I hadn't written too many entries lately. I feel like I've been thinking a little too much about my game, and it has been causing problems. I felt that if I took a break for a while, and focused on some other things it would help. The past few weeks I've tried to focus less on the game during the day, and more on just having fun and relaxing.
Tonight the Piranhas had eight skaters. I expect light benches with the Piranhas at this time of year. It is cold out, there is no sunlight, people are tired and no one wants to play at 10:20. We were playing the Knights who had a full bench, as well as a new player or two.
I feel I skated hard every shift. When I skate hard every shift, I know that I'm making a difference. Does it show up on the score sheet? No. But I know it benefits us. For example, on the forecheck, I love to be the guy to chase down the puck. Even with the Goaldiggers, I loved the role because it results in rushed passes. The pass may be bad, the recipient may not be ready, or they may not be able to get their line change done. There are a variety of things that can happen, and I feel I generated that a lot tonight. I think that while I was doing that, it allowed the other four piranha skaters on the ice to just pay attention, and get a better read as to how the play is going to develop.
One instance where the forecheck helped was when I actually wasn't the first forechecker. I was actually the second. I took away the left side, forcing the defensemen to give it up to the guy in the center of the ice. I read that happening, and he caught the puck in his skate. I knew this would be a golden chance. As he was getting the puck to his stick, I was able to lift his stick, and get him off balance. In the same motion, I bumped him on the shoulder to get him off balance. He fell, but the puck continued to an open area. The third forward was able to skate in, pick up the puck all alone and had a great shot that hit the back of the net. No assist for me, but had we not rushed these two guys, we don't get that chance.
In the offensive zone and with the puck in general, I thought I was average. I had a few good pick ups in the corner where I was able to get low, and skate through sticks while protecting the puck with my body. I tried to get a cycle going multiple times, but we just couldn't make it work. When I got to the bench, I was told that the point was wide open. I didn't even think to look up there. It definitely was a better choice looking back.
Defensively, I felt I played a very solid game. At one point in the third, arguably their most talented player was coming down the ice. He went around one defensemen, and through the other. While he was doing this though, of course he's going left and right which slows him down. I was able to skate back and tie him up, and get him off balance. He was unable to get a quality scoring chance, and the puck ended up in the corner. I feel I could have tried to be a better option on break outs tonight, but it is something I'm working on, and feel like it is a team effort to do them properly.
A few other highlights from the night include grinding it out along the boards against a couple of opponents, and keeping it down there for a significant amount of time. I had a few rebound chances as well as a goal post. I also miscommunicated with a defensemen while back checking. It lead to a potential scoring chance for the opponent, where if just one of us said, "take it", we could have avoided a potentially dangerous situation.
The Piranhas would win 6-4. I'm pleased with my effort tonight, and feel that despite not showing up on the score sheet, that I had a positive impact on the game for the Piranhas.