Nasty cold/flu

It has been a rough last few days. I came down with a cold/flu that has put me on my butt. Of course, it happens when I have a few days off of hockey so I suppose that is a good thing. Much rather be sick now than next week when hockey starts back up…and boy do I have a lot of games to play in the next three months.

Taking my time

I was off from hockey on Monday and Tuesday. I really needed the break to get other things done around the house and spend some time with the wife. By Wednesday though, I was ready to play again. After a short rollerhockey practice, I played ice hockey later that evening.

1/28/04 – Windmeuller Electric vrs Out Patients
My team has been languishing in the middle of the pack for a while while the Out Patients have won the last two championships and sitting in first place. I think this is the best I have seen my team play as we won 4-1. The only goal to beat me was a breakaway and maybe I should have even had that one. It beat me low and I didn’t get my pads down fast enough. Otherwise, it was a solid effort by my team. Now, we sit in 6th place for the playoffs coming up. This team has yet to win a playoff game. It will be my goal to get them at least one this year.

After the last couple games where I just couldn’t get a bounce, things have finally started going my way. I just hope they continue next week.

The rest of the week hopefully will be unevenful aside from work and Ferris Hockey this weekend. Super Bowl party on Sunday.

I am convinced that time goes faster as you get older. It is already Thursday.

3 months to think about it

Saturday 1/24/03 – Team X vrs Extreme Graphics
I have a really bad taste in my mouth after this game. Once again, I was the victim of a bad bounce that got the attention from others at Rivertown as an “Own Goal”. The fact that it was labeled as an own goal upsets me more than the goal itself. As some of you know, last time I played Extreme Graphics, I had a shot that went off the back boards, hit my stick, and went into my net. The one tonight went off the post, hit my skate, and went in. Either way, it was the first goal in the game. My team came back to tie it 1-1 late in the period. Team X carried the play through most of the game, but just couldn’t put it home again. Extreme had a couple good chances and a breakaway that I turned aside. When the dust settled, I was on the losing side by a 2-1 score. The other shot that beat me was a shot that went top corner on me. Beautiful shot.

Now, I have another 3 months to think about it. The two bad bounces that led to us playing in this game and then the bounce that killed us in the playoff game.

Next session has so much promise. I have the Stick Heads coming back and I am excited about the prospect of that happening.

The proper approach

Usually, the night before playoffs is a hard night to sleep. At least for me. I had more than a few solid games leading up to this point. When it comes down to a one game playoff, everything goes out the window. I used to put myself under so much pressure to do well that even now I think about what will happen. In a little over 11 hours from now, I will don the pads and play my first of hopefully three playoff games.

Success or failure comes down to one game. One bounce can kill a team or decide a game. I have seen many games decided by a couple bounces of the puck. I can tell you that I am already thinking about tomorrow, but I am not worried about my performance. I know I will do the best I can and play a solid game. If my team responds, then we have nothing to worry about.

You have to approach these games in a different light. If you approach them thinking of them as a playoff game, chances are you put yourself under too much pressure and you do something wrong. If you think of them as just another game, odds are you will play solid. At least in my mind that is how it works.

For now, I must get sleep. Big games tomorrow and hopefully, another trophy to add to my resume. It stands at 5 right now.

86

I played my last tune up game before Saturday’s playoffs with a win tonight. The Jr. Komets beat Kales by a score of 10-4. After Kales came up with the first 3 goals of the game, the Komets scored 10 straight. I really wasn’t heavily challenged and I was quite happy with the result.

I took a moment to look over the results of teams that are in the playoffs against each other. The results are very suprising.

Most of the games were one goal games…

Jr. Komets vs. Extreme Graphics 5-4
Groot Builders vs. Jr. Komets 4-5 overtime
Extreme Graphics vs. Groot Builders 3-2 overtime
Extreme Graphics vs. Jr. Komets 7-6
Extreme Graphics vs. So What 4-5
Extreme Graphics vs. Team X 5-4

It will be interesting come Saturday.

Last night’s action

Wednesday 1/22/04 – Smith Diamond Realty vrs Groot Builders
Groot Builders got the best of me last time we played them in a 5-2 loss when I played with Schutts. I fared no better this game as Smith Diamond got beat 7-3. Smith Diamond just doesn’t have the guns to play against a team like that. I came up with some good stops. Most of the goals that were scored on me were in the slot and top corner shots.

After that game, I found out some possibly unsettling news. One of our leading scorers will be only subbing next session while our leading playmaker and scorer may not be coming back next session. Not good to say the least. Ever since I heard that, there is part of me that wants to take next session off of playing with Smith-Diamond. I want to have at least a semi-competitive team. Without both of those players, we will be struggling.

Rage vrs Phantoms
Here was a shocker of a game. After I got done playing for Smith-Diamond, I was asked to play for the Rage. An 0-10 team against the powerhouse Phantoms who are 7-2-1. I came into this game just thinking I would do the best I could and I played an excellent game in a 5-4 victory for the Rage. They got their first win with me in net. I was on cloud 9 after that win. I guess I can put one down in the “steal a game for my team” column. There isn’t many in that column, but that is beside the point. The end result was a win and I was ready for next game that evening.

Windmeuller Electric vrs Kodiacs
Once again, I played another solid game in a 5-3 loss.

1 – First goal was tipped by my own defenseman into the net. Nothing about that one.
2 – Pass to an open man on the far side of the net with an easy tap in. It wasn’t very close to the crease, but I think I could have stopped that pass.
3 – Same as #2. Same guy too. This one wasn’t very close to the crease either, but it is up to my defenseman to take that guy.

With the score deadlocked at 3-3, my team had a series of chances to put it into the net. I counted about 9-10 breakaways we didn’t cash in on. The first breakaway my opponent had they scored on….

4 – Nice breakaway shot to the top corner. The only complaint I had was I feel I was a little out of position for the shot.
5 – The only goal I want back in the game. It was a weak backhander in the slot that went five-hole on me. I know the shooter very well, and I thought he might try for a high backhand. The first problem is that I wasn’t crouched low enough. Second thing is my stick wasn’t in position to stop the shot.

I took the 5-3 loss in stride. Life goes on. I have one more game tonight and then playoffs on Saturday.

Last Game

It was my last game with the White Tigers…

1/19/04 – White Tigers vrs Legion
The Legion are ranked #2 for a reason and they really worked us hard. After they lept out to a 5-0 lead through the first half of the game, we came back and scored a couple to make it 6-2 in the end. I really have to give the White Tigers some credit. Even when the odds are stacked against them, they really came out to compete every night. My hats off to them.

Since it was my last game, I really felt bad about moving on. When I play with a team for that long, you get used to the people on it. I wouldn’t have to say that I struck long term friendships with these players, but I enjoyed playing with them. If the Stick Heads weren’t coming back next session, I would be sticking with the White Tigers. In the end, I want to start competing for a championship.

After that game last night, I was spent. I came home, ate some dinner, played a couple games on the computer, and then went to bed early. I was just wiped out. After almost 9 hours of sleep, I felt a lot better. I don’t know what the problem was to be honest with you. Maybe it is because I am trying to cut down on my sugar intake. I am glad I have tonight off because my next couple nights this week will be busy with hockey and such.

It happens to every goalie sooner or later

It was the first time I have seen it at a game in person. You would have thought I would have seen one by now. What I am talking about is a shot go in from the defensive zone. One of these famous “Gaff” goals such as the Patrick Roy Statue of Liberty play in Game 6 of the Western Conference finals against Detroit in 2002-2003. Like the one Mark Andre-Fleury had when he cleared the puck off one of his own defenseman and into his own net. I have witnessed a goalie scoring a goal. I have seen more than a few hat tricks. One of these goals I never thought I would see.

However, I saw it, but I also saw something else. Goaltenders have to have short memories, and Ferris State goaltender Mike Brown had one. FSU won the game in the end.

The key is to rebound from a goal like that. That puck does strange things, and something routine can go wrong at any moment. I have seen things like that happen, and been on both sides of the puck.

Note to self: Best to forget and play on. Life goes better that way.

Still haunted

Good morning Friday!

For some reason, that game I played last night still haunts me. I am overanalyzing it to be honest with you. If I am going to get another shot at redemption with this team, it is going to be on Saturday next week with our first playoff game.

End of discussion.

Going to bed soon

I just got to thinking about my teams for next session, and I thought I might want to start puting some stuff down about them and what I expect. This session is pretty much over for all my roller teams except one, which has secured a playoff spot.

Aluminum – Smith-Diamond Reality
I have stuck with this team for a long time for a reason. I believe this team has promise and heart. However, I mostly play with them because they accept me for who I am. Playing with your friends is the most important thing you can do. I have known this team before I was ever a member of the Stick Heads. I lifted my first trophy in Copper less than an hour after this team got beat in the finals. I feel I owe it to them. I don’t think I am the best shot this team has for a championship. I do feel that I am a cog in the machine though. How far will we go next session? It all depends on the beginner teams to be honest. Smith-Diamond is a true beginner team, and a team with skilled players will beat them 9 out of 10 times. It all depends on the makeup of the division next session. If there aren’t 16 teams, then there will be one big division. That means, a middle of the road end result. Otherwise, a playoff birth.

Brass – Bulldogs
At least this is what I think the team will be named. This is my first time playing with a new team of players. I haven’t met these guys before, but I am sure I will recognize a bunch of them. I don’t know how well we will do next session. It all depends on chemistry and team hockey. That is what this bunch wants to put together, which I am all about since hockey is all chemistry and teamplay. I am going to predict a playoff birth right now.

Copper – Stick Heads
Yes, I am back. I am getting another shot at a title with the Stick Heads. I have three trophys under my belt with this team and I really believe I will get a fourth. The makeup of the team impresses me. The x-factor is what it has been every season and that is me. Copper is probably the highest division I can compete in right now skill wise. A team has a lot to do with the success of the goalie. The framework is there. I just need to pull through again.

I am not trying to deflect what is coming next Saturday. As the time nears, my level of excitment will grow. I love playing for a chance at glory and I cannot say I have disappointed in the playoffs. Yes, I have lost games, but I have not laid an egg.

*knock on wood*

Anyone can win in a one game playoff. This is why you see so many top ranked teams going home after the first game. This is why you see bottom rung teams going all the way to win it all. All it takes is chemistry, karma, a couple lucky bounces, a hot goalie, and you have yourself a win to get to the next game. I will need to win 3 games to go all the way, which is obtainable with the team I have in front of me. The key is execution.

I am glad I have other things to keep me occupied until next Saturday.

Ferris Hockey this weekend for starters. A hockey practice on Saturday. Next week I have 2 roller and 1 ice game to play. All of them will be tough games against the top teams in the league respectivly. That doesn’t worry me. It will be good practice leading up to the games on Saturday next week.