So much happened this game that I don't even know where to start. The entire team had energy from the minute they stepped into the locker room, until the time they left the parking lot. Again it was a full bench, as I suspect it will be every game for the Coyotes this year. I will be plying defense.
Right from my first shift, I focused on the things I worked on this off season, and it immediately paid off. The rink was still incredibly wet and trying to carry the puck or make a pass would not have predictable results. As a result, as soon as I got that puck, I put it on the glass and out the zone. I didn't even care that I didn't hit the winger with the pass. I iced it once, but again, we cleared the zone. Once the water was gone and frozen, I didn't have to do it any more.
After that, I had another shift or two where I was just kind of playing conservative. I didn't try anything, and I just kept it simple. There was one point where I was standing at their blue line, and had the chance to pick up the puck 10 feet in front of me, but saw that a Bulldog was close to it, so I let it go. I was then kicking myself. I knew that the team would work hard to fix the mistake if I made it. I knew my defensive partner would have covered for me. From then on, it was a different game. I carried the puck incredibly well, I got a few good shots off, joined the rush on more than one occasion, and I felt like I was never putting the team at risk for an odd man rush going in the other direction. The entire team built confidence in each other and it just snowballed. At the end of the first, it was tied at 2, but I felt like we were much better than them.
Once I got more confidence with the team, my goalie, my partner and looked at the situation, I wasn't afraid to fail. If I failed, it isn't a big deal. I took chances. I tried moves that I did in practice, and it paid off. Scoring chances, stuff attempts. Good quick shots all helped generate something for the Coyotes. I was thoroughly impressed with how the team moved the puck. I had at least three good shots on net, no assists, no goals, a decent hit, and I feel that I played as well as I could have asked. I did make some bad passes though, and I'm not worried about them.
Confidence is so huge. Being able to take the skills I worked on this summer, and use them in the game means so much to me. So many little things happened this game that worked for me, and I can't write about them all. I don't think there was one shift that I would consider "bad". The next Coyote game is Monday. I'm excited. The Coyotes would win this one 7-2.