August 15, 2013

Chicken or Egg

I'm frustrated.

Playing for two different 'D' league teams these past few months there's a trend of me giving up between 7 and 10 goals every game. With no signs of this changing, my frustration level is growing with each game.

Are my teams bad because I'm a bad goalie or am I a bad goalie because I'm on bad teams?

This is a puzzling question. After each loss, I lie awake in bed replaying the goals in my head, looking for common denominators- looking for answers.

1. Short benches- more times than not, we've got less than two lines of forwards and 3 defenseman. The result is a chart that looks something like this;

2. Opponent Pressure & Shots- the obvious result of this energy output crash is my teams spend more and more time in our own zone as the game goes on. With no ability to break out and an offensive rush, it becomes a shooting gallery. In one of my leagues, I've faced almost 30 more shots than the next closest team with almost 100 more than the third team in that category.

3. I resemble a manatee after the save- It's been a few months since I first started working on my butterfly pushes but yet my brain is not clicking in game action. Time and time again, I drop down for a save and watch helplessly as the rebound goes towards an opponent's stick while I remain frozen in position, making some type of swimming/bounce motion with legs. Nothing resembling the butterfly push I complete in practice.

*Author's interpretation
So its not as cut and dry as pointing the finger at my team or accepting all the blame for a GAA north of 7. In fact, it's all of the above and more. It's lack of experience and skills. It's age. It's luck. It's a team.

Hockey is a team sport. I'm on bad teams because I've been playing adult hockey for 8 months. My teams have me on the roster because they're a collection of aging beginners, skating and playing their best. I've got to accept my share but no more and try to enjoy the time on the ice- no matter the score.