An improvement

It wasn’t my best game, but it was a definite improvement over my games in the last few weeks. We lost 7-4, and I really can’t say I let in any horribly bad goals. I played my angles a lot better than I have in recent weeks. The biggest improvement was that I played with much more confidence than I have in a while. Could I have played good enough to win that game? Possibly. The opposing goaltender was just a stud in net. He was coming up with a ton of great saves. On this day, he outplayed me for that playoff win.

So whats next with my Sunday team? We have one game next week, and it may be my last with them. Its a round robin playoff so I don’t know how they will score things if we beat this next team but the team we lost to today loses to them. I can only assume we won’t be winning a championship in the division.

With all the Saturday playoffs I have played at Rivertown, this one feels a little more empty than others. Maybe it is the round robin tournament style. Maybe it is because it isn’t a single playoff day where everyone is playing. Maybe its the uncertainty in the tournament itself on if you win 2 and lose 1, and there are ties, who gets that championship?

I had fun playing up north though. Its a different rink with different rules with a different mindset on how the game is played. It was a learning experience. Best of all, it was fun. So now what? Will I come back next season? I don’t know.

My main focus now is to come out and have strong games this week. I want to have a few strong roller games and build my confidence back up to where it was about a month ago. After today, I am feeling much better and I just have confidence that I am going to have a strong game come Tuesday.

Fleeting thoughts

Its amazing how I am still thinking about hockey on my off days. I have been replaying games and shots in my head over the last few days. My lack of playing angles are magnified in my thoughts. Well, those things are going to come to an end.

I am through obsessing on the past. I have always been a goaltender that doesn’t look back on my mistakes and dwell on them. I have been doing that the last few weeks. Now, its time to move on.

I have playoffs tomorrow with Howie’s Hockey Tape. Playoffs are my game and I am going to prove it tomorrow.

Expanding my WordPress knowledge

Since I have moved my blog to WordPress, I feel much more liberated. I have added so many plugins, themes, and features that I am starting to really understand the power of this blogging engine. Its easy to maintain, easy to post, and much more powerful than anything else I have used before. Upgrading to 2.3 was incredibly simple!

Now I am working on crossposting to my other sites that I don’t want to maintain anymore. I have been crossposting to Livejournal for a while now, and I am testing crossposting to Myspace using the Myspace Crossposter utility.

noumenon.roderickrussell.com/myspace-crossposter-v2-released

Feast or Famine

My head is just exploding with a lot of thoughts, emotions, and fleeting memories that I have to share. However, I will first get into hockey….

My goaltending in rollerhockey has been horrible. I mean horrible with a capital H. My focus just has not been there, and I let in a bad goal and then I lose my focus even more. My last few games I have lost 10-2 and 10-3 respectively. The last game I won was on Sunday a few weekends ago with Howies Hockey Tape. I lost the first one 12-8 and then won the second one with a stronger effort.

Each game I have played I have let in just horrible goals. We are talking about 2-3 goals a game here. Tonight, I just finally gave up, which is totally unlike me.

The losses just keep adding up for both of my Builders teams. Both are out of the playoff picture with 3 games to go for each one. Can we still make it? Absoluetly! Will we? I am trying not to think about it. As many people know, playoffs are very important to me. For the better part of three and a half years, I have been a staple on playoff Saturday. I see that door closing, and I was concerned. For the first time today, I am letting that go. It was just adding undo pressure to my play. With every goal I let in, I felt that slipping away. The hardest thing you do as a goalie is to let go what you fear the most. You can’t be concerned about that shot you just let in. The best goalies are the ones who have short memories. I have to start doing that.

Then on the flipside when it comes to hockey, I played ice hockey and we trounced the other team 10-1. Watching the other goalie, I got a vision of myself playing earlier and again last week and getting shelled and outchanced. I felt badly I will admit. As much as I like to play the game of hockey, I like to play competitive games. I just don’t know how competitive this team will be in this division. Maybe the team is just too good. Either that or we beat the worst team in the division as they were last season and we are going to have a battle next game.

Its hard to put into words how I am feeling right now. I feel bad because of how I have played rollerhockey. I feel good because I won in ice hockey tonight, but I feel bad for that other team we played. I feel sad that one of my roller teams is leaving after this season and may not be back for a few seasons. I feel happy that the Stick Heads may be returning next season, but I may have to sacrifice another team I am on to be with them.

On top of all this self made and produced drama, I haven’t slept well as of late. Going to try to sleep well tonight though. I hope I will drift off quickly and put all these thoughts out of my head for a while.

At least until Sunday when Howies Hockey Tape plays their 2nd playoff game. I will have my focus back by then.

The struggles continue

Despite a good game against the Phantoms on Sunday, I played a very poor game against Dysfunctional on Tuesday. It seems that its either feast or famine. In one game I will play very well and in another I will play very poorly. Last night I let in one bad goal, but also let in a couple goals I should have had and then my defense couldn’t stop those backdoor passes on a few goals. In short, we got a tie, but lost in OT.

If I continue to stink up the place like this with 4 games left, for the first time in over 3 years I am going to be sitting on the sidelines for playoffs and that is not a situation I want to be in. I have to rebuild my confidence. Right now, I am feeling very low and when I step out there to play, while I feel good at the time, I am rattled after one goal. I am playing too deep in my net. I am not playing the angles right thats for sure.

So many things to work on, but I have time to make adjustments and I plan on making those adjustments ASAP. Play with confidence, take the shot, play my angles right. These things all build off of each other.

Drained

I played 2 games for Howie’s hockey tape today, and we went 1-1. It was my first win in the last 5 games I have played. I was especially pleased to win, but I was upset with the first game I played of the night. I ended up getting blown out 12-8, and I just couldn’t come up with a stop all game. Then I came out and played a lot more solid, but still not great. Still, it was a win.

Now, Howie’s starts their playoff defense in a 4 game round robin tournament. I won’t be around next week, and it looks doubtful for me to return next season on Sunday. There is part of me that will miss coming back for this team, but there is another part of me that will welcome the rest. Right now, I will be playing on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. That I think may be enough hockey for my 35 year old body.

Right now though, I am exhausted. I just ate and I am ready to sleep. Gonna go to bed early tonight.

Hurting

For some reason, my left arm is really sore today. Yesterday I was feeling it a little so that means I must have done something to it on Wednesday when I was playing. Could have been ice hockey. Could have been roller. Either way, I have a few days to rest before my big double header on Sunday.

The decision to move to Thursday night ice hockey doesn’t suprise me much to be honest. Its a great move for a lot of the team, but at the same time, I wonder if we will have the talent to compete in the league. I am going to be very interested to see what happens thats for sure. I know I am more than capable to play in that league. I played in that league a few times over the last 6 months and I did very well. With a good team in front of me, we should be competitive.

0-3

My first two games this week I did not play very well. I gave up 7 goals in a 7-4 loss on Tuesday, and then I gave up 8 last night in a 8-4 loss in my other rollerhockey game.

Then, in ice hockey in our championship game, I came up with a excellent game but still lost 3-2. Every goal I gave up in that game I remember even this morning. It was my 3rd shot at a hockey championship, and it just wasn’t my time. My team didn’t come out as hungry as they did. The other team played like they wanted it and shelled me like crazy. I didn’t give up any bad goals, but I did get lucky on a few shots that hit the post or just went wide.

Damn, I hate to lose.

The grind

Over the last 2 weeks, I have played a total of just 1 hockey game. My body is feeling much better for the rest and just in time too. We start back up again today and I have 2 games tomorrow. To be honest, I have missed playing.

The Builders are sitting in 4th with 6 games to go and we have a tough game tonight. Dekleine Builders needs to find the back of the net. Howies Hockey Tape has 2 tough games on Sunday.

The big game I am looking forward to is our championship ice hockey game tomorrow night. For the 3rd time in my career, I have made it to the championship finals in ice hockey. I would like to think that I will get lucky or fortunate one of these times. However, it just hasn’t happened yet. You know how you imagine yourself in a great situation and coming up with that big stop or that game winning save? I have been thinking about that a lot.

I really just want to win this game. I want to win every game, but this one I want really bad.

Rollercoaster ride

We had our semifinal ice hockey game today and it was a rollercoaster ride of a game. The other team started out hard and fast. I made a couple big saves early and we were weathering the storm. Then, they got a goal off a shot from the outside that hit my glove and deflected into the net. It wasn’t my weakest goal of the night though. The second goal was a shot from the point that I came out on, and it went off the heel of his stick and moved slowly towards the net. I put my stick down to stop it but it hit the butt end of my stick and went into the net. The 3rd goal I gave up was off a chance on the other side of the net that I had no business stopping. It was a blown coverage goal.

So there we were, down 3-0 at the end of the first period. I hadn’t played great the final 10 minutes of that period which is why they were up. My team then started to pour it on. At the end of the second period, we were up 4-3. At the end of the game, we had won 6-3. My play the rest of the night was average. My team really sacrificed their bodies and worked hard to keep them out of my crease and off the scoresheet. Sure, I had a few good saves, but it wasn’t anything like the first period when I was getting shelled.

It was their first loss of the season which suprised me even more.

It was a thrilling victory, but the 2nd place team now awaits. We finished 4th out of 5 teams. We had beaten the 3rd place team, the 1st place team, and now the 2nd place team we play next week. I know a lot of people on this team. It will be very interesting to see what happens thats for sure.

I am not going to put any undue pressure upon myself to win. I was thinking positivly today and it really didn’t do much for me. Next week is going to have to be a strong effort and I am going to have to play well. If my team comes out and ready to play, then we should be ok.

The game next week is against a lot of people who I have known for years. Their goalie, Randy, I used to play against a lot when I first started playing about 8 years ago. He was someone I tried to learn from and paced myself against. He was over my head at the time, but he was someone that I felt I could beat. Never did for more than a few years. Even today, he still has my number with this team. I have gotten fortunate enough to beat him though, but this game is going to be a tough one.

Then you have Ben, a player who used to be on the Stick Heads who I miss playing with. He was hard on me, but he is a ultra competitive guy. He will come ready to play on Wednesday.

Good things come to those who wait. I have waited 8 years for a ice hockey championship. I have made it to the finals 2 times in my short career. Never won a ice hockey championship game. I have another shot next week and I have to make it count. I have to play just like I play on playoff Saturday in rollerhockey. One game to decide a championship. I know I can do it.