I have thought a lot about what I am going to type in this journal entry. It is probably just going to be a mishmash of what is lingering around in my brain. Therefore, I might just spill everything here and just let it sort itself out.
First, in hockey. I pitched a shutout last week on Friday. The first one I have gotten in a long time. Then on Monday night I won both my games with the Stick Heads and DeKline Builders. I guess this would mean that I have played decent the last few games and I have. The game on Friday night I played well to deserve that shutout, but it was the team in front of me that played superb. I played about average on Monday, but I really am never happy unless I pitch a shutout and then I wonder if it was more the team playing well in front of me than me doing well.
I am going to talk about my Stick Heads team a little bit now. We currently lead our division with 15 points. The next team down is 10 points after 8 games. If we win next week, then we will be first overall. Playoffs are in about 3 weeks and then we will really see how we do. If we lose in OT in the final game, it will be a bad session. At least that is how my team will approach it. I wouldn’t have to say there is no room for error, but after playing as well as we have so far, we cannot falter. I am a realist though and I have seen #1 seeds go down fast, especially in hockey. Anyone can win on any given night.
The Midwest Regional games I covered at Van Andel over the weekend were a blast. I covered all 3 games for uscho.com among other publications and just enjoyed myself. It was the last college hockey game this season that I am covering. I am going to welcome the break this spring/summer.
The last two days I have played like dog crap. I had two lopsided losses yesterday, and then another one tonight. Finally, I had a average game and my team won. That is the short version to what has happened the last couple days. I would be lying to myself if I said I wasn’t concerned. Some of the goals I have allowed have been soft. Today for instance, in a 7-6 loss in OT, there were 2 goals that were pretty weak. I expect more out of myself and I am not getting the results.
All you can do is come out stronger next game and start new.
The CCHA tournament in Detroit was another huge success. I saw probably the best game on Saturday when Ohio State won the CCHA championship over Michigan 4-2. I have to give kudos to the Ohio State Buckeyes for that performance. It was one I didn’t expect, especially after they played 2 OT games the previous 2 nights. They definetly wanted it more than Michigan for those first 2 periods.
Even with Ohio State’s jubiliant celebration as they lifted the trophy, the only thing I could think about was Ferris State. I wonder what Ferris State would have looked like lifting that trophy. During the Ferris State end of season dinner last year, that was all the players could talk about. It wasn’t their first NCAA victory over North Dakota. It wasn’t the regular season championship. It was that one game against Michigan for the CCHA playoffs. One game. I know I probably won’t see that kind of year that happened back in 2002-2003 for a long time.
Playing in the CCHA Media Day Game is a privledge for everyone involved. It curtails you puting on your goalie stuff for an hour and playing against people you work with. All of us media people work together to bring college hockey coverage to the masses. This is just one bonus the job brings. The location is Joe Louis Arena, home of the Detroit Red Wings. After a short warmup and photo shoot, we played the game. I played one period and let in no goals. Stopped one breakaway too which was a bonus. The other goaltenders didn’t make out so well. My partner let in a goal in the dying minutes of the game. My team still won, but they had the best two goalies. The other team just couldn’t get much going.
Anyway, that was the highlight of my day.
3/15/04 – Stick Heads vrs White Tigers
My Stick Heads team continued to roll with a 6-2 victory last night. My team played phenomonial to be honest with you. I played a little above average. The two goals they got were not great scoring chances. To my credit, I stopped the few quality chances they had. One thing is certain in my book, I have to stop those soft goals. One of those is going to kill me in the playoffs. They have in the past. Maybe I am puting too much undo pressure on myself to perform to a higher level.
Another thing I promised to do is exercise more outside of the rink. I have an exercise bike I am going to start working out on when I have extended time off. The extra work will really help me out come playoff time or times when I need more endurance.
The rest of this week is going to be a treat. On Wednesday night, I get a chance to play on Joe Louis Arena ice in the CCHA media day game. All the media people that cover all the CCHA teams in the league will get a chance to play in this game. I am expecting about 10-20 minutes of playing time. Anything more than that is a bonus. Otherwise, I have training coming up this week in Detroit, and in the evenings I will hopefully catch a couple hockey games at the Joe. The Super 6 tournament is this weekend and it looks to be a lot of fun that is for sure.
Keep your stick on the ice!
Thursday 3/11/04 – Team X vrs So What
This was a great game all things considered. The problem is that I couldn’t get one single bounce to go my way in the game in a 5-4 OT loss.
1 – After stopping a couple shots in close, the rebound kicked out to a wide open forward who put it off my glove and into the net for the first one.
2 – The second one was a pass across the top of the crease to another untouched forward who wristed a shot past me. The defense has to pick those guys up.
3 – Here is where the bounces started going against me a little. I made a good stop on a breakaway, and the shooter threw the puck from behind the goal, off of me, and into the net.
4 – Another bad bounce. Shot that went off my own defenseman’s shoulder pad and deflected into the net.
5 – Last bad bounce and this time in OT. Wrist shot that went off my glove, and landed behind me into the net.
I think I lost my good karma. Those last three goals were horrible, and those shots don’t go in normally. After winning my Stick Heads game on Monday, I have dropped my last 2 games in a row. This is not the kind of streak I want to be on. Gotta find a way to change my luck out there somehow. Not going to worry about it now though. It was a fluke game and while I did make some strong saves, the Team X I know didn’t show up. Team X still sits in first place with more tough games coming up. I can’t wait until I play again on Team X next week.
Yesterday was incredibly rough for me. With my neck all out of whack, I coached my kids team to a 5-4 loss. I spent time thinking about what happened in that game, and realized that I may have made a couple mistakes. I think for the rest of the season, I am going to stick these kids together with a partner. This way, they get used to each other a little easier. Kinda late to make any sweeping changes though. They are doing well with a 3-3 record so far this season. My goal is 6-5 which is very doable the last five games of the season.
I shouldn’t have played my ice hockey game last night. I couldn’t even turn my head without my neck giving me problems. That didn’t help matters as I handed in probably my worst performance in a 6-4 loss. Yes, two goals were deflections and one of them was a 3-1 odd man rush chance. However, there were a couple key stops I should have made in that game that I didn’t. I am still bumed out about that this morning to be honest. I expect so much better out of myself, and if I wasn’t bitching about my neck this morning I would be even harder on myself. I usually pride myself on having a short term memory when it comes to these things. I did last week when we lost 5-4. Course, I played a solid game last week. This week was just abysmal for me.
Speaking of a pain in the neck, I thought I might chime in on this whole Todd Bertuzzi issue before they pass judgement on the guy. I can understand that Bertuzzi was probably getting Moore of the Avalanche back for his hit on Naslund that injured him. However, was sucker punching him, landing on top of him, and then donkey punching him the right thing to do? Heck no. I saw pieces of his speech on this issue that he gave to the media and he choked up three times and cried. I am not saying that he faked those tears to get out of being punished. He probably feels terrible now. However, there are some mistakes that we never get done paying for. Luckily, Moore should make a full recovery, but the league does need to come down hard on Bertuzzi.
What would be the probable punishment? Who knows. I think he will get a suspension for the rest of the regular season and playoffs. Marty McSorley got suspended 26 games for hitting Donald Brashear across the head. Why shouldn’t Bertuzzi get the same or a little more harsh of a punishment?
This afternoon took a turn for the worse. After a good lunch and a good half of the day, my neck tensed up and I pulled something in the back right side. It has been sore for a while now and I have a feeling I am going to need to play through it tonight at my ice hockey game. What timing. Now I know “what a pain in the neck” feels like. To be honest, it was my first one so I was taken totally by suprise.
I will have to take one of the 800mg Advils before I head to play tonight.
3/8/04 – Stick Heads vrs Carpe Poon
It was a game of streaks. After we scored the first goal of the game, Carpe Poon came back to score 4 straight. The Stick Heads then rattled off 7 straight goals to win 8-4. I had a decent game, but it was far from excellent. Two goals were scored from shots at the top of the faceoff circles that went top corner on me. I dropped way too fast on those two shots. The other two were shots from in the slot off passes from behind the net. One was a wraparound chance that I stopped, but it went straight out to a wide open player who put it just over my glove and into the net.
The Stick Heads really came out strong in the second half of that game. I faced some decent chances through the first half, but the second the chances were few and far between. The good thing is I kept them off the board in that second half of that game and had a strong finish.
For now, the Stick Heads are still in first. A lot of hockey to play though.
As a Tivo fanatic, I got hooked on a new show called The Shield. After catching it in the middle of the second season, I have watched every episode. The third season is coming up this week Tuesday. I really need to go out and rent the first and second season, but blockbuster really likes raping people for rentals. The other alternative is Netflix, but they charge $20 a month for thier service.