Back to Reality and Full Steam Ahead

The Nashville hangover is nearly gone…I think. The Boy’s team got little to no rest with a practice the night after their return and a game the night after that.  For most of the trip I kept saying, “Glad I just have to watch and not play hockey”. That’s what young legs, lungs and hearts are for.  I even bailed on my men’s team, the mighty mighty Iceholes, who had a game at 10pm the night we returned. This old dog just wasn’t up for the hunt that night.  I’m sad to report the Iceholes dropped that contest 4-0 (not that my feeble contribution following a 15 hour haul on a bus would have likely made much difference).  But we’re certainly not here to talk about me and my faint grasp at youth.

The Boys were fortunate to re-enter their regular season with a match against weaker team because they too showed signs of a Tennessee hangover.  They were only up 1-0 going into the third period of a game which thankfully ended 4-0 and saw its share of fireworks down the stretch. Fireworks that even found their way up into the stands as there was some post-game quibbling amongst parents.

Games two and three of the week would not allow for any extended latency on behalf of the Boys as they’d face the two teams ahead of them in the standings.

Unfortunately, they didn’t get the memo in time for game two, which saw them come out terribly flat and give up a two-goal lead in a matter of minutes. And memo or not, they weren’t able to recover as the deficit mounted to 3, 4 and finally 5-0.  Not a pretty game to watch as my friend who came out to see the Boy play could easily attest.  Let’s just strike that one from our combined memory shall we?

And in game three of the week, the squad indeed seemed to have quickly stricken the memory as they came out a decidedly different team taking a 3-0 lead into the first intermission including one by the Boy (who’s been on a bit of an uncharacteristic goal-scoring tear since our visit down south) and two short-handed markers.  Unfortunately, despite several powerplay opportunities and good scoring chances, they were unable to extend their lead, and in fact, a couple of mistakes led to their advantage being whittled down to one. It was still 3-2 heading into the 3rd period, but that difference too would evaporate around some shaky backchecking/defending.  What started out promising ended in frustration as the home team would climb all the way back to take a 4-3 lead with just over two minutes remaining on a shorty of their own.  Said frustration would mount when with four seconds left on the clock and our goaltender on the bench, the Boy would tap a loose puck into the opposing goal only to have an out-of-position referee waive the tying goal off after claiming to have lost sight of the black biscuit. Don’t get me started on the quality of refereeing in this particular game, lest it should sound like sour grapes. At the end of the game, the team let this one slip away.  A little more memory striking required and/or a few more paddles in the water at the same time all the time moving forward. It’s still relatively early in the season, but these are the teams our charges need to impress against and defeat.

The Boys have what could be another fireworks-filled match tomorrow on the road followed by a game against an opponent they already have a 2-0-1 record against this year.  Two winnable games to be sure, but not games to be overlooked by any means.

Meanwhile, the Devil and her Shark crew have become something of a hockey Juggernaut with a 7-1 record in league play. So as not to risk perturbing the hockey Gods I will simply report 7-1 and 8-0 victories in their last two contests against weaker and somewhat depleted opponents. In the most recent match, they faced a team with only two lines vs. their full complement of three. This game could have actually been more lopsided had it not been for the heroics of an embattled goaltender in the opposite net.  The Sharks will have a better test tomorrow night against a team as yet undefeated in league play. From what we’ve seen so far, our ladies will hopefully be up to the task. They need only show up in a confident frame of mind and play to their potential.

Lots more hockey to watch as always. What’s that you say? “The NHL and NHLPA have been making some progress this week.”  Who cares…I got all the hockey drama I need.


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