An unlikely scenario
A puck spills free. Holy crap, it’s me, face to face with Nate, the goalie. Everybody else’s momentum taking them the other way. Like a penalty shot in a game situation, and this is a fraction of a moment of a second. I need to swing.
Nate knows, from us playing against or near each other for a long time, that I have no ability to shoot high, to raise the puck to the top corner. He must know he only has to drop to his pads to put up a solid wall for my inevitably feeble shot.
So I go high. Rip it into the air. Beat him clean, but hear the heartbreaking ping as it carooms off the top of the cross bar. And stays out.
The odds of me shooting over the top crossbar? Roughly the same as Bettman winning NHLPA Personality of the Year.
I’m calling it a moral victory, Nate. (Sadly, he gets to call it a no-goal. Dammnit)
I’m not making this up:
From ahl.com (yes, I am trawling the American Hockey League website, and following the Grand Rapid Griffins while the endless lock-out ruins everybody’s year):
(Consolidated Press) Jason Zucker tied an American Hockey League record for the fastest overtime goal, scoring just five seconds into the extra period as the Houston Aeros edged the visiting Abbotsford Heat, 3-2, on Sunday evening.
… Zucker’s goal tied the record set by Dave Saatzer of the Nova Scotia Voyageurs in 1980, and tied by Chris Corrinet of the Portland Pirates in 2002.”
So that’s happened three times? A goal in the first five seconds of overtime? When Alex McNab heard about my infamous/famous face-off goal at Oakleigh, she wrongly assumed I’d smacked the shot from the drop at centre ice and was deeply impressed, at least until she learned the truth.
This Zucker guy might actually have done it … turns out five seconds is a long time in hockey.
The three-peat doco: centre stage
At the Icehouse last night, I noticed there is finally a stand of the Ice 3-peat doco, with a small screen even showing scenes from it, which is bold, given some of Jaffa’s more colourful moments within the series. I had heard of some eye-rolling shenanigans on the part of hockey administrators, like shunning the doco makers because a ref took umbrage to one of the funniest coach’s speeches, and some shot of a player pissing outdoors on the Gold Coast (at a rink now deemed unsuitable for AIHL play).
So it’s great that the doco is front and centre in the pro shop and hockey fans looking for Christmas presents can do the logical thing.
(This is not a paid announcement – just enthusiasm)
Wednesday nights at the House
God, I still love dev league Wednesdays. Cracking group of people, excellent spirit, no-tomorrow skating.
Highlights from classes/dev league last night (aside from my almost goal – as above – and an actual goal I fluked off skates and sticks, plus the fact I might finally have my head and muscle-memory around the fast feet conundrum that has held back my skating for months):
1. Mackquist Place, the youngest, totally acing his Intro assessment, while fully aware that more than a dozen of the Rookies were watching his every move on the ice. Mack always feels the pressure when that happens, assuming that shit will be hung on him, instead of support. (I have no idea why my son is so paranoid about being laughed at. Sheesh) … Anyway, last night, far from being ridiculed, when he performed a copybook pivot towards the end of the assessment, the roar and glass-banging was worthy of an AIHL-winning goal. Army and the other coaches cracked up. Mack is headed to Intermediate and well on the way to passing his old man in skill and skating much faster than I would like.
2. There was a golden moment in the 10 pm scrimmage when coach/ref Lliam Webster laughed hard at a player’s protestations that a goal shouldn’t have counted because it had hit the frame and bounced back into play before the goal was scored. “Well, um, yeah … that’s hockey,” Lliam said, then yelled back over his shoulder to the players on the ice: “… Play until the whistle, idiots!”
He remains an inspiring and motivational coach.
3. I was skating behind the net, wondering if I could attempt a wraparound goal, when suddenly a stick from behind stole the puck. I was somehow pretty much unaware the defender was there, and lost my skates in suprise, mid-turn. Sliding on my knees, I took a while to get back up and Lliam called from the bench with genuine concern to check I was alright.
Sure, I replied, to which he yelled: “You’re getting old!”
“Getting?” I answered. “What getting? I already was, and am.”
Actually the truth was that I took so long to get up because a) I’d skated super hard for almost two hours and was feeling it, and b) I was having a minor self-hating episode that I hadn’t tuned into the defender sneaking up on me and been ready for it. A lot of internal bad language. Grandmothers would have blushed. Note to self: less self-hate while still on the ice, more getting back to feet and chasing puck.
The eye of a blogger
The lock-out is getting to everybody. Linked from Winging It In Motown, one Californian piece made me laugh.
Bloggers should never be confused with journos, but they can put good spin on stuff.
Trusting Steve Burton. Click here for the piece.