I think I played decent in this one but I was a bit shaky from not playing for a month, I don’t think it really showed but I always felt a bit off when getting ready for a shot. Unfortunately my team ended up losing 2-0.
A weird bounce left the puck going right to an opponent left out front. Luckily he just picked up his stick and wasn’t able to get a great shot off. But I did a pretty decent job of sliding out to challenge and take down the angle and made a decent save. The reason I went down first was because I was unaware if there was someone right at the top of the crease, meaning I didn’t do a good enough job of checking my surroundings. I saw there was no instant shot and got up to challenge the shooter more aggressively.
This started out as a fairly straight forward shot that I placed into the corner, but the following part shows where my shakiness was. I go to push back into the post to play a reverse-VH since I saw the opponent was going to beat my player to the puck and the chance for a shot back at me or to the low circle was pretty high. My positioning was a bit off and when I pushed backwards to the post my skate was already touching it when I really wanted my leg to be inside the post so my shoulder and upper body would be completely covering the top half. I didn’t feel like I had time to adjust to it properly and when my body turned more towards the corner I was still caught off guard as to where my right foot was actually placed. Because of my now aggressive angle into the corner I tried to break up any back door pass as I’d be beat really badly if that made it through. The player did end up throwing it back towards the net and his teammate made a nice tip to direct it on net. This now shows how awkward this play was since I played the original direction of the puck my blocker comes off of my pad and leaves a gap, but luckily the puck hits the outside roll and drops down next to me. I wasn’t sure where the puck was so I tried to cover the post as much as possible and again the odd angle made this difficult, so I drop down to my butt just to try and get in the way of it to get a whistle. If I managed to get my leg inside the post this tip would’ve simply ended up hitting my pants and making for a much easier save.
The beginning of this play should show off some more awkwardness, I couldn’t really see where the puck was coming from or if it was going to be tipped and I wasn’t confident in my angle either, so you see my legs and feet do a strange nervous dance to try and cover up the post for a tip. Once the puck goes behind the net I get situated better and cover the opposite post well in a reverse-VH. I take a bit too long to get up as I was nervous about a tip from in front on a quick shot, but once I see the puck moving into the slot towards the attacking defensive player I get up and try to get square, I didn’t get to come out as far as I’d like but I was able to make the save. Lately I’ve been having a real hard time corralling rebounds when they are placed directly 5-hole and that is evidently here. I make the initial save but the puck bounces out far enough that I cannot pounce on it, but I manage to puck it slightly further away for my defense to clear it out. He did a good job of tying that players stick up for the rebound.
I challenged enough on this angle to take away most shots and I knew there was a player coming from the opposite side for a rebound or a backdoor pass so I didn’t want to be too outside the crease. The only real shot the player had to score was a perfect shot into the corners. He should’ve gone blocker or low pad in hopes that the charging forward would’ve been able to pick up the rebound. But luckily for me he tries to pick the low glove corner and I get my pad on it.
Even with the decent rebound control in the previous save the opposing team manages to keep control of the puck. A shot from the point that I should’ve easily been able to catch shows off another one of my struggles of late… catching the puck. I didn’t follow it well enough into my glove and it manages to hit everything my the pocket and bounces out for a dangerous rebound. Luckily the bouncing puck makes its way out of danger in front of the net.
Here is more evidence of me feeling rusty and off. I go down too early here before the puck is shot since I was worried about a quick release catching me in transition and moving to my right, I wanted to ensure if a shot came I’d make the save here and not let in a weak goal. While going down allowed me to make the save the shot was placed in a good position back from where I was coming from, making me throw my left leg out in desperation trying to get a piece of the puck… which causes a huge and very dangerous rebound out into the slot that would’ve left a wide open net for an opposing player. But lucky for me only my team was there. The moment it hit my pad I had an “Oh crap…” moment (but with more expletives) and instantly knew I made a mistake.
I played with and against this player player a lot before, his name is Steve, and he has scored bar down on me multiple times… I just tried to get my body up as high as possible when I saw the shot release and I did a pretty good job of that. Thank you to my Brown chest for ensuring I didn’t feel a thing.
I knew there was a challenging player (it was Steve) coming in from my right side so I tried to push this shot wider by getting my stick on it and push it away from him… I completely miss it and knew I had to get square for an attempted shot, Steve likes to shot from anywhere and often scores doing so. I got into a blocking butterfly and made the save with the inside of my blocker. Because of my positioning I didn’t feel having my stick covering my 5-hole was necessary as I knew my pad’s thigh rise would cover up any angle he had down there, and my stick would be able to block a pass coming out front.
Right after the previous save the puck was shot around to their defense and they take a shot with relatively no traffic in front. This play shows off again my difficulties corralling shots to my 5-hole that I make a stick save with. This one pops up and away from the immediate danger and my defense is able to break out.
I am not sure if I was really off my angle here or if this was a really well placed shot, but I had to stretch my right leg out to make a save which led to another juicy rebound in the slot…that I was lucky no opponents were in range to pick it up.
I was really upset with this goal, as I am pretty sure I played it almost perfectly. I knew the player couldn’t cut to the middle with how outstretched he was trying to just get the shot off and with the back pressure from my defense. I also covered up down low and got square to the shot while not really giving much room. The only thing I didn’t do was have my body weight leaning forward and my stick to the left of my 5-hole. My stick was directly between my pads when the puck went in, but this puck was shoved under my left pads thigh rise. I believe the problem here was because I had too much weight towards my heels, you can see my compress downwards but my upper body isn’t straight up over my knees and this caused the thigh rise on my pads to leave a bit of space between them and the ice. With how tiny thigh rises are now in pads I have felt for a while they are getting so thin that it is harder to keep them flush to the ice, and this isn’t the first time I had a puck squeak under these ones.
Passes from behind the net coming from the side they started are becoming more and more common thanks to some highlight reel plays by Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov. I’ve been burned by it a few times last year so I was looking out for it this time as well. I am not sure why I dropped right away when it was passed to the right dot, I believe it was just instinct since I didn’t know where the opponents were located on that side. Being already down I slide to the post to cover short side and push out to try to be more aggressive when Steve fakes me out with a shot. Luckily he doesn’t have full control and isn’t able to raise it over my right pad in my desperation save attempt. He makes a cheeky pass over my leg out to the front of the net and my stick gets caught up in my defense’s legs and then stick and I get twisted looking the completely opposite direction of the puck. Luckily they can’t get a shot off into the empty net thanks to the defense battling.
After the previous mad scramble a pass to the point leaves the defense to take a relatively straight forward shot at me without traffic. I challenged well at the top of my crease and was ready for the shot. I attempt to trap the puck in my body and glove (lack of glove confidence made me not try and simply catch it) but the puck hit my dangler and created the awkward rebound. I way a possible shot coming from the right so I tried to cover as much of the net as possible and that meant stretching with my toe up which again leaves me sitting on my pants completely out of position. Luckily the defense does a good job of not allow a shot through and clears the zone.
Great play by the opposing defense to keep this puck in play. A double deflection off of my players leg and then off the toe of the player in front really didn’t leave me with many options. I never actually saw the shot be released because of my player and really wished he just stayed down low and attempted to deal with a possible rebound. I also believe this was a good goal, the player moved his skate after it hit him. Since I couldn’t see the shot release I tried to get as wide as possible, once I saw the deflection I tried to get my left leg on the shot but was too slow and not stretched far enough.
This was the best save I made all night. I was a bit late sliding over and if the player released the puck right away they probably would’ve scored. They still got a pretty good shot off and got it high and close to the corner, but by that time I slid over and was square to the puck and was able to get a shoulder on it. I prefer to drop down and slide across than to t-push over as that way I can still make a pad save if I am not all the way over and I find making a save in transition with the t-push is more difficult. But I was clearly slow here and if I had better skating abilities standing up and moving over would’ve been the correct play.
Here is Steve again, I actually figured he’d drive towards the net more, but they were up 2-0 so it could be more of preserving the lead now. I do a good job challenging and am outside of my crease to cut the angle down, usually he shoots for high corners and he caught me off guard a bit and went 5-hole. I felt rusty here and though this went through my legs but was simply caught up in my pants.
Here is why I try not to play the puck… I wanted the player to stay on his forehand and thus come to my left so I could simply pass the puck off to him. I went to my backhand because of this so I could simply slide it to him, but him going to the right completely threw me off and I panicked and tried a hard backhand shovel to my next teammate. As you can see I failed at it miserably and left myself in a bad position and a giveaway. Luckily I was able to get square and find my post before they could get a shot off. Also, I looked back at my post because I really had no idea where I was, and if the player shot then it would’ve most likely gone in.
I stayed down way too long for this play and left it in just to show a “what not to do.”
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