So we had our first game of the season last night, against the same team we played first last season. I don’t recall how we played against them last time as I was having troubles of my own, but this time we definitely played better. We won 6-3 and I was +2 for the night (3 goals for, one against).
I think I played my best game ever – even counting when I was deep into it and in shape in San Francisco. I was not only thinking and skating hard, I was actually setting up plays.
In one example, we were deep in their zone and my other forward had shot it around the boards and followed. I went after it in the corner and told him to crash the net. I retrieved the puck and no one came after me, so for once in my life, I held on to it and thought about what I was going to do. I actually looked around the rink for a few seconds, which is highly unusual for me. I opted for a saucer pass over a defenseman’s stick and onto the tape of my teammates stick, but I think he was as surprised as I was that I pulled it off and wasn’t able to work it into a goal. Still, I’m starting to get some skills.
I think some switch has been flipped in my brain after watching the past few Devils games. I’ve been watching specific players and paying attention to how they act when they’re away from the play as well as in the middle of it and something is finally clicking. I’ve decided in my mind that I’m not just a screener (though I do that exceptionally well), but I can also make plays and score. It’s only a matter of time before I get goal #2, for real this time.
And to top it all off, I felt really good. I was skating hard, but never really had the mid-game crash I would have last season. I’d come to the bench breathing hard, but if I didn’t, I shouldn’t be playing. Once I finally get my workout plan in order, I’ll be able to play that much harder and actually start to make a difference on the rink. Sweet!
Tomorrow morning is my PET Scan. I would ask you to keep your fingers crossed, but I know there’s nothing there to worry about. That cancer thing is so last summer.