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My beginner training and game tonight was a tough one.  I skated hard all through practice, even though some of the drills weren’t structured toward goalies.  It just made me realize that although I feel that I am in good condition, I really am not.  I play a lot of hockey, but when it comes to endurance, I could improve that a great deal I think.  The game was pretty good.  I stopped some pretty good shots, but I still let 2 in at the end of the day.  Not a bad effort, but I feel I could play a bit better than that.

So now, here I sit, listening to Bowling for Soup and relaxing before I hit the sack for the night.  This is the way things are for me after a hockey game.  Relaxed, a little tired, but still a little wired after the rush of playing.  I may move over to the NHL ESPN 2005 hockey game on the Xbox and then get in bed by 1am.  Tomorrow is always a little tough after about 6 hours of sleep.  I still think playing hockey is worth it.

My thoughts on the NHL

I am one of those die hard hockey fans you read about.  Anytime a game is on TV, radio. or playing in my city, I am interested in it.  The only thing that prevents me from attending every AHL hockey game in my area is the fact I like playing it more.

When the NHL went on strike, blame was passed around all over.  The players blamed the owners for not giving any room.  The owners blamed the players for being greedy.  The fans were stuck in the middle.  Months went by without any talks or compromise.  The first serious talks with any movement happened just 48 hours before the deadline to cancel the season.  I thought for sure a deal would get done, but it was for nought.

With the season canceled, I no longer really paid attention to what was going on in the NHL bargaining until Friday when reports started coming out.  A deal was in the works and was going to be done!  I was pretty excited, but skeptical.  Sure enough, as luck would have it, I had every right to be skeptical.  No deal and the sides were still far apart when the day was done.

What happened in that room?  Who spread the rumors that a deal was close to being done?  What the heck is going on?

So now, here I sit, no NHL hockey.  I will continue to blame both sides for this mess and the fact we have no hockey.  The good thing is that I won’t have to pay attention to the NHL news anymore for a while.  Well, at least until the next bargaining session happens.

I just hope that next season will start on time.

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I have mixed feelings about the back to back games I played today.  On one hand, I made some good saves and did some things real well.  On the other hand, I got beat by some long shots I should have had.  My Bulldogs fell 9-6 (2 empty net goals) and then the Rage team I played for fell 8-4.  The Rage game I was just as upset about because I was just out of gas after a long day and couldn’t get anything going in the 2nd half.

The problem I had with some of those goals was that I was sitting too deep in my net.  When I was coming out of the net like I did last game on Monday, I really played a lot better.  During the first half of my Bulldogs game, I was doing the same thing.  The only goal I gave up was a breakaway.  Otherwise, I contained all the scoring chances.  The wheels really fell off my Bulldogs team in the 2nd half when we gave up 5 straight goals.  We got back on the horse and scored 5 more to tie it up.  The deciding goal came with less than 3 minutes to play in the game off a very nice shot from the point that I didn’t even see cause I was screened.

I won’t even talk about the Rage game I played because I am pretty down on myself.  If I was on my game, that game should have been a lot closer.

Blah!

Well, after strong games all week this week, I was hoping I would have another strong one on Friday.  It started out like that, but I gave up a pretty rotten goal when we were only down by one and we lost 9-6.  The defense on my Golden Eagles team in Brass could be much improved.  It will be interesting if we can make the playoffs, but we have to get there first.  I have decided to play for the Golden Eagles for the rest of the season.  I am going to miss a few games here and there, mainly due to my commitments in covering College Hockey.  I am confident we can do some damage in the division, but I am going to have to be sharp.

I am very confident in my Bulldogs team.  After our 6-4 comeback win, I am just very confident we can go all the way this season.  Last season, I felt the same way, even entering the final game we lost.  This season, we are going to challenge for the trophy and win it.  There are a couple things that I know for sure.  If we do go all the way, this team will probably go through changes.  Some of our big guns may or may not return next session.  Therefore, it is going to be imperative that we make our mark this session.

I know no team is forever, as much as it pains me to admit.  I just hope I can keep this group together as long as possible.  Winning it all will go a long way towards that.

I have been fighting a flu for the last few days.  In between that, work, and hockey, I have reached a point where I need to relax a little bit.  This weekend will be for that, and I will need the rest.  Next week looks to be just as busy if not busier than this one that just passed.

Great comeback

Last night, the Bulldogs had a huge comeback. After being down 4-0, and being outshot and outplayed, the Bulldogs came back to score 6 unanswered to win the game. I knew we were still in that game, even when we were down by so much. My confidence didn’t waver at all to be honest with you. I really can’t say I felt indifferent about the score, just more like I was going to keep doing the best job I could to keep the puck out of the net. Well, my team woke up and we ended up winning the game.

The first period wasn’t a horrible period for me, but there was one shot I should have had. Otherwise, we were just outplayed. I only faced 4-5 shots in that last period, and those were pretty easy to turn aside. I suppose the good thing is that I kept my confidence and cool through the game.

The Raw Deal

Ok, this entry of my journal is going to be on who is getting a raw deal.

1.  Theo Fleury – The little sparkplug finally got into the Ontario Leauge, after weeks of bitching.  Today, the people who are responsible for trying to keep him out are still bitching.  Maybe it was because of his substance abuse.  I don’t know.  Personally, it pisses me off.  Here is a guy that loves to play hockey.  He has made mistakes, but is trying hard at staying clean.  He has been clean for a while now.  Let the man play and stop your bitching.  Leave him alone.

2.  Hockey fans – Yes, you read it right.  All hockey fans are getting a major raw deal.  The league and the players union just got done with talks today, and no progress was made.  Both sides are unwilling to bring in a negotiator or a neutral party to help them.  Neither side seems willing to bend.  In all this, the fans are being screwed out of watching hockey.  Personally, after holding on and hoping that a deal would be reached, after today I am fustrated as all get out.  The cancelation of the season is all that remains.  As a true hockey fan, this upsets me.  It makes me wonder if the league planned this out from day one.  Maybe they wanted to have the season go belly up this year so they could claim an impasse, declare all contracts null and void, and then declare new employment guidelines.  Well, if they did, the players union isn’t helping matters.  They don’t seem to want to budge either.  It is a difficult issue, but neither side is willing to work, so the fans are going to be left out in the cold.

Cancel the season please.  Let all of us hockey fans go on with our lives.  Be the first North American sport to cancel an entire season due to a labor dispute.  Come on!  Set the bar!  You know you want to.

The shameful part of it is if they did come back to play, I would probably go see them play.  That is how much of a hockey nut I am.

Just a little disappointed

Ok, going to spout off about a some things I am disappointed in.

The status of the NHL. They are still in limbo. Both sides are in control of a 2 billion dollar industry and they can’t come to a fair agreement. Caught in between are the fans who love the game. Hockey fans are the most die hard of them all. If the league starts playing again, the fans will return. However, I just don’t understand how the NHL can be at an impasse. Are both sides being greedy? I know the owners are in a tight spot, but are they asking for too much? Just make a deal. Split the revenue right down the middle. Start playing again.

My ice hockey goaltending. Tonight I let in 4 goals on about 12 shots I think. I just wasn’t that sharp, and that was disappointing. Made a big mistake when I played the puck behind the net and left it there for one of their forwards to collect it, center it, and it get shot past me. I have to play that puck up the boards. I also know I have to play better than that, and with rollerhockey starting back up next week, I don’t have much time. I have high expectations of myself this coming session.

Don’t get me wrong, I think life has been very good to me the last week. I just would like to see a few different results in the little things. 🙂