I was called to replace a goalie in an actual league with stat tracking and so on and so forth last night. It was a really mixed league but the teams seemed balanced pretty well if you can follow that. Players seemed to range from mid 20s to early 40s and skill level was ranged as well. I skated for the red team who informed me were quite fed up with their goalie and his unreliable schedule. I had skated this league last year and it was atrocious extremely unbalanced with horrible technical play. Under the new management just in the locker room a lone i could tell a lot had changed.
A few guys remember me subbing last year and seemed pretty stoked on the fact I was skating with them tonight. They said that in their league goaltending was what made the difference between the good and bad teams. I don’t think its the goaltending as much as it is the psychology of the teammates thinking they have a talented skater between the pipes because I had what I consider for myself an awful game yet we won 5-3. The game started out fast paced and i had some clutch/key saves in the first period. After that the blue team just fell apart. My team dominated them in every aspect. After the first period I would say I saw maybe a total of 12 shots maybe 20 shots the entire game of which I let in three which I was all unhappy with and all scored by their star player.
Their star didn’t have a fast shot but he was accurate and he had trained himself to give no shot indicators. Usually I can read a persons face/eyes or there is the tell-tale body flinch. This guy was nothing. One goal was post to post with one of my player covering him and it seemed as soon as i lost sight of the puck behind my players leg down low he knew and took the shot which was totally savable but I was coming across and had one leg in a very awkward position when I should have preformed a standard butterfly slide. The other goal I was unhappy with was the same player coming down the boards uncovered. He had a winger on my back door and was beyond the point of a good angle shot so i was staying up and waiting for him to make the outlet pass but he took this odd shot from literally on the goal line hit my skate blade and put the puck in the net, I a). should have reacted faster and b). should have been holding the pipe better. Real sloppy. Some many other options to play that right maybe tried vertical horizontal.
The other goaltender for the blue team played awesome. The shots he got beat on were all tough ones and he was getting peppered the entire game with very little defense. At times I almost would rather be in that position than the easy sloppy win I had. I also noted that the other goal tender had near perfect technique why was he playing in this league? Anyway it was nice to play in a game where I was appreciated and had some back up and praise. Rather than some of the faster paced pick up games where yo kind of just have a target painted on your head and there is no camaraderie