Well, it is after 4am and I am not asleep. Not because I can’t sleep, but because we have a T1 line down at one of remote locations at work. This is a 24/7 shop and I have been on the phone to them and AT&T throughout the evening. It is now approaching on 7 hours the T1 has been down. Bellsouth is starting to come through this looking pretty bad. I am going to call here in a few minutes to get a status update.
On the hockey front, my bronze team won its second in a row by a 10-7 score. However, I am quick to look at how I did in the game. First, the goaltender for the other team didn’t play a great game. Second, the other team was missing a couple players. Last, I wasn’t that strong in net. I am going to need to play flawless hockey in order to beat that team again. My angles were way off again today.
I am trying to stay awake, but it is getting harder and harder as time goes on. Better stop typing this and get to doing something else to pass the time.
I want to talk about this first since it was on my mind last night. I haven’t played ice hockey in a long time. Too long actually. When I stepped out there to play last night, I felt comfortable at first, but I made a lot of mistakes. It is beginner/intermediate, so I am allowed some mistakes. You could tell I was rusty though. I found myself back in the net a few times. I was not playing my angles as well as could have been. Yes, we won 10-1, but I have a lot to improve on. This team went .500 last season and has NEVER won a playoff game. I am going to concentrate on having fun and trying to improve my game. We won’t run the table I tell you that much. We have a good team, but there are going to be teams that are going to give us a run for our money or give us the 10-1 blowout losses. I will tell you that much right now.
I think I have used this title before, but I think it is fitting to use it now. Mainly because of everything that has happened in the last few weeks.
The first thing I wanted to talk about was hockey, of course. I am playing 4 times a week. Tomorrow, I am starting in ice hockey. The wins are finally starting to come in. My Bulldogs team won 2 of their last 3 games. With 2 games to go, our playoff hopes are dim but still alive. I would love to get this team into the playoffs, but it is going to be a tough road. We have the #1 Stick Heads and the defending champion Reforms coming up in our last two games. It is my hope that we make a good run these last few games, but it isn’t entirely up to me. Village Bike got their first win last week, and I was happy mainly because it may be our only one all season. We will see what happens I guess. Finally, my Bronze team had a big night and notched its first win as well.
On the negative side, while I am playing well, I am still making mistakes. Tonight, I wasn’t against the post and had a puck go off me at a sharp angle and go in. It seems as if I am allowing one of these goals every game. In beginner/intermediate, I suppose I am allowed to do that. However, I know I am capable of playing better than that. Another thing I have to do is keep my confidence high. I have had a problem this session with my confidence waivering at times. The last week has been a welcome break from that though.
Now, onto all good things…
All good things must come to an end eventually. The first organized team I practiced with was the Grand Rapids Riverfrogs. They were a travel team of some of the best players in this area. At the time, I was a goalie who couldn’t skate very well. If it wasn’t for that team, I wouldn’t have improved to the point where I am now. Course, facing shots from players who play at a high level will do that to you. I have heard the Riverfrogs may be coming to an end soon. Which is too bad mind you. I wish everyone on that team the best and hope they return again. On a side note, most of the people who used to play on that team have moved on. All good things must come to an end. Just like my tenure with the Stick Heads ended….this is ending as well.
Aside from losing the cat on Thursday and having not seen it for over 2 days now, my wife and I still went on vacation up to the Leelanau Peninsula near Traverse City. It was our second stint at wine tasting, and we had a lot of fun going around to all the wineries. As a bonus, we got a shirt, glass, food at each stop, and a great view of the area. I would like to come up here and live at some point, however, I would need to get my masters or PhD so I could teach at the local college. There are just not many IT jobs up here. My wife is set on a job though…part of being a doctor of Pharmacy I guess.
My brother is at our place changing the bait in the live trap cages to try to catch the cat, if it is still alive. As I said, we haven’t seen it for 2 days and as the time goes on, who knows if it is still alive. I have already conditioned myself to the fact that we may never see it again. There are so many things that could have happened to it by now, but there is still a chance. One thing is for sure, missing is a heck of a lot harder on both my wife and I than dead. You sort of get this false sense of hope, something I am NOT going to cling to in this situation. I also am not going to second guess myself anymore. I feel I did the right thing by bringing in a critter service to try to get the cat out from under the porch, even though I haven’t seen it again since its escape. There are other things I have regretted in this situation…but second guessing myself is over with.
Tomorrow we go home and I can concentrate on hockey again. I am really looking forward to putting on the pads again.
Going to go a little off the beaten path here. I have been trying to write more about the things that go on in my life here other than hockey. Besides, there is more to life than hockey right? Ok, just checking.
The night before last, one of our indoor cats got outside. After looking all over the neighborhood, I could not locate it. Yesterday morning, we found it under our porch, but were unsuccessful in getting it to come out. It ran off into the forest behind our house, and we haven’t seen it since. Now, where am I going with this? Quite frankly, I have mixed feelings about this. My wife is more broken up over this, that is for sure. However, my feelings are bouncing all over the place. At first, I felt bad and maybe a little pity for the cat. It has no claws, and it has been rainy and cold the last few nights. I have taken time to look for it, with no luck. We set live traps up with tuna and wet cat food, with no luck on that end either. This morning, I fear it is dead, but it is hard not to have hope.
Maybe this cat rubbed a little more off on me than I anticipated.
I am sure I am not the only one who has one of these bracelets.
I bought some off of http://www.laf.org to support Lance Armstrong’s charity. Livestrong says a lot. To me, it means that we should all live life to its fullest no matter what obstacles get in our way. In a hockey sense, I have a lot of obstacles to get over. The first one is regaining my confidence. It has waivered recently, and I can’t have those kinds of thoughts running rampant in my head. The second is rebuilding relationships with my new teams. I can’t ever go back to what I had before. I know that now. I must rebuild, and be strong while doing it. Lastly, I have to get the thoughts out of my head that say I will never be a league champ again. My past success was not only due to the team I had, but due to my actions in net. I will find that right chemistry again in time. Until then, I must be patient.
The last week has not been the easiest on me playing goal. For the first time in a long time, I finally gave up in a game. We were down by 8 goals with 7 minutes to go and I just got sick of things. I just leaned back and let them put it in the net 2 more times before the end of the game. I was totally disgusted, but not at my team or my effort. The problem is that we only have 5-6 guys show up consistantly. On top of that, we are outclassed in every aspect of the game by the other teams. As much as I like playing in intermediate/advanced, the constant shellings are starting to take their toll on me confidence wise.
Well, that and the fact that my other teams are all struggling. Only two of my four teams this session are actually able to keep up with the competition. That would be my intermediate Copper Bulldogs team, and my beginner team that I skate out on, Vintage Painting. Vintage improved to 5-0 last night with a win over the second place team by a 5-4 OT score. I notched my first assist and got one shot on goal, which isn’t bad. I think I am getting better, but there is part of me that doesn’t know what to do or where to go. I try to play my position, and it is hard not going in to help my defense a lot. My puck handling is getting better as so is my skating. It will take a long time for me to get really good though, but that is not my intention. I just want to play and have fun.
This session, having fun is becoming a challenge.
There is part of me that feels very alone at times. Past friends have gone to play on other teams, and there is part of me that realizes that I will always play third or forth fiddle to other goalies out at the rink. Of course everyone praises me on how well I am doing. People are supportive, but I have heard enough of that. I don’t want to hear how much my team didn’t have a chance and how I did well. I want to once again play with the people I had success with. Will it happen down the road? I have no idea.
Maybe I am having a hard time adapting to the events that have occured. Especially with the struggles I have had this session.
I chipped in a goal, my 3rd of the season, in my skating out league. It was definetly a confidence boosting goal, mainly because I hit it out of midair but well below the crossbar. It was a nice rebound shot and those 3 goals are a new high for me for a season.
I dropped all 3 of my games this week in net. I am not keeping track of my record, but my magic number so far this season in net is 2. That is as in 2 wins in over 20 games I have played. Quite miserable if you ask me.
The game last night was quite ugly. Not only were there a couple fights, but my team lost in what should have been a win for us. We had the other team down to 5 skaters, and just couldn’t pull it together. I let in a couple weak goals, but when a majority of the chances are coming at you in odd man rushes, it was quite unsettling.
I will cut out on this note…
My confidence is still very high. Losing these games has not brought me down at all. I look forward to my next game next week. This weekend is going to mainly be for me to relax. I have a left upper leg problem that is bothering me. Feels like a slightly pulled muscle. I need the downtime before next week hits. 4 days of rest should be good enough. I think the most physical I am going to get is mowing the lawn. 🙂