Sunday, May 06, 2007

Advice to the goalies

Some games are losers during the warmup, after a decade whistling kids and adults I can usually tell from the warmup who is going to win. Other games are toss-ups, two good teams prepared to duke it out. Usually not.

You can tell mostly from the effort level of the players during the warmup - do they slack off or do they charge hard. Slackers, even tremendously skilled slackers, rarely win against an opponent who is prepared to skate their ba**s off (um, is there a gender neutral equivalent?). And it usually also shows up on the score sheet in the form of penalties, slackers get more box time because instead of working hard they hook, hold and interfere to make up for the lack of hustle.

So why is this relevant? Because I find myself usually whispering to a goalie 'way to stay in the game' after a particularly bad 2-on-1 or breakaway induced goal - so long as the goaltender doesnt quit (ie: lay down on the ice and pout) the game may not turn into a sh*t fest. When the goalie quits I know I'm going to be doing a lot of talking to the scorekeeper.

Its like magic, a bunch of dimwits that stood around all period barely breathing hard and letting the netminder get peppered like a steak, suddenly discover they can use those jointed appendages below the waist to motivate them across the ice, and into the face of the stupidest opponent in order to cause an altercation. Where all that energy was being stored during the first two periods I'll never know.

So from this ref to you - 'way to stay in the game' - one save can make a 180 degree difference in a game.