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11-12-2010, 04:43 PM
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: TealTown, USA
1) The long layoff doesn't help. A large portion of goaltending involves being able to read and anticipate the play. Hard to read and anticipate when you're out of rhythm and don't know what to expect.
Whenever I have a layoff of more than a month, it usually takes me at least 2-3 games to get my rhythm back. My longest layoff was about a year (due to injury and moving). Took me about 3 months to find my groove again.
2) There is a tremendous difference between the style of play in house leagues and pickup. Rec league teams play defense. Rec league teams backcheck. Rec league teams cover open opponents.
3) Rec leagues also tend to contain players of the same relative skill level. Sure, there are always a few guys who could/should be higher or lower, but it generally evens out. If you played EE back in the Bay Area, most of your competition was EE, too. Some guys probably could play for D teams, maybe even one or two at C level. But even those super studs still had to work with EE level linemates and worse. And the opposing goalie was EE caliber, too.
In pickup, the average skill set of the people who show up is usually much higher than EE. You might be a beginner.....the guys scoring on you are not. The goalie across the rink you're comparing yourself to isn't probably isn't a beginner either.
In pickup, you might be facing an entire forward line of B-level players, with no defense to support you. The downside is that you are going to get lit up. The upside is that the only way you improve as a goalie is through repetition and practice facing better players. In time, you will adapt.....and when you do that will mean you are a better and improved player.
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