The Winter season is less than a week away, and I'm feeling more prepared for this season than I have in the past. A big part is that I am taking a load I know I can handle. I feel that in the past, I may have taken on a bit too much. Last year, I played for the Goaldiggers, Piranhas, and subbed on the Coyotes. In December and February, I was really hurting. I was not letting myself get enough rest. This year I will be playing on two teams - the Piranhas and the Coyotes.
The decision to leave the Goaldiggers has been one that I spent over a year thinking about. I like the guys in the locker room, and they were my first team. I learned a lot playing with them but I ultimately did not belong in that league. I appreciate them taking a player on who had no experience playing ice hockey, but as the team has gotten better I have become frustrated with myself in my lack of contributions. Additionally, both the Piranhas and Coyotes are much lower in terms of skill. They both are part of HNA and as a result, scheduling conflicts are a lot less likely.
CoyotesLast year, I believe I played in five games for the Coyotes. I have gone to many of their practices, and worked with their goalie a lot. The decision to play with the Coyotes full time allows me to play at a lower level of players, along with close friends. The team is relaxed, and ultimately fun to be on and around. There are only two other teams in the same division as the Coyotes, and I feel that those two teams are beatable every night. I will be playing defense for the Coyotes as well, giving me a bit more responsibility in the break out. The Coyote season really excites me because I feel I've never had gotten to develop chemistry with any of the players on the team in game situations. I never learned players tendencies or preferences. I've spent some significant time in the past month or so on skills that benefit defense men directly. Things such as skating backwards with control, putting the puck on the glass high and hard, and transitions do not seem as shaky or even impossible anymore. The Coyotes have no reason to not be optimistic about having a good season, and going to Toronto this year.
It felt good to win a championship like that. It was my first championship anything - basketball, hockey, etc. I never did a lot of sports, but a few years playing inline hockey, and then when the Goaldiggers started, we lost our first 12 games or something.