Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Immortals Game 2010-09-20

I went into this game unfocused to tell you the truth. I showed up later than normal, had to rush to get ready, tape my stick at the rink, and so on. This is something I hate doing. The Immortals have a new goalie. He’s a bit more experienced, and comes out and plays the puck more. It really helped our team use our speed a lot more, and added a lot more flow to the game.

I came out flying. I was breaking up loose plays left and right. It was the second of a back-to-back night, so it didn’t take much to get my legs under me. I only had one sub who isn’t in the best of shape, so I didn’t get too many breaks. However, when we added someone else and it resulted in more sitting for me, that’s when I got tired. At one point I was sitting for a good six minutes (with whistles and stoppages). At that point my heart slowed down, and so did I. It made me play a lot worse.

I felt that night I was better than most anyone else on the ice until I had that long stoppage. At one point I came low, picked up a puck in my own zone. I had one guy pressuring me and I panicked and iced the puck. I was furious at that point. I had no idea what I was doing. Why did I ice it? I could have gone around, passed to the center, banked it off the boards – done so much more than ice it.

At one point we were on the power play. I still have to get better at what to do out there. I was set up along the half boards. I didn’t have a good shot, but I could see the other winger’s stick right there in the crease. With no pressure on me, and no shot, I decided I was going to put it on his stick. I fired it right at his stick and it went past the two d-men, right on his stick but it wasn’t square and popped up on him.

I had one assist off a rebound from my shot, but other than that I didn’t show up on the score sheet.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Goaldiggers 2010-09-19

This was the first game of the season for the Goaldiggers. After about six weeks of not seeing each other, we were finally on the ice together again. Most of the team had not skated since then, so I expected the team to be rusty.

We were playing a team who was playing together for the first time. It is evident by the poor passes, guys who aren’t necessarily very talented, and a few miscommunications.

I was ready for the game. I got a good nap in, had a decent meal before hand and was fairly hydrated. This was a good game for me. They did have some talent, and they weren’t so good that they could dance circles around me. During one of their break outs, the player dropped the pass at the red line. I was able to come back, and give it to my d-man, who gave it right back to me to bring up the wing. I knew if I hustled, I could get around on him – especially since he was right handed and I was going on the left wing boards. I was right next to him with control of the puck and he just hammered me into the boards. I ended up with my feet in front and me sitting up, much like you would sit against the wall. But since I kept moving my feet, our team got the power play.

Over the course of the game, we had our chances. Their goalie was outstanding. I had approximately 5 shots, and one one-timer that went wide. I did my job. I worked as hard as I could, back checked and broke up plays. That’s what I do. I don’t score goals, and I can make a nice pass, but pressure is where I’m strongest.

At one point in the third, we were on a 3 on 2 and I was the second man in. I went hard to the net with my stick down, waiting for the puck to be fired or a pass. I was being pushed by one of their bigger guys, at which point my goal was balance myself and I’ll be set. But when I met the other d-man who gave me a good knock down to the ground, I definitely felt it right in front of the slot, but I had my chances.

We eventually one 2-1, but out shot them something like 35-10. The score was not a good indicator of the game.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Why is balance important?

I had a teammate who is first starting the game and is really working on his skating. He’s come a long way. It somehow came up that I was talking about how important balance is in hockey. On Wednesday, he asked me why balance is important. It took me a long time to come up with the right answer. The basic answer is so you don’t fall. When you’re trying to race for a puck, getting hit, changing directions, you’re doing it all on two thin blades. If you can’t master how to stay up on those blades, you’re going to be tentative, and falling on the ice more.

Some guys learn to skate with a stick in their hands. I hate this. You’re learning to stay balanced with an aid. If you learn to stay balanced without your stick, and then play with the aid, you’ll be better off – especially when you don’t have control of that aid because it is pinned up against the boards, being smacked around, etc.

I’ll have a post in a little bit with some dry land training that can be done to help with your balance.

Immortals Game 2010-09-15

I went into the game in a relaxed mood. I was looking to take it easy, and not be overly aggressive like my last handful of games. It was probably the best ice I’ve been on in a few months, but that could be because it is starting to get less humid out.

Early on I was winded, which is somewhat strange as I had plenty of people rotating on my position. I attribute it to not very many games lately. So I slowed down, played my game. My stick handling and shooting were bad all night I think. I had plenty of chances to just hammer someone down, but with my last handful of performances, it was probably good that I didn’t.

I feel offensively, I played an above average game. I had two assist and a goal. The assist came first. While standing in front of the net, the shooter shot, it deflected off my skate and the other winger was able to pick up the rebound and put it home. The goal was similar. The goalie left a big fat rebound to my left. He sprawled out to cover but I picked it up, took it as far as I could to my right and put it in.

I should have had three goals though. I missed empty nets quite a few times because the goalie came way out and mishandled the puck. I think I made one bad pass. I was patient in the corner, and I saw the center in the slot. I wasn’t pressured at all but I put it through a few defenders sticks, right to my center. Unfortunately, he missed the pass and it went right to the d-man.

We lost 9-4, and I was even for the night. Me on the power play was really bad. I need to learn that two minutes is a very long time and to calm down and relax.

This was a good warm up game for the Goaldiggers game on Sunday, followed by another Immortals game the next Monday. It should make the back to back easier.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Skate Lace Colors

It has been a while since I've done a post about equipment. I'm actually emailing a team mate about what may be the most insignificant piece, the skate laces. Once you get your length, and waxed preference, is there really anything else? For me there is... color.

See, at some point, instead of using white/black laces I made the switch to different colors. I started with red, and now I've switched to neon green. I'm getting almost to the point where I need new laces, so it is better to be prepared and have them in your bag BEFORE they break. So what color will I get?
I went with the red because that was what color my new team, the Immortals were. Occasionally, people would ask about them and my excuse was, "They make me skate faster." When I bought my new RBK 9K skates, I wanted waxed laces at that point, and my red ones were in need of replacing anyway. I picked neon green to go with the trim all around the skate. They look really sharp.

The brightness really got the attention of my team mates and it became somewhat of a joke. "Green make me handle the puck better." It is kind of like how Denis Rodman would dye his hair. Now that I'm in need of new laces, I question if I should change colors. One team mate said that they'd wear green laces on the Goaldiggers if I paid for them... I'm paying for them. And now, I'm wondering what my laces should be. Blue? Purple? Orange? Stay with neon green?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Open Hockey 2010-09-09

I’ve been really out of it the past month or so. I haven't skated, I haven't moved, I have only really slept and gone to work. Even my dog gets pissed at me that I'm just laying around. I don't know what it has been, but it isn't a good thing. Despite this, I have been feeling better the last two weeks. Lat night, I went and played rat hockey at cheap rink, nice and close to home.

I had only been on skates once in the last four weeks or so. I was somewhat nervous because the guys were really good, and my last outing wasn't very flattering. I felt well rested and such. My back was slightly sore, but that is normal for me. On warm ups, my shot had nothing. Considering I lost 8 pounds in the last little bit, I sort of expected this.

The ice was good and my skates were almost too sharp. I wasn't sliding as much as I normally would like but I have to live with it. Fore checking was almost useless for me because these guys could make such decent passes. I played D most of the night as well, and that was a wasted cause, simply because the skaters were so fast that I couldn't do much. The sad thing was, I wasn't the worst one there.

Overall, it felt nice to have skates on and play a little with better players. I need to do it more, but first I have to get all of my energy and strength back.