Sliding downhill

When it comes to hockey, very couple seasons I hit a downhill slide that it seems impossible to come out of.  This season its different from the past.  I am making the routine saves I need to make, but a bad bounce or two in conjunction with the other team capitalizing on every mistake is sealing the deal. 

A couple weeks ago in ice hockey, we carried a 2-0 lead into the last two minutes of the game.  I was feeling at the top of my game and my defense was playing great.  We get penalized and have to play the last minute and a half with a 5-3 disadvantage.  One shot from the point gets deflected by me.  Then with 30 seconds left, another shot hits a player in front, goes off the far post, and in.  Then we lose in the shootout.

A few days later in another game, we lost in OT off of a failed poke check attempt by me.  I lept out to poke the puck off the stick of a forward who was coming in on a breakaway, and the puck was neatly tucked underneath me.  I had this same thing happen in the shootout in ice hockey the same week.

Last week the tying goal to send it into overtime in another game was a shot that pinballed off 3 players and past me.  Did I mention that it happened with about 5 seconds left in the game?  End result was a OT loss.

Last night the winning goal was thankfully not one that happened in the last few minutes, but one that stings still.  I was hugging the post and someone took a shot from behind the net in the corner and it found a way through.  It was a bummer of a goal, but one that I feel I should have had.

This whole series of events really doesn’t take away from the wins I have gotten.  At the same time though, in the wins I really haven’t been tested.  Seems that when I have been tested, I have been shown to be just a little too slow or a little too old.  Maybe a little too indecisive as well.

I really hope to shake the funk I am in tonight before the holiday weekend.  It really has been a uphill battle for me and my confidence the last couple weeks when it comes to hockey.  I am glad that only my confidence in goal is shaken a little and not my confidence in my job or other aspects of my life.  That’s all I need is a mental complex on things that really matter.

Hoping for the best in my game tonight.

Get back on the horse

After a tough game on Sunday, I am ready to get back on the horse today.  I have two big games the next two days, and I really don’t have the time to sit around and feel bad.  My focus is winning tonight and tomorrow night, and then going into the weekend on a winning note ready to play on Sunday.

A goalie has to have a short memory.  There are some negative things I think about from time to time, but for the most part I learn from my mistakes and move on.  Considering the low I was on Sunday night, this is a step in the right direction.

I hope this quick recovery time keeps going on as I get older.  Yesterday, my neck and back were very sore from the game on Sunday night.  Today, I am almost 100%.  No excuses for tonight that’s for sure.

Unobtainable?

After two solid performances in net last week, I played ice hockey on Sunday night with my team needing a win in order to keep playing in the upper tier of playoff games.  Well, this week’s ice hockey game worked about as well as last weeks game.  At least last week we were tied 2-2 entering the 3rd period.  This week, we weren’t even in the game as we lost 5-1.  Let in a couple sharp angle shots I probably should have had, then there were a couple deflections and a screen I didn’t have much of a chance on.  Still, in the end, it’s a tough way to lose a hockey game.  Even though my team didn’t get a lot of shots or passes going, I can only improve my game.

My performance in net for this team has really not been good the last few weeks.  I have done my part to help this team drop their last 4 games in a row which is very depressing.  I am not letting horribly bad goals, but I just haven’t been as good as I expect to be.  About 5-6 years ago, I played a lot more solid than I do now.  I used to steal games like this all the time.  Now, I am lucky to steal one every year.  Welcome to getting older I suppose. 

So now, I am in the middle of another dream that is yet unfulfilled.  That loss puts my team out of the playoffs probably, and we will enter the consolation bracket where we will probably win our next two games.  Yet, the wins will be mostly empty ones because they will only be for pride.  Then I will begin another long season in the fall, in which hopefully I can compete for that championship in ice hockey.  That single championship in ice hockey that has eluded me so far in my over 12 years of playing hockey.  I have gotten close a few times, but have only found myself on the outside looking in so far.

There is even part of me wondering if this whole goal I have set for myself is unobtainable.  I am not willing to sell out my team and go somewhere else for the purpose of winning a championship.  Not that I am getting a ton of phone calls asking me to play, but the point is that I have standards and won’t cut ties will my teams.

Now I am thinking that this whole goal of mine may in fact be unobtainable.  Unless I start looking for a team that can compete out of the gate or I fall into the right situation at the right time.  I guess its more than a little depressing the more I think of it.

Another big game

I played solid again yesterday in a 6-4 victory.  After turning in a solid performance the night before, I knew it was going to be critical to keep the momentum going in the positive direction.  It was an ominous beginning as they took a 2-0 lead early in the first period.  My team stepped it up though and really served notice that we were the top team in the division.  When the game was over, I was pleased overall with our performance.  At the same time though, I knew that we could play better.

I just hope I can take this roll I am on into playoffs on Sunday with my ice team.  I really haven’t played my best for them the last few weeks.  My turnaround this week may be a big key to a strong game on Sunday.  Lets hope for the best.

Now my attention diverts from playing goal to reffing.  Tomorrow I will be getting my skates sharpened at lunch and doing the lunchtime skate at Walker.  I will be reffing games in under 2 months, so it becomes important for me to be ready when that time comes.  I figure with me skating about 3 times per week, I should be prepared in time.

Finally!

After a series of subpar games, I had a solid game in net last night in a 5-3 win.  I was sharp right out of the gate and didn’t let in a single bad goal.  As normal, there was room for improvement, but I just felt good about having a solid game.  The last couple weeks my performance in net has been less than stellar which is not where I wanted to be.  I am going to take this momentum into the game tonight and then into the playoff game on Sunday.

On another “finally” moment, I have been working on my website.  Last night I fixed a couple problems with the photo gallery and now I have some administrative work to finish.  The album names need some fixing and I need to add some descriptions as well.  Still, moving from gallery2 to gallery3 will be a worthwhile upgrade when its finished.  I just have a bad taste in my mouth from having to move without using the migration tool.  Its extra work I didn’t expect to have to sink into my website.  I hope that gallery3 to gallery4 will be much easier.

Lastly, this Friday I am going to dedicate three days per week at skating more aggressively.  With reffing starting up in about two months, I have to shake the rust off, put the skates on, and keep working hard.  The only way to do that is to skate more often with all my ref gear on.  I will probably stick out like a sore thumb, but at this stage, I really don’t care.  My focus is on getting ready for the new season.

Gallery2 to Gallery3 – not so easy

I have had a Gallery2 photo gallery on my site for the longest time.  The software and plugins are really quite neat.  I never thought it would be a pain in the ass to upgrade, but in this case it was.  All I wanted to do is migrate to the new Gallery3.  Yet, the migration wouldn’t doesn’t work as intended.  I kept getting this issue with “@todo G2_Function_Failed”.  As I researched this more and more, I found out that I was getting some strange problem with the import tool not finding the correct Gallery2 version.  It wasn’t even an error when the import tool ran.  It had a green checkbox next to the “Gallery version 0 detected”.

I browsed forums and googled the problem and couldn’t find anyone with the solution.  Some people were talking about the problem when Gallery2 wasn’t working.  Well, that wasn’t it on my end as Gallery2 was working just fine.  Finally, after looking off and on for over 3 months, I just opted to do a fresh import of the pictures and be done with it.

A couple negatives from doing it this way.  First thing is that I lost all my comments and ratings for each picture.  I was ok with that anyway.  The most important thing is that I also lost all my album names and comments that I have to retype.  I am going to get started on them now, but I have a long way to go until I complete them all.

This whole situation has really made me rethink my whole online photo gallery.  I had this in place for ease of use, but upgrading was not that simple.  It really shouldn’t be that freaking hard to upgrade a piece of software on a website.  Especially something like a photo gallery.  WordPress has done a great job with making it simple to administrate.  Gallery3 has a ways to go.

Physically drained

For the first time in the last few months, I am feeling physically drained today.  I took some pain killers for my pounding head, and they aren’t helping very much.  Maybe its because of the start of a new hockey season and I have played three games in the last four evenings.  It doesn’t matter how I got here, but I am already thinking about what I can do to recover.

I am really not a person that looks forward to a weekend or time off.  Work is enjoyable to me, and I enjoy every day that comes my way.  Today is slightly different because of my lack of energy level.  I think this weekend I am going to rest up and get ready for a new week.

Last night when I got back from hockey, I spent some time looking into android/iphone centralized management.  I really don’t like Blackberry Enterprise Server, and with more users wanting to have more capabilities on their phones, this seems like a natural progression.  When I looked at the clock last night and it read 10:20pm, I should have went to bed.  Instead, I stayed up and continued my research.  This is probably part of the problem.

My hockey teams did ok this past week.  I went 1-2, and with ice hockey playoffs starting this week, I am really eager to make a more positive impact.  Especially since I really didn’t play that solid in a 5-3 loss in my last ice hockey game.  I didn’t play exceptionally well in either of my roller games this week.  I am also looking to rebound stronger next week in that area.

Even with all the hockey games I am playing, I am still very much looking forward to reffing again.  My USA Hockey seminar is in about a month.  I will have some time to really read through the new rules before the seminar starts.  This year is going to be my defining year in reffing.  All I have to do is not only pass the level 3 closed book test, but also pick up my efforts to get games.

Early to bed tonight.

A solid return

I had a great return to the hockey rink on Sunday, but the result was not what I wanted.  Lost 5-3, and while I was upset with the end result, I was more upset at every bounce that went against me.  A couple shots went by even after I got pieces of them.  Maybe if I am on my game, we win that game.  Still, how often am I on my game now that I am pushing 40.

Still, it was good to get out there and play again.  The last two weeks have been filled with everything but hockey.  Starting a new job has taken a good chunk of time out.  I should take more time out for hockey on the break between seasons, but with USA Hockey refereeing starting up here in a couple months, I really don’t have a lot of motivation to do so.  Refereeing is something I really enjoy and it seems that during the summer months, I have a limited time I am away from skating and playing hockey.  In the fall, winter, and spring it seems I am always on the ice.

Looking forward to playing later this week that’s for sure.