suits up for his first game in more than two months. After shaking
off some early rust, he was his usual slashing, diving self, leading
his team to a 25-22 victory.
CLICK ON THE PHOTO
TO SEE THIS WEEK'S ALBUM (REQUIRES FLASH PLUG-IN)
of his shell
Lobsterboy ends hiatus, wins game
by Jay Suburb
Lobsterboy is back. Most of the roadsters thought he was
a goner. Some still aren't so sure.
The creaseminding crustacean won his first game in more
than two months, 25-22, in his first start since he put his playing
career on hold to spend time with his young family.
Despite some early cobwebs that put his team down by as
many as four goals, it was as if he'd never been away. Opposing forwards
who'd become used to streaking through the goalcrease unmolested suddenly
had to take a wide berth to avoid a hack to the back of their legs.
Clearing shots to the end boards disappeared under the wandering goalie's
pads and glove.
"I saw Lobsterboy take the knees out of a few of
our players going to the net," says Elvis. "We're definitely
not used to that kind of goaltending."
"He's like another defenseman back there for us,
the way he comes out to handle the ball," says Paul One.
That's just the way he wanted it, says Lobsterboy. "I
need to get out there and slash a few shins."
And while he concedes it may yet take him a few weeks
to regain the top form that won him two consecutive Conn Stick awards
as the most valuable player in the Stanley Stick championship tournament,
he says the time was right for him to return to the game.
"I couldn't take it anymore," says the shelled
stopper of the controversy surrounding his hiatus, and the constant
questions about his future in the game that dogged him for the duration.
"I feel like a new rookie. I've gotta prove myself all over again,
forget all the stuff you've heard."
But, says Wink, the league's been burned too many times
by comebacks that never are. Lumberjack's been talking of a return to
the courts for more than a season, but is reportedly more slothful than
ever. Hollywood made a return to the courts earlier this season, reaffirmed
his commitment to the game, and then never played again.
"If he's gonna be a regular guy, I think it's great,"
says the notorious gameshow host gone bad, who's seen a lot of players
come and go during his long career on the concrete. "It's one thing
if this is a one shot guest appearance, but if he's coming out weekly,
then it's a whole different kettle of fish."
Put on the stove, says Lobsterboy. "I'm going to
be here for awhile. I've got to go out there and show the young rookies
the legend of Lobsterboy."
Lobsterboy got off to a shaky start that put his team at an early
disadvantage. But, he said, that's exactly what he expected and he knew
he'd have to work his way through it before regaining his timing and shotstopping
"I've gotta show the guys I can still play before I ask them to play
harder," said the clawed shotstopper.
That's exactly what happened.
After making a few key stops, including robbing Slick on a clear-cut breakaway,
Lobsterboy's teammates responded. They stormed back from their early deficit
to open up the lead to as many as seven goals, sputtering slightly late
in the game, and then hanging on for the win.
"(Lobsterboy) was making some bigtime saves; he's the reason we were
able to get the lead," said Paul One, who had another strong two-way
game, teaming up on a line with Bulldog.
"We had to make sure we picked up our man in our own end and just
be there for him," said Bulldog of his side's work to support their
goalie as he worked off the rust.
Lobsterboy also benefited from a strong game by Nibs, who rediscovered
the rapier shot that netted him 10 goals three weeks ago, but has eluded
The rookie sharpshooter credited a lucky sweatshirt he'd worn that historic
game but, said Paul One, playing with a talented linemate might also have
had something to do with it.
"Nibs and Lak Attack worked well together, that's when we started
to turn things around," said the veteran forward. "Our line
combos seemed to really help."
"The whole team played fine," said Wink. "It's hard to
argue with our strategy."
At the other end of the court, Pig Farming Goalie started strongly
but wilted under the barrage as his defense abandoned him. For the rookie
rearguard, it was a familiar story, and as the goals piled up, so did
his frustration. After whiffing on one shot, the fourth rebound as his
teammates failed to clear the evil orange plastic ball, he smashed his
stick into two pieces.
"You saw what happened to his first goal stick and that was a pure
result of him not getting any defense," said Paul One. "He's
not getting any backchecking and he feels like he's carrying the whole
team on his shoulders."
After exchanging verbal hacks all week, a much-anticipated blood feud
between Paul One and Elvis never really materialized. Each player had
accused the other of slashing stick work in last week's game and vowed
And when they ended up on opposing sides of the court, the roadsters anticipated
fireworks. While the combatants played each other hard, and battled in
the corners, cooler heads prevailed. But that didn't put the rivalry to
"It seemed like Paul One jumped lines like he was trying to avoid
me," said Elvis.
The return of Lobsterboy and the late arrival of Ottoman for Sunday's
game meant the rookie was the odd goalie out. The roadsters tried to coax
him into taking shifts as a regular player, but he would have none of
it. He said the memory of his last, and first, shift out of the crease,
when he turned an ankle, was still too painful. Instead, he watched the
game from behind the end fence, and bided his time for a chance to play
in the afternoon game.
Ottoman will be called upon next week, though, when Pig Farming Goalie
is expected to service the onerous demands of his exploitative employer.