About a week ago, on the day before the Penguins clinched their fourth Stanley Cup, I played one of the best games of my young hockey life.
Okay, it was my best.
To be fair, it was just open hockey and no one was watching or even paying attention. No one but me. The guy who has been judging himself all along hoping that he’d be able to somewhat keep his head above water. I doggy paddled throughout the session, but I wasn’t worthless out on the ice.
Recalling what might be one of my best passes ever, I think about one of my two best plays from open hockey that day. A swift tape to tape cross ice pass hitting a streaking teammate. I think I was so proud of the fact I actually completed the play I stopped skating and stared at it. I know that’s bad but I’m not used to being productive on the ice. Hell, I’m now able to somewhat skate for a while without getting tired. Although half the kids are 20 years younger than me. I feel like one of those old dudes from Scooby Doo, “I would’ve gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for you meddling kids!”
Then there’s the other moment that I’m proud of. While it really makes no sense and I have no idea how I made it, I wish I had instant replay . I was along the boards and I, of course, fumbled the entry but somehow recovered. I think everyone knew I wasn’t going to do anything with the puck but my teammate was perched on the crease. She was all alone and I knew it. I sensed a defender coming and I had no time to turn and make a good pass. So I just backhanded a pass toward the net. I whipped myself around, instantly cursing myself for making a stupid decision only to see her top shelf it on the crossbar. Lucky. Pure luck. I guess sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.
Other than those two things I was pretty normal. Normal for me means I get beat a lot, get run around the ice and try hard. It’s fun don’t get me wrong.
I’ve been watching Showtime’s series about the Stanley Cup Finals and I see frustration happens to everyone, even to the guys in the National Hockey League. You just have to fight through it and play your game. I suppose if nothing else I can always build on the fact that i impressed myself. Plus it takes time, speaking of which, it’s about time the hockey gods granted Phil Kessel his Cup. Cheers, if I ever run into you, the burgers are on me.