Monday, October 03, 2016

Car Talk

From lovely Troy Michigan, outside a showcase, a photograph of people photographing themselves:

I'm writing this in in the car, waiting for Eli 15.2s last game of the weekend to start (yes, it's Monday, but the showcase runs Saturday-Monday).

His team won 3-1 with him in goal on Saturday, and he had 20 saves. He also got trucked twice, but stayed in the game and played very well.

Today, they play a Colorado team that is going to be in the bottom half of the top ten nationally, I'm guessing, and they look quite a bit like Eli's team: excellent skaters, not a ton of size, and very sound.

Eli's team plays man-to-man defense, which creates some interesting issues for a goalie. On the positive side, his team has fantastic puck possession numbers, because they are aggressive at all times in terms of attacking the puck when the other team has possession.

The downside, though, is that if anyone busts an assignment on defense, the shot that gets taken is very, very prime. With a zone defense, shots come from predictable areas, with the defense funneling the attack, but with a man defense, shots can come from anywhere and everywhere.

That's going to make him a much better player in the long run, because it's going to condition him to expect chaos, but it's definitely a mental adjustment.

The other adjustment is that at this age, teams rarely play two games in the same day, at least not at showcases. So he played Saturday morning, then his goalie partner played the Sunday game. I worked out with him on Sunday for about 45 minutes, but there's much more sitting around than when he was younger and they usually played two games a day.

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