25 things you may not know about me

Just because I don’t want to leave it up on a Facebook notes section, I will post it here so I can come back and look at it later.

25 things you may not know about me.  Here we go…..

1. I enjoy my time alone even more than my time with other people.
2. I wrestled, swam, and ran cross country and track in high school.
3. I didn’t have a speck of athletic ability until I started playing hockey. That only gave me one speck and I won’t have that in about 2 more years.
4. My wife and I knew each other for 6 years before we got married. We have been together for 15 total.
5. I enjoy wine tasting up in Traverse City at least once a year.
6. I have a very low tolerance for alcohol which makes me fun or a pain to be around.
7. I love high definition television and am starting to consider anything in standard definition to be unwatchable.
8. Discovery Channel and the NHL Network are two of my favorite channels on TV.
9. I am a geek at heart but I think I do a good job of hiding it.
10. I run my own website which contains a personal journal on the last 5 years of my life: http://www.nightfall.net
11. I am just too darn gullible most of the time
12. I love computer and PS3 gaming
13. Fixing, maintaining, and building computers and networks is my expertise.
14. I am getting my MBA so I can teach at the college level later in life.
15. Hockey is a big part of my life, and when my knees finally give out in the next 1-2 years and require reconstructive surgery, I am going to miss playing. So I am going to play as much as I can until I am carted off the rink by the EMTs.
16. I require 7-8 hours of sleep a night just to be operational.
17. I can’t eat dessert without eating dinner first.
18. I am a huge fan of vegetables and fruit.
19. I never really got along with people until I met my future wife. I was more introverted than anything else. This transformation was a huge benefit to me in the long run.
20. The best hockey team I ever had the privilege of playing on was the Stick Heads. Five championships (and counting).
21. If it wasn’t for Rivertown Sports, I never would have got started at playing organized hockey. I will play there until I am no longer able to physically play (or they kick me out).
22. My focus is no longer on winning championships. I want to play with as many people around the rink as I can until its too late. Thats the way to make new friends.
23. The mistakes I have made in the past haunt me more than normal. Forgetting them is hard for me to do. I would never go back in time to change them, because every mistake I have made has turned me into the person I am today. I feel I am stronger because of that.
24. I never really liked or cared about hockey until my sophomore year of college back in the fall of 1995. My future wife won free season tickets to see the Ferris State Bulldogs play. She couldn’t go and gave them to me. After giving them away to friends for the first few games, I decided to go one night. Bulldogs won that game 4-2 and I was hooked on the sport from that point on.
25. I have a more competitive attitude now than I did 10 years ago.

Adding features

Without hockey this week, I have been adding various features to my blog.  One of them being a Avatar system to WordPress.  I got sick and tired of seeing that dull “Mystery Man” next to all my comments.  So I got the opportunity to add my little goalie avatar to all my comment replies instead and it looks quite nice.  I will be doing more with this later.

I also added more pictures to my rotator on the right.  With the Thesis Theme, its easy to do that.  I am not huge into customizing my theme as I like the look that I have now.  My next task is to play with some of the CSS on Thesis and see if I can make any improvements there.

Lastly, I am going to be adding more gallery photos as well here soon.  I haven’t done much with my photo gallery since I pretty much retired from semi-professional photography, but I do like being able to add pictures to gallery2, which is the name of the gallery software that I use.

Playoff Retrospectives

The next day it seems that I always have a look back upon the playoffs that were just played and I have some thoughts about them that I like to share.

I allowed 9 goals in 5 games.  For rollerhockey that isn’t bad at all.  Thats an average of less than 2 goals a game.  In the 9 goals that were scored against me, 3 of them were shots that deflected off my own players.  Then 3 of the goals were off of odd man rushes and nice passes across to the wide open forward who beat me.  I just didn’t have much of a chance to stop any of those 6 goals.  Of the remaining 3, one of them went between my arm and my legpad that I should have had.  The other two went top shelf on me and I had little chance to make the save.

Why do I mention this?  It was probably one of the most complete playoffs I have played in a while.  Last playoffs, I allowed 9 goals and won 5 games.  This time, I allowed 9 goals and only won 3 games while losing the other 2.  Course, I didn’t have much luck this time around either.  Just further proof that the way the puck bounces can dictate the game on its own.

The only game that really sticks around in my head is the 1-0 loss the Hurricane suffered in the finals.  The shot I let in did go off my defenseman, but as I think about it, did I do everything I needed to do to stop that shot?  Was I centered correctly?  Was I lazy in not reacting?  I don’t know.  I think I was lazy on that shot the more I think about it.  Still, my team not getting a goal in regulation doesn’t help matters, but I have to think about what I can do in net.  Thats the only thing that I can control.

I came up with some big stops too.  Made a couple good saves on some breakaways.  I made a number of glove saves which is surprising because I don’t make many of those.  I played my angles pretty well too.  Overall, A very solid effort.

So whats next?

Marketlab will return, but with about 75% of their goal output leaving, its going to be hard to replace it.

Structural Standards will return in the same division.  They will have challenges, but will win some games and play competitively.

Malys will also return and should be just fine.

There is also rumor that Stick Heads will be returning as well.  We will see if that pans out.

For now, I am off to bed.  The next two weeks with just ice hockey to worry about is going to be good for me.

A solid performance

My goaltending during playoffs has been consistantly strong.  Sure, I have had a few weak games, but when the chips are down it seems that I just kick things into high gear.  Maybe it is just the nervousness factor or the fact that I don’t want to make a mistake and more people knowing about it.  I don’t know.  All I do know is that I came into this playoff Saturday with the same mission that I do every playoff game.  Come out, play hard, and do the best I can to help my team win.

This day was one of the strangest I have experienced.

Game 1 – Hurricane 3 – Main Street Pub 1
My first game of the day was with the Hurricane.  A team that had no goalie any my brother was going to play for them.  My brother couldn’t make it so I played their first game.  I had a solid game stopping all but a top corner shot that I could have had if I came out far enough to take the shot.  As it was, it was a solid shot.  Still, I helped get them the win and that was all I cared about.

Game 2 – River Yaks 3 – Malys 2
I played the next game for my Malys team which is in the same division.  We jumped out to a 1-0 lead right off the bat and then it was one of those games that just locked down.  They tied it 1-1 off a deflection off my own defenseman.  Then they went up 2-1 off another deflection off my own defenseman’s shin guard that popped over me.  We tied it 2-2 later in the second period.  With the game tied, the River Yaks capitalized on a 2-1 chance.  With me playing the shooter all the way, they got the puck across to a wide open forward who made no mistake and pushed the puck in the open net.  We had so many chances to tie it in the 3rd period, but we just couldn’t score.  After capturing 2 titles in a row, this would have been the 3rd, but it just wasn’t meant to be.

Game 3 – Marketlab 5 – Why do we have Jordie 3
My Marketlab team needed to really play a solid game against the team with just as good of a defense as we had.  We roared right out of the gate in the 1st period getting a 3-0 lead.  Then, Jordie’s team started their comeback.  Pawlik, one of their forwards, put the team on his back and scored on an odd man rush.  It was a 2 on 1, and I reacted to the pass to the wide open forward, but Pawlik put it far side on me.  Then Pawlik got a great deflection goal in front of me off a shot from the point.  They tied it in the 3rd period off a shot that I just missed making a save on.  Still, my Marketlab team came back strong getting 2 more goals in the final frame to seal the victory and a trip to the finals.

Game 4 – River Yaks 1 – Hurricane 0
There is a simple rule in hockey.  You have to score to win.  The River Yaks scored off a shot that deflected off my defenseman, but I didn’t react to it at all.  Either I was caught flat footed or something.  I don’t know.  Still, I stopped every shot other than that one.  The Hurricane had a lot of great shots on net but just couldn’t capitalize.  The finals game ended 1-0.  The River Yaks earned it, and they beat me with 2 different teams.  They earned this championship thats for sure.  Their goalie just stood on his head.

Game 5 – Marketlab 2 – Ellis Sales – 1
It was a hard fought game between an Ellis Sales team that beat us 4-2 earlier in the season and Marketlab who finished with the best record.  It was #1 vrs #2 and Ellis started out on the offensive.  They scored the first goal off a nice shot in the slot that went top shelf on me.  Ellis Sales hit  the crossbar and post in the first period but the score remained 1-0.  Marketlab tied it up 1-1 off a rebound chance and then took the lead with 8 minutes left in the 3rd period off an odd man rush.  Those last 8 minutes felt like 80 minutes as Ellis threw everything at the net.  I played an excellent game to retain the lead.  The last 2 minutes of the game I stopped about 6 shots to preserve the lead.  In all actuality I let up a couple rebounds that I should have had.  I was also very fortunate as the crossbar and post were my friends earlier in that game.  If the puck is a fraction lower on the crossbar shot or a fraction to the left on that post shot then its a 2-0 lead for them and we would have had a harder time coming back.

Its my 24th championship, and I am 1 shy from my goal that I set for myself at the beginning of the season.  I am going to crash and post more reflections tomorrow sometime.

Reflections on a great season

It has been a great rollerhockey season for me the last 3 months.

Malys earned a 7-2-0-1 record and a 3rd place finish in their division respectively.  It was a tough season, but they pulled through and played great when it mattered.

I played 3 games for Shock and Awful and we finished 2-1 with a combined record of 4-5-1 record.  I feel I played pretty well on a team that really had struggles defensively.  Still it was good to come in and help Rick out after his surgery when he couldn’t play.

Marketlab finished 8-1-0-1 and took first in a very tough division.  After running the table last season and then getting a much weaker team, they have competed at a very high level.

Structural finished 3-7 after a great season where they made playoffs last season.  Yes, they were in a much stronger division than they were used to.  However, the battled through a lot of adversity and got some key wins.  I could not be more proud of this team.

My combined record for this season stands at 20-10-0-2 which I feel is quite respectable.  Now I get into the next stage which is the playoffs on Saturday.  As would be expected, the butterflies are flying around in my stomach more than 16 hours before the first game even starts.  I want nothing more than to be successful tomorrow and thats it.  As if it was all up to me though.  Everything has to fall into place in order to do well in this playoff tournament.  I have to play a strong game.  My team has to play an strong game in front of me.  Then, you also have to have the puck bounce your way a little bit in order to win games.  I have been in many of these one playoff hockey games where a strange bounce can be the difference in the game.  I have been on the giving and receiving end of these bounces so I remember what it is like quite well.

No matter what happens I promise myself that I will do the best I can with what ability I have left.  One of the first things I remember telling myself before my first playoff game was, “No Regrets”.  I was going to go out there and leave everything I had out there and let the chips fall where they may.  I may not win every game, and the puck may bounce against me, but if I did everything I could do to play a solid game I wouldn’t be disappointed.  My team may or may not be happy with the outcome, but in the end it would be a great experience.

My playoff resolutions that I have before every playoff game….

  • I will bring my A game tomorrow.  Without that, my team will falter.
  • I will make a few big saves to keep us in or ahead in the game.
  • I will be happy no matter what the outcome.  If I lose both of my first round games and am done for the day, I will go home, shower, and go out afterwords with everyone from the rink and have a good time.
  • I will be supportive of all other players.  If they struggled, I will not rub their nose in it.  If they excelled, I will recognize it.

Life is too short to make a big deal out of rec league hockey.  I know I am all about success in hockey, but I also want to have fun with my friends.

Here is to hoping that I have a great day tomorrow and many more like it for at least a few more seasons before my knees give out.

NHL is back on solid ice again

An interesting article by MSNBC about the financial state of NHL hockey.  When I look at the big picture, the NHL is a growing sport and I like that.  What I don’t like is that it seems that there still is too much money being spent.  The revenue sharing really does help small market teams, but will it help enough to keep teams like Phoenix and both teams in Florida in their respective cities?  I guess time will tell.

Sports Biz: NHL is back on solid ice again – Sports Biz- msnbc.com.

Not good enough

This week has been a total bummer for me in hockey so far.

Malys lost in Monday by a 3-2 score in OT off a deflection off my own defenseman’s stick.  The good thing is that we didn’t lose the game because of me, course we didn’t win it in the end.  My ice hockey team lost on Wednesday 8-4, and I played about average.  Came up with some good stops at times, but allowed just a few too many goals I should have had.

Tonight, I dropped two more games.  Marketlab lost 5-4 in OT to Grand Valley, a team that has given us fits in the past.  We had a lot of chances, but just couldn’t score.  Grand Valley capitalized on their chances.  Two of them on the far side of the net because I was out to far taking the shooter.  Really, I didn’t allow any horrible goals, but I have to come up with key stops in those situations.

Structural lost 6-3, but I once again played pretty well considering they had about 50 shots on me.  I came up with some unbelievable saves, but when you are getting peppered, its hard not to come up with those kinds of saves at least a few times in the game.

I make no excuses for my play this week.  I didn’t play my best games, but my best has yet to come.  I am getting my bad games out of the way in time for playoffs on Saturday.  Tomorrow I will go to work, go see the Griffins in the evening, and then crash for the night in anticipation for Saturday’s hockey games.  Just like always, I will be ready to give it a go and I am confident I will do well on the tasks at hand.

Not half bad….not half good either

After missing the last ice hockey game with the flu, I came back this week and played and did pretty well overall.  I wasn’t outstanding but I wasn’t totally horrible either.  It was just one of those games where I would make a good stop on a breakaway and then miss a shot I should have had.  We had  a 3-1 lead at one point in the first period, but they took the lead 5-4 in the second period and never looked back.

My performance was questionable because I let in too many shots I should have had.  The first goal was an unscreened shot from the point that I should have had.  The second goal was one that went off my mask and glove and fell behind me and they had an easy tap in.  Fourth goal was a shot in the slot that I over committed to on the far side and he went near side on me.  Those are 3 goals right there that I should have had.  The others were all breakaways or odd man rushes that they capitalized on.

It was just me playing average like I have all season this season in ice hockey.  I have got to pick up the confidence and intensity next week.  Playoffs are a few weeks away and I am just not playing to the level that I am used to playing in ice hockey in sessions past.

Not the best start to the week

I subbed in for the 1st place Hurricane and played for my 2nd place Malys team last night. I was hoping that Malys would at least win their game to get 1st place in the division. That just didn’t work out for us. It also didn’t work out for Hurricane either.

Hurricane lost 5-2, but it wasn’t entirely their fault. Bradley, an excellent player that plays in the top division, moved from goalie to skating out as a defenseman. I had no luck stopping him all game as he scored 3 goals. Our offense just couldn’t get moving all game as Jeff turned in a superb performance in net for the Dragons. I will be facing Jeff again on Saturday, probably in the first round. I just know it will be another hard fought game.

Malys also lost in OT by a final of 3-2. Sure, I kept my team in the game and played pretty well for the most part. However, I felt slow to react in the game. Their goals were very fortunate bounces. The first one went off 2 players and to a wide open player who put it in. The second one went off my own defenseman and to a wide open player on the other side. The third goal went off my own defenseman’s stick and went over me. That third goal reminded me of the Dekleine Builders team against the Fury back in the day. The winning goal we scored went off of their own defenseman’s stick and into the top corner of the net. It was a fluke bounce that gave us the victory then, and it gave them the victory last night.

So, the playoffs are set. Maly’s has 3rd place and will be playing the River Yaks in the first round. The second round game will be against Hurricane or Main Street Pub. The ironic thing is that the River Yaks killed us 7-1 in the only game we played against us this season. I wasn’t there, but we didn’t play well according to everyone on the team. The River Yaks have had our number the last few seasons, just as we have had good fortune beating Main Street Pub for the last few seasons. So the first round game will be a very interesting one.

Some food for thought though….

Last season the Hurricane finished in 1st place and beat us in both regular season games. In playoffs, we played them in the finals and won 3-2. Just goes to show you that anyone can win in a one game playoff. We just wanted that game more than they did and it showed on the scoresheet.

So, Malys will be going for a 3rd straight championship and 2nd with me on the team. Marketlab (Who Cares) will also be looking to repeat after last year’s success. The Stick Heads have had back to back championships with me in net. Same with Biohazard back in the day. Maybe I will be fortunate enough to do that again on Saturday with these same two teams.

Am I starting to get butterflies about playoffs? Absoluetly. The nervous butterflies are not bad though. I get them before every playoff game. Maybe that is why I play so well. I just want to fast forward to Saturday morning to get this show on the road.