is actually still in junior, but can WRITE. And not to knock the college boys I've seen churn out some solid articles, but they tend to be a little stiff and lacking a real voice. But one of the kids who tried out with the Wild this camp, Taylor Peters, has a real gift. Fresh and lively and unabashed in his enthusiasm for writing: a true word nerd. And such confidence, as well. For a young guy, it's remarkable. Check him out.
  • Buying rugs. I fucking LOVE area rugs. And having an new house without a speck of carpet means I get to buy several, and moreover, just shop for them constantly. 
  • Hummus. It never gets old. (No, not hummers. Though those probably don't get old either. At least for the hummee.)
  • The hockey road trip MrC and I have planned in a few weeks. Basically if a team plays anywhere near Lake Erie, we're going to a game. Every day for a week and a half a new city and a new game, except for the day Mr.C goes to the NFL game at Rogers Centre between the Redskins and Bills while I go to the HHOF and a game in Oshawa (giant Clutterbuck mural FTW!) It's going to be either a huge blast or a huge grind. Not sure which yet. Maybe both.
Still not sleepy but now out of stuff to say and also hungry. Thanks to you guys who read my drivel regularly. You're the real heroes. 


Navin V.  September 28, 2011 at 10:13 AM  

Congrats on the gig at The Score. I've always enjoyed your writing here. Especially as a goalie myself. And, I must say, I do love the name "Backhand Shelf."

Anonymous  September 28, 2011 at 12:43 PM  

RE: the knee-jerk NHL - so "slurs" will be called as penalties. Who defines which chirps are penalty worthy and which are not? Will a list of penalty worthy words be created and distributed? (That could become a crazy game of Taboo. Create your best NHL worthy chirp without using any of the words on the list.) Will the officials know the penalty worthy words in multiple languages? Or can Koivu just teach everyone a few Finnish slurs?

Ultimately - as wrong as I feel it is to call someone many of those words...this just feels like a losing battle/slippery slope/pandora's box for the NHL.

Ms. Conduct  September 28, 2011 at 12:50 PM  

Thanks Navin! That really means a lot coming from you.

Exactly, MNgirl! Either it's a very slippery slope or nothing will change at all because it's unenforceable.

Anonymous  September 28, 2011 at 1:16 PM  

so the refs will be required to have a universal translator hung around the neck, and have the players speak into it as to what they said, listen to it, and then decide if a penalty is warranted. OR hire a crew with headphones, (like the UN, hundreds of people sitting there, with headphones) and listen to everything...yeah, this wont slow the game down at will the refs be sent rosetta stone (NHL version)?


klemmer  September 28, 2011 at 1:22 PM  


I don't like shootouts as a way to decide pro games at all, but I love playing in them. Why?

As you say, it gives the goalie a chance as redemption for giving up a bad goal....

That, and the fact that I win 85% of them :)

klemmer  September 28, 2011 at 1:22 PM  


I don't like shootouts as a way to decide pro games at all, but I love playing in them. Why?

As you say, it gives the goalie a chance as redemption for giving up a bad goal....

That, and the fact that I win 85% of them :)

artandhockey  September 28, 2011 at 3:18 PM  

Too much PCorrectness... takes the fun out of much..everywhere not just hockeyt! I remember (mumble years ago) when one could say one's mind/opinion without being in constant fear of being sued over it by a perceived 'shrinking -and I do love violets! Just saying!
RE blogging-you earned it and GOOD LUCK, BREAK A LEG, TOI TOI TOI or whatever they say to budding successful writers!

Janet S.  September 29, 2011 at 5:39 PM  

Please don't stop blogging! It's bad enough that Justin Bourne won't be blogging much anymore . . . We can't lose you too! It's hard to find hockey writers who are actually WRITERS.

I'll check out Taylor's site, though. Good luck with your new job.

Ms. Conduct  September 30, 2011 at 7:20 AM  

Oh no, I won't stop writing here no matter what. This is my brain dump space. No worries. :)

maalivahti  October 3, 2011 at 12:40 PM  

Congrats on the new gig!!! That is really awesome. Can't wait to read the "Brusty is a Sexy Beast" - I mean, truly inspired posts you will produce. :D Way to go on that shootout too.

maalivahti  October 3, 2011 at 12:42 PM  

PS I totally want Rosetta Stone (NHL version)

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