I missed the Monday practice because of a cold. I'm not ready to push myself into playing when sick, and the rest did me well. Wednesday I was ready hit the ice, or at least I thought I was.
I've had nothing but good experiences the past two weeks on ice. I had no reason to not expect it to continue. But I felt I just didn't do well at practice. My skating was a little bit off, and my stick handling was atrocious.
Part of it was I believe mental. A goalie made a comment, and I took it the wrong way. I make similar comments all the time, and I do it in jest. I don't know why it bothered me so much. It eventually ended up me being angry instead of challenged after that. I was more focused on impressing than improving. A bad approach in that situation.
The scrimmage went poorly as well. I felt completely out of shape. I know I hadn't skated in a week, and that is my own fault. Stupid Thanksgiving. I played on the blue line, and I just felt out of place. Any time a winger would come down the ice, I'd let him come down, instead of keeping him to the outside. I'm also not very comfortable going backwards.
After the first shift or two, I noticed I was having a bad night and was determined to work to turn it around. Bad move. I ended up tripping a guy (but he deserved it - let us take it out of our zone when you're playing scrimmages like we were). I also used my body in a good way along the boards to prevent the puck from coming any deeper into our own zone. It was too rough of a play though for the situation.
My skating has improved. I've been reading a little bit about power skating, and I can feel a difference. I won two key battles to loose pucks because I was the faster guy. But I couldn't control the puck at that speed to get it off the boards, or to stop and take control. Big issue.
I did make improvements on stopping though. In the skate around I focused on that for a little while, and I could feel myself do it right. Stumbled a lot, but it is part of practice.