There are a lot of things I never planned on being able to verbalize during my hockey 'career' so it definitely felt a bit odd last night to be asking my team to gather around before saying, "Okay, let's take it a little easy on them in the third period."
Yet, by the grace of the Hockey Gods, there we were, holding an unfathomable 5-0 lead against a foe down to seven skaters. Now we'd been exactly where those guys had been before, numerous times. Hell, it was only last Thursday that we'd decided to forget about 12 or so seasons of experience and run around on the ice like 2nd graders playing soccer, getting our asses handed to us by the tune of 8-0.
Of course the ancient relic in goal that night might have had something to do with that. Certainly with the last two goals, which went right through my damn 5 hole and what's up with that?
We could have gloried in being the ones on top and rubbed it in, but we didn't. We could have taken advantage of their exhausted defense and kept hanging at the red line, looking for breakaways, but I asked everyone not to (and they did, except for the one time when someone DID EXACTLY THAT. Ye gods. At least the goalie stuffed him). Instead we worked on making extra passes, on skating with the puck a bit, on being defensively responsible.
Well, so-so on the last one.
We weren't perfect last night and indeed committed numerous egregious defensive zone errors, but Chaz was there to bail us out. Offensively we managed to move beyond our usual approach of 'Give-Gary-the-Puck', worked some decent offensive zone carry-in plays, and *GASP* even did some cycling. I know, right? After we scored one goal with dare I say tic-tac-toe passing Chaz was overheard to comment, "That's some textbook stuff right there."
Look, I get it. We beat a bad team with a depleted roster and a goal who suffered from the same shot fatigue that I'm going to claim totally exists and clearly was in play last Thursday. Ahem. But after the previous debacle it was nice to come out and not look like hell. Winning's nice too, but don't worry, we won't let it go to our heads.
Unless we win the next one. A streak? ::fans self::