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03-28-2010, 09:42 AM
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nystromshairstylist's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: SR Hadden's plane
Country: Barbados
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To the Vets: My confidence - and body - have taken a hit

I appeal to the veterans here like hockey68 for some advice referring to a point made in a thread a few months back when I first joined:

The last 2 weeks playing open hockey I've collided hard with veteran players on my own side, and both times the other player - who was adamant it wasn't my fault - were shaken up significantly.

I had barely a bruise, so I'm wondering if it was the other, more experienced players were trying to avoid the collision and knowing that I'm a beginner, they were also trying to protect me at the same time - leading to their getting the worst of it.

First incident:
Last week, we were on a 2-on-1 and my line mate was skating down the leftside, and I was on the right with the defender in the middle, who quickly fell taking him out of the play. As we approached the slot he shot at the goalie, but instead of stopping in front of the goal to see if there was a rebound, he made a sharp right turn into right into me. He then fell down and looked shaken up.

Second incident:
Last night there was a scrum along the side boards at our defensive blue line, and I was skating into the play to try and help a teammate get control of the puck. He was facing the boards, then turned right, and we collided helmet to helmet.

I am still unable to make VERY sharp turns or moves to avoid a collision if someone suddenly comes straight at me - all I can do is steel myself and then "boom." Without that damn hockey stick, I could probably just "catch" the other player, but I cannot drop the stick fast enough.

I can hockey stop both ways, and swerve - but not fast, at least not "game" fast where you have to be able to do it in like a millisecond - as that's how it looks to me. Maybe its just my lack of positioning understanding?

Anyway, both times everyone said it wasn't my fault, this stuff happens, etc. - but I'm a suspicious person, and towards the end of the session, the goalie stopped playing me "hard" when I approached him to shoot, and let me score to make the "beginner feel better". I suspect they were just being good guys about it, so as not to get me discouraged, as they could see I felt horrible about it.

I didn't see many collissions at the 5-6 other open hockey sessions I've been to, just a few involving a beginner here or there. So, I have lost my confidence and am thinking I should just quit the open hockey scrimmages and hold off for a year or two, until my skill level improves.

I think I've been getting better, and can now actually be passed to without flubbing the puck so it goes all the way back into my own zone - I actually had a one-time wrist shot goal last night that 2 weeks ago would not have been possible.

What do you veterans think - am I a danger on the ice, and given that I'd quit the game completely if it meant not injuring someone - my confidence about continuing to play is a little shaken. The last thing I'd want to do is hurt someone who is trying to protect me, and they end up with a broken wrist because I suck and couldn't avoid them.

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