September 25, 2013

New Season, New Teams

This entry is really just an excuse to post some recent photos Amy took of me on the ice. So if you want to skip the filler text, just scan the photos and call it done.

The fall seasons are underway here in North Texas even though the high temperature still hovers around 95 degrees every day. I'm currently on the roster of three teams - all of which can be classified as lower/middle 'D' level.

The Money Shots- This is my second season with this team and we have a revamped roster of younger, faster players. We've also got one hell of a ringer. A high 'B', lower 'C' player who can skate circles around anyone on the ice and almost score at will. To his credit he plays defense and dishes off the puck at every opportunity. Despite this I think his days are numbered with the League Director getting complaints against him playing down.

The Spitfire- A new team for me and a team that is transitioning names, roster and players from an existing team. I can clearly tell they are in a building mode and are unlikely to be very competitive this season. Still, a new group of guys - and 3 gals! - to meet and get to know.

The Jokers- Another new team for me and a terrific group of players who genuinely seem enthusiastic to have me join. It might be less about my play and more about them having to use 4 different goalies last season. In any case we are off to a good start and this team feels like one I could stick with long term.

What Does Your D-Man Do That Frustrates You?

I found a great thread on Reddit this week that lists some of the things that drive goalies insane. Member Blackmars0 chipped in with a great contribution about defenseman;
  • Putting sticks on shots trying to block them. The opposing forward is trying to do this, not you. They call them "deflections" and they're really hard to stop.
  • Not covering the front of the net. Always leave one d-man there to take away rebounds or clear traffic.
  • Leaving too much space between shooters and themselves. Basically giving the opposing forwards a free screen to shoot through.
  • Not committing to a forward coming in. This happened to me in my last league game. Two D-men were back, one opposing forward came flying up through centre ice. Both D-men started moving in to cut him off, and then stopped and looked at each other. Both of them were waiting for the other to commit to the guy and try and shut him down. The end result was he split the D just over the blue line and had all kinds of time to do a triple deke and then roof the puck top corner on me.
  • Bad pinches. Bad pinches everywhere. The opposing blue line. The neutral zone. Everywhere. I've had D-men pinch down to below the opposing goal line and then get caught trying to be fancy with it, having the puck stripped off them, and then not getting back into position. Makes me angry just thinking about it.
  • Passes from the corner/behind the net through the slot. So many of these are picked off and put in the back of the net. Goddamn.
  • Trying to deke through a forechecker instead of making a good pass out of the zone. Especially when they're the last man back.

Finally, the reason for today's entry... pictures of me!

These players must be small because I look gigantic here.

Im happy with my setup and being at the top of the crease.

The action shot! Good stick position but get that glove higher.

At least I fill up a lot of net.