Archive for June, 2018

Spring League

June 6, 2018

I played Friday morning with the group I’ve been playing with for some time now. One of the goalies didn’t show. He’s a big angry ex-wrestler from New Brunswick. He says a few things to me in French now and then and tells me the same story about how his father refused to hear French in the house even though his mom spoke it as a first language. Indicative of language issues in Canada. The week before the angry wrestler quit trying to stop shots. He said we weren’t trying. I think I had a group of mopes on my side who were not only bad but also dumb. We struggled to clear the zone and the goalie was on his knees more than a cheap whore. When we put the smiling, good-natured Tony Esposito look alike on our side and shot against the angry wrestler, I lit him up like Christmas. I even took a shot between my legs and roofed it while he rested on his knees. He swore and blew us off the following Friday. The iron is a tougher goalie than the wrestler.

I worked all weekend in my restaurant and bar. It was a slow weekend and slow weekends stress me out. Busy ones do to if we’re struggling to keep up but lately I have not had that stress. It might have been good in hindsight for me since I had four playoff games to coach Saturday and Sunday.

When people say it’s just spring league, it bothers me. What the fuck does that mean? You try less because it’s not snowing. My daughter’s squirt team had been blown out all spring. They only won one game but came close on a few. Our goalie was a scarecrow at the beginning of the spring and has now earned his last two wins. My daughter did well and that made me proud. She got her first penalty and an assist in the Saturday win. The squirts won both their playoff games this past weekend. The bantams are a different thing for me.

My stepson is on the team and one of the best if not the best player I have and that is a good thing if you have to go home to his mom and explain why he doesn’t play much. I never have that issue with C.

I ‘ve had many of my 13-year-old players since the age of 7. We’ve been working on plays for years. My studs are all first year bantams and they were my work horses as pee wees last year when we went undefeated until the championship game after playing to a 0-0 tie and losing by a shot in the shootout. This spring we have spanked nearly all teams. I knew the Saturday game would be tough against a team south of us that is known for excessive late hits. We bombed their goalie like Normandy.   Nearly all the play was in their end but they hadn’t scored yet. I told the boys what I usually say that they totally get.

“You’re putting in the time in their zone. You took her to dinner, the movies and any moment you’ll pop the cherry. It’s a matter of time.”

The first goal came in the second period as well as the second. After the frustration of watching our guys set up below the goal line, work it out to the point; they began hitting high and late. Our last goal came on a 5 on 3 power play. Three is all we needed to seal the deal. One of the coaches had words with my assistant while I thanked the refs for the best-called game in that rink ever. My team beat teams from this particular organization 12 times in a row without a defeat since September. They hate my assistant, my team and me. C’est la vie is what they whisper in some homes in New Brunswick. I told the boys that the first game was necessary to move on. Losing the first game means that you go on to play two useless games to finish the season. The opposing team was salty.

 

The Sunday game was against the organization that me, my assistant and six players left due to a clash of personalities between the hockey director and the moms of the team. What did not follow us to the new rink were kids less skilled, slower, fatter and dumber in my humble opinion. I warned the players about looking at the expendables as a cakewalk. I tried to tell them that they had something to prove and you had better be ready. Sure enough, my jovial bunch of over confident stars played a lackluster first period and I ripped into them. My space cadet goalie let in the first three shots. 0 for 3 happens to new baseball players not seasoned goalies. The opposing team’s goalie was my goalie last season. He was new last season and pretty raw and green. In an overtime championship game, that goalie let in a trickler after I pulled the goalie and we scored twice in a minute to force overtime. The trickler was on his game. He must have seen a dozen shots and stopped all. There were two slow heavyset boys playing defense and we struggled to get around them. There were missed passes, no passes, falling, whiffing on shots and all around horrible play. After being behind 3-2 after the second period, I gave the team a pep talk that everyone in the rink probably heard too.

“I WIL FIND FIVE GUYS ON THIS TEAM CAPABLE TO PLAY THE WAY WE PLAY AND THE REST OF YOU CAN WATCH THE FUCKING GAME NEXT TO ME. THIS TEAM ISN’T GOOD ENOUGH TO WIPE MY ASS WITH AND YOU’VE LET THEM RUN OVER YOU. I TRIED TO BE FAIR TO ALL OF YOU. NOW I WILL DO WHAT I KNOW WILL WORK.”

My top five played a three-minute shift and scored four times. It was true; my former players out hustled us, out hit us and wanted to show all the defectors including me, that they were good. We pulled away and won 8-3. In the locker room after the game, I told all the players to sit still and listened to me. My speech went as follows.

“DO NOT MOVE. I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ANY TAPE OR VELCRO UNTIL I’M DONE TALKING… THE SCORE DOES NOT SHOW HOW BAD THIS GAME WAS. HOW BAD? FUCKING HORRIBLE. YOU ALL WERE ALL LAUGHING IT UP AND FUCKING OFF BEFORE THE GAME THINKING BIG G AND B WERE GOING TO BE YOUR BITCHES. A, THE KID I YELLED AT EVERY GAME FOR BEING OFFSIDE IMPROVED SO MUCH THAT HE SMACKED F ABOUT AS HARD AS YOU COULD WITH OUT KILLING SOMEONE. THEY WANTED TO WIN. I TELL YOU CONSTANTLY THAT THIS GAME IS TUG OF WAR. LOSE THE MOMENTUM AND LAND FACE FIRST IN THE SHIT. WE HAVE SOME FINE TUNING TO WORK ON AT PRACTICE TOMORROW. I DON’T WANT TO HEAR ABOUT SOCCER OR BASEBALL OR BALLET OR WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU DO WHEN YOU’RE NOT HERE. MISS PRACTICE AND YOU’LL SIT 2 PERIODS AT THE SEMI FINAL… I HOPE WE GOT THE SUCK ASS OUT OF OUR SYSTEM AND WE GO BACK TO WHAT HAS BEEN WORKING. YOU GUYS ARE CONSTANTLY TALKING ABOUT THIS ONE OR THAT ONE IS INVITED TO SUCK YOUR DICK. THIS GAME WAS CLOSE TO A MASTERFUL BLOW JOB. DO NOT TEST ME. THERE ARE 18 OF YOU. I WILL SHORTEN THAT BENCH TIL YOUR ASS FALLS ASLEEP AND YOU NEED TWEASERS TO REMOVE THE SPLINTERS FROM YOUR BUTT CHEEKS… AM I CLEAR? … HAVE A GOOD NIGHT.”

 

We had a good practice. Let’s see what shows up next Saturday. I raced home to see the Capitals take it to Vegas. It matters little who wins for me. I do have a warm spot in my heart for the Golden Knights. If Ovechkin finally gets a cup, I won’t be mad. Ovi is good for hockey.

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