It’s a two-game weekend for T’s team and both were league games. After yesterday’s win, I was curious to see if their level of play would stay consistent.
Today’s game was a 3-3 tie at the end, but T’s team really dominated the first period. Even though there was no scoring, they controlled the puck well and kept possession for most of the period.
Their team-play was still there from yesterday and it they showed a lot more discipline than they did earlier in the season. Players stayed in their positions more and you could tell that they were thinking things through before beginning a play or passing – well, not always, but often enough to notice.
This was really noticeable and very interesting to watch when the other team didn’t play a disciplined game. It showed most on a couple plays where there were turnovers in the neutral zone and T’s team got the puck. They’d pass back to one of their defensemen who were just inside their blue-line.
At that point, whether by design or just a result of that defenseman taking a moment to think about what he was going to do, the other team would converge on him like flies to honey … at which point he’d make a cross-ice pass to the other defenseman who had almost the entire neutral zone to choose from for passing it up.
T’s own game stayed consistent as well. He worked hard and challenged the other team.
One big improvement I saw was that he ran into another player and stayed on his feet – the other kid went down, but T maintained his balance and stayed in the play.
Money and time have kept me from getting him extra ice-time like we did in December and January – that’s impacting me, as well, since I haven’t been to a clinic or skating since I last blogged about it. Hopefully, I’ll be able to start getting him (and me) back on the ice more this month – it’s clear that one practice and one game a week aren’t enough for him to improve as much as he should to really be competitive.
The Pro shop at his rink now has the Flat Bottom V sharpener now and I had T’s skates done this way after yesterday’s game. The way this sharpening is described is that the flat-bottom, instead of curved, allows the skate to glide better without having to sacrifice control:
Logically, it makes sense – with a curved hollow, the skate’s cutting into the ice more, but this has a flat surface to ride the ice and edges to gain control.
So I had T’s done at 90/75, which the brochure said was a good place to start. He didn’t notice a difference that stood out enough to mention, but I thought he was better able to control his turns. There weren’t really enough rushes for me to gauge his speed this game, but I’m going to keep an eye on it.
I’ll also be trying this on my skates to see if I feel a difference myself. I’d really like to be able to gain some speed without reducing what little control I have.
In other equipment news, I think it’s time to get T better shoulder/chest pads. This is one of those times that I wish I didn’t live in Florida, because I really want to make this sort of purchase “hands-on” and there’s just no store that really carries wide-range of hockey gear.
I’m leaning toward the Bauer Vapor line – probably because I like my skates so much. The Vapor line of products seems to be of pretty good quality and I’ve been happy with all of the Bauer equipment I’ve purchased.
Right now he has the Bauer ONE35 pads, but the Vapor line seems to be made of lighter/stronger materials. Since he’s going to be doing this for a while, I can get him something good. The Vapor X:60 looks pretty good: