Wednesday, June 19, 2013

2012-2013 Season in Review

The season, the playoffs, the Toronto trip are over. It is all done for the 2013 season. No more late night games, no more circling dates on my calendar, or refusing plans because I have a game.

Who am I kidding? Hockey season is never over. I'm going to keep playing, staying up late and looking forward to my next ice time. I've made numerous friends while playing, and had even more fun times on the ice this year.

I started out the season with a handful of goals on both the Piranhas, and the Coyotes. Each of them were based on what I viewed my role is on the team, what I felt would challenge me, but is still obtainable. I reminded myself after every couple of games to make sure I was on track to complete these goals.

The Coyotes are a lower level team, and I play defense for them - a position that I wasn't fully comfortable with at the start of the year. I felt I was one of the more experienced and skilled players on the team, and as a result, I expected a lot from myself on the blue line. I wanted to be a good example of playing both ways because so many guys just want to score goals. I got paired up early on with another guy who has just as much experience as me, and is a very smart player. I really felt comfortable playing with him, and it was great having confidence in him, and him having confidence in me. He got hurt, and then I went into a span of a few games where I was average. I didn't do a good job of contributing in the zone, or keeping control of the puck. I got paired with a friend who I've played with for a while, and we really worked on verbal communication while playing. I also felt he wanted me to start being more aggressive in the offensive zone, and using my speed. It created a problem for a period or two, but we both felt comfortable enough with each other to help each other out. Toward the end of the season, I didn't like how I played this year, and I knew I was capable of much more. I turned up the aggression, and had finished the season on a string of really strong games.

From the second game forward, I had the chance to play with arguably the two most talented individuals on the roster. The logic was I had the speed to keep up with these two and my game would compliment their free wielding style. It worked out really well. Any time us three were on the ice together, there was a good chance we'd get a scoring opportunity. Once we were set up in our zone, a scoring chance was a sure thing. Typically, I was staying in front of the net, creating traffic and room for those two to do their thing. I lost count how many times I was covered by a defense men (or two if they collapsed really low) causing a screen, which would help out in a goal. It doesn't mean I got a point on the play but I know I helped out. We also had a really good cycle going of keeping the puck away from the opponent because we all battled harder than our opponents. I played one game on defense, and two in the center position and felt I did fair in all of those games. In fact, I had very few poor games this year with the Piranhas.

I wanted to win a championship with both teams, but was only able to do with the Piranhas. I know that my expectation was to win it with the Coyotes based on the teams in our division, but two other skilled teams were added to our division, and we were not able to overcome them in the playoffs. I wanted to make sure I had a positive +/- with the Coyotes, and with the exception of a game or two, I never had a minus rating in a game. On the Piranhas, I did become a point per game player, and really felt like I solidified my position on the team. I'm really pleased with how both seasons went, despite the Coyotes not winning the championship.

I believe the great success I've had can be tied to many different things. I didn't stay up late watching pro hockey games because of the lockout. I worked in the off season with the Phantoms on small ice. I did many stick and pucks early on weekends. I did a few sessions at Puck Pros to grasp the mechanics of skating better, and I eliminated a lot of unnecessary stress  from my life at various points of the season. Most of these remind me that preparation is key. I also cannot discount the fact that I felt much more comfortable around my teams as the season went on. Having them gain confidence in me was a big boost. 

No comments:

Post a Comment