So, I’ll be honest … because why lie, right? I feel like this blog hasn’t really got its mojo back since I returned from America.
I wrote all sorts of notes while I was over there, where I planned to write extensively and with poetry* about what it was like to see the Red Wings and NHL hockey live and in the flesh (Nic Lidstrom with so much physical presence although there are bigger guys on the ice, and with so much time, and skating so smoothly, kind of permanently hunched; Datsyuk looking strangely small and frail under the armour, appearing set to be dismantled at any moment by giant, brutish defencemen, yet waiting until the last milisecond before the hit, looking out of the corner of his eye to pass the puck with vision and flair and no fear, as he prepares to eat the glass; Helm’s speed; “Mule” Franzen unremarkable) … but now it seems weeks ago already.
And, anyway, I worry that this thing could just turn into an unofficial Red Wings blog and there are enough of those, and good ones, already, like The Production Line, Winging It In Motown and the magnificently-named Nightmare on Helm Street.
Having said that, the biggest news out of Detroit right now is pretty noteworthy. One of our forwards, Patrick Eaves, copped a full-blooded shot, the puck smacking off his right ear and breaking his jaw. He was out cold, didn’t move for some time and had everybody worried (see the picture above, with Drew Miller kind of peering at him to see if he’s alive) but, like a true hockey player, he eventually stood and made his own way onto the stretcher. He was having an operation overnight today to wire his jaw shut (another Wing Dan Cleary said when he had that done, they had to remove some teeth so there was a gap for him to drink food through a straw) and is out for six to eight weeks. Poor bastard. The Wings have swept all before them since the moment we stopped turning up at their games and now sit close to the top of the ladder, with about a quarter of the games gone of the regular season.
Me? Well, my own icy adventures are way less dramatic right now, so I guess that’s why I’m blogging somewhat lethargically. As previously explained, all I’m doing is dicking around in General Skate, and I’m not sure the world is ready for a breathless blog about that. Nicko practices pivots endlessly (getting pretty good turning left, still all at sea turning right – why is that?), Nicko edges ever closer to actually being able to do a hockey stop, without being able to actually do one, Nicko hangs hundreds of laps around the Bradbury Rink, occasionally gazing longingly at the Henke Rink where the hockey happens, Nicko works on outside edges without getting far enough over, Nicko yells at other hockey players (yes, that’s you, Hough girls) for dancing on-ice to the Jive Bunny, which I’m sure must contravene some international hockey law.
So sorry if you’ve been tuning in here, looking for laughs, breathtaking wisdom about life and hockey yarns, but there really haven’t been many. I’m doing the unromantic, unreported, unglamorous hard work of training, of developing basic skills. When I get back into classes, maybe Dev League, maybe even a low level team, this whole thing should gather steam once more.
It actually almost happened unexpectedly a couple of weeks ago. Will and I were invited to train at Oakleigh, to make up numbers at a Tiger Sharks training session, with their coach, Melbourne Ice star Joey Hughes, but one training session got cancelled and then we couldn’t get there at the late night time they were discussing.
Needless to say, given my love of Richmond and scuba, I’m attracted to the idea of playing for a team called the Tiger Sharks. I have no idea if I’m good enough to attempt to train with a team yet but one way to find out…
Until I get back to serious puck-work, I fear this blog won’t have it’s usual magic and excitement so I apologise in advance. I do remain determined, but somewhat routine. After Christmas, maybe. Perhaps that’s when the Red Wings will call …? Or more likely, the registrar at the Icehouse, asking if I want to pay my enrolment dues for Intermediate, second attempt. The answer will be yes, and by then, I might even be able to skate.
It remains all about doing the work, and listening endlessly to the Red Hot Chilli Peppers on the Icehouse big screen. Life is grand.
* Not actual hockey-based poetry: It’s just so hard to think of a single word that rhymes with “puck”.