Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Strike the harp and join the chorus

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me Six Fucking Douchebags, Five ... Straight ... Road ... Wins ........ Four Pints of Beer, Three Frenchmen, Two Sausages and Lubomir Visnovsky.

Played hockey with Capsule Saturday night, we came in looking for our third straight win, we'd had a nice start and then a couple of injuries and some other attendance issues left us fighting an uphill battle in a few games and we fell off the pace a bit. But we got back on the rails and so we headed out to St. Mike's, an arena where we play poorly more often than not, for whatever reason. Our opponent is a team we had handled pretty easily last month and so while we were missing a couple of guys, including our best player, we still figured to come out on top. When we hit the ice we saw that they had but seven skaters and we quickly fell into the trap. You see that many players and you let down right away, we had won a game back in October when we were shorthanded as well. When you are in that situation there's no fucking around, its basic survival, man the barricades but when you see an opponent who is short its tough not to let down.

I was a little late and got to the bench with three minutes gone and we were already down. Before I hit the ice we were down two. They may have had seven guys but it became pretty clear that two were going to play pretty well the whole game, a quality older defenceman and a young stocky guy who could fly. He had potted both goals, floating a bit and then charging to the attack, catching us flatfooted.

We spent the next while getting our skating legs and then we began to come on. Attack after attack was blunted at their blue and they dumped it out and we regrouped. We started to get some penetration and their keeper made three terrific stops to keep us off the board until we finally potted one.

Problem is their guy completed his trick almost immediately afterwards.

Down two again it soon became clear that we weren't going to be denied. We began to get the puck deep and their guys, already pretty tired, began to have to engage in battles along the boards. They started to get pretty weary. We pulled within one, then evened it up, then pulled ahead with about six minutes left. They had little going on.

The danger remained though as their single weapon began to float out behind our D, looking for that one break to get them back to evens. With about three minutes left we got the power play, I jumped over the boards, skated by our blue and warned them to be aware.

Problem is we played it like we were down one instead of up one. First one D pinched to keep the puck in and then as he circled the net our second D cruised into the slot looking for the pass. Problem is only one forward thought to cover, that being me.

Did I mention I can barely skate backwards?

There was a flurry out front and the puck squirted loose right to the one guy we did not want to have it. He cut across the zone and headed up ice, blowing by our two other forwards. I was skating towards our net. I'd like to say I got on my horse but its more like a mule at this point. My horse, that is.

So I turned at our blue and buddy came flying in on my right. I had a great angle on him, although I knew that if he knew my capabilities he would have gone outside on me. This summer I had found myself in the same position against another big strong kid half my age and buddy had gone right by me like nothing.

He had scored on a bullet earlier but his angle was iffy and so he cut in.

Did I mention I hate losing?

I remembered what I always taught kids, whether it be hockey or soccer, about defending. I looked directly at his chest and then did what any desperate oldtimer would do faced with that situation.

I laid him out.

Like most players I play best when I am aggressive and in the past I have done things in the heat of the moment but I'm not really a dirty player. I used to be one to give a guy a whack when he skated by but that's rare these days. I get in there and I'll battle and if someone gives me a shot I won't just take it but I'm not one to initiate shit.

This was out and out cold though, I knew as soon as he cut in what I was going to do. If we had been up by two or more I would have tried the stick check but this was it and so I drove right into him.

Lets get one thing straight, like a father says before he spanks his son, it hurt me a lot more than it hurt him. My shoulder is killing me and my throat isn't quite right. Well deserved of course. Buddy was all muscle and had a few inches and twenty pounds on me and I'm not Charles Atlas by any means.

He was pissed, rightfully so, and as we got up I skated directly to the box, joining one of my teammates. They had two guys in the box already and one of them called me a fucking douchebag. Seeing as he was in there for punching one of our guys in the head and had also sent one of our guys into the boards feet first at a good rate by sticking his stick between his legs as he headed into the corner I wasn't too worried about that.

There were but two minutes left and we won the game and shaking hands buddy wasn't in a forgiving mood, calling me a 'fucking little prick' if I heard him correctly. I'm sure he's got my number and next time we play I'm going to pay the price.

All for an extra point in beer league hockey.

Fuck am I dumb.

Still, it was nice to get the win.


macaotim said...

I made my university team as a defensive winger, playing the off wing. I was converted to D after 3 teammates went down with long-term injuries in one game. Weighing 165...with skates on...violence became the name of the game. Every dirty trick in the book and only one ref watching!? I made room for myself...lots of room.

Upon entering the beer league ranks after 2 seasons of senior A...and more violence, the switch flipped and I couldn't give a shit. It wasn't worth it to constantly stir the pot. Now I only need to resist the urge to nail dipsy-doodlers in mid-ice as they stare at the puck.

God bless you for not resisting.

Krazy Rick said...

Hey BD,
When I was still playing, many moons ago, I played the Ron Hextall brand of hockey. Being 165 pounds soaking wet and 5 foot 11, I looked like a stringbean and everyone took me rather lightly. Bad mistake!! I had no problem protecting my crease!
One particular game, we were on the ice against the #1 team in the division and they were by far the best team on any night. They had this guy who scored lots of in close goals. He was big and mean and stood in front all night long.
Half way through the first period I got tired of looking through him, so I gave him a love tap on the back of the leg. He gave me this look and I knew things were going to get ugly!
Next shift, he skated through the crease and elbowed me so hard in the head, my mask ended up in the corner and I ended up next to it. NO PENALTY!! Ref said he didn't see it! SHIT!!!!
The dude skated by and laughed and said payback's a bitch!!
We were having enough problems without me getting any penalty time, so being a good team guy, I let it slide.
Over the next period and a half he kept needling me and I kept ignoring him. We stayed close and could see they were getting frustrated. They weren't used to having to work so hard.
As the third period was winding down, they scored to go up by two and that idiot skated by and made a comment about my Mom. Another bad mistake!!
I waited for the faceoff, then went flying to the blueline, all the while dropping goalie equipment. He didn't even see me coming and I laid him out on the ice and calmly skated over to the ref and asked if he'd seen that!!
Not my best moment in hockey, but the guys on my team ( to a man) came back and gave me a tap on the pads.
Sometimes you just got to say " What The Fuck!!!"


kanadienkyle said...

The dirty shit is what makes the beer-leagues fun. Otherwise, what else do you have to talk to your wife about?

Speaking of paying the price, I made the mistake of telling my friends about the girl sitting in front of us at the last Sioux game. Painfully hot, but I told the story in front of my wife. Paying the price indeed.

Black Dog said...

kyle - yeah this one has gone unmentioned, she does not look to kindly on the violence although she is even more competitive than I am and has been known to throw an elbow here or there on the field

As I've gotten older, the speedbump between my brain and my mouth has gotten worn down so I have to be careful about talking about what I've seen in my travels, the other day I made a remark about a particularly hot mom at the school and got a bit of a look.


Black Dog said...

tim and rick - thanks for the support guys, if I had been on the receiving end though I would have been a little worked up myself I think

so rick, hence the nickname then?

Dakin said...

This is a hilariously timed post for me. There is a mens league up here where all of the major companies' different shifts play in. I used to have a running battle going on with one particular guy on the league "goon" team for a few years. We would always be chirping and getting chippy with each other. We really hated each other and it got pretty violent, young guys in our mid 20's as we were, but I was always a little bigger (6'1, 200) than him so I think I tended to come out on top. Until today that is... You see I just recently left the company I was working for for the last 9 years and today I walked in as the new guy and guess who is my boss.....

He smiled at me. I wonder if he has matured like me haha.

This is going to be fun.

PDO said...

I'm 6'4" and about 220 most of the time.

I was playing some Jungle hockey and some mens league last year, and having a good time with it. Of course, going from a league where dropping the mittens only gets you kicked out of the game and guys are cheap shotting guys everywhere to a mens league that is mostly older fella's and and my team, mostly 19/20/21... can be a bit hard to turn the switch off at times.

I like driving to the net, and it's still hard to get used to not just dropping the shoulder into a D, but I do a pretty good job of it.

Anyway, last year we're shit kicking some team, and it's all going just fine, nobody is over celebrating, and it's about 7-2. Taking an offensive draw with about 5 minutes to go. I half spin into it and win it cleanly on the same guy for what must have been the 15th time that night... so the fucker slew foots me.

So I spin around and break my stick over his ankle. It broke pretty easily. Now I'm even more pissed off, that twig cost $200 and broke that easy? Piece of shit! So I jump up and he's one of those real old school guys who doesn't even wear a visor... his problem being, he's a good 50 pounds over weight, and clearly has never actually been in a hockey fight before. He was also a good 6 inches shorter than me...

I instantly had my hand gripped onto the collar of his shoulder pads and a haymaker ready to go.

Sadly the ref was right there (it was a faceoff after all) and I didn't get to feed the slewfooting mother fucker his lunch and the ref was a big boy and instantly was in between... and I didn't exactly want to feed the ref a punch too badly.

The switch was still on for me though, so I nailed the plug with my favourite line for any older gentlemen who tries to get away with being a dirty prick... ;)

You have less finish than your daughters headboard.

kanadienkyle said...

BD, after years and years of trying I still have no roadblocks between the brain and the mouth (with checkstops being unconstitutional in North Dakota). It all just comes out, for better or worse.

The only saving grace is that my wife likes the rough stuff (in hockey your dirty buggers) and expects reports when I get to play.

PDO, I am stealing that line.