Monday, October 29, 2012

Coyotes (1-0) vs. Red Stars

The entire night was sloppy for me. I was exhausted from the Piranha game the night before, was unsure of how my defensive partner plays, and I was on the Olympic rink. It is a lot more different than I thought it was. I always remembered that the Olympic rink was a lot wider, but as defense man  that's a lot of ice to cover. It impacted angles greatly, and I can totally understand how it impacts goalies even worse.

I had a couple of times where I just messed up. I went to take a slap shot from the blue line and completely whiffed on it. I had another where I tried to kind of dangle around a player but I wasn't successful then either. There was one point where both defense men were on top of each other, and we miscommunicated who should go after the loose puck. It was just a tough night for us two to work together.

At one point there was a one on one play where the Red Star forward was coming down the ice on me. He didn't even make a move on me, and I just let him get by me. He wasn't fast or anything, but he eventually scored the goal. I felt like I let my goalie down because I just made a stupid error. It was the only goal we gave up. I think it was a result of just not being too into the game.

But the game wasn't all bad for me. I had a few instances where I carried the puck in and was aggressive. There was one play where I surprised myself. Players were stabbing at the puck, going to lift it and I was able to keep the puck away from my body, and use my leg to protect my stick and the puck. It always amazes me how effective that is.

I also had one play where it was a two on one, and I was on the rush with a slower winger. I went around the defender and kept one hand on my stick keeping it far away, and maintained speed. Once I got around the defender, I did a nice one handed pass to the other winger. He wasn't prepared for it, and didn't get as nice of a shot off as I would have liked.

It was incredibly hard to get into a rhythm this game for anyone who wasn't a forward. I had a ton of ice time, but I didn't skate much. The Red Stars had added skaters  in the off season, but are not in the same league as the Coyotes yet. A lot of the guys worked really hard battling against the wall, but the experience of the Coyotes, as well as the skating ability meant that the game would be played mostly in one zone. The Coyotes would win 9-1, while only giving up six shots.

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