The Stick Pull (Living Legend)
Scratches: Slick (legal problems), Ottoman (unsanctioned sex), Lobsterboy (sick), Billy Idol (back injury), Paul One (bowel problems), Colonel (unsanctioned injury), Giebelhaus (exploitative employer)
Goalies don't expect to be scored upon by their own teammates. But
fluke goals are an occupational hazard. And games can turn on how a goalie
and his mates react to that kind of misfortune, said Gump.
"Your reaction to it is a big thing on the team," said the comeback creaseminder, who made his third consecutive start on Sunday. "If you have a bad reaction, it hurts the team. You've just gotta laugh it off. If you let it get to you, that's when the trouble starts."
"It's a breaker," said Wink of the dangers of being demoralized by a bad goal. "It really deflates you, makes you think 'aw geez, we can't buy a break,' and you start trying too hard, grabbing the stick a little too much."
"Obviously, it's demoralizing," said Pig Farming Forward, who's been beaten by his share of bad goals in his long goaltending career.
Pig Farming Forward played without the big leg pads for the first
time since last Spring's Stanley Stick finale. And while his conditioning
flagged late in the game, his feisty forechecking early in Sunday's game
seemed to bring new jump to his teammates.
"It was like having two goalies out there," said Gump, of his side's reinvented rearguard. "He was blocking shots left, right and center, he was scoring goals, making passes, he was just the complete hockey player."
"He really knows where to go," said New Guy. "If you can get open he knows how to make a play to you."
Pig Farming Forward said he was just trying to avoid some of the playing pitfalls he'd observed during his long career in the goal crease.
"As goalie, I get to watch game unfold in front of me, see typical kind of mistakes that get made lots, and I try to be aware of those. I know I have good speed, pretty decent hockey sense."
Pig Farming Forward's decision to return to the courts as a playmaker
instead of a shotstopper, and the ongoing absence of regular rearguards,
Lobsterboy and Ottoman, precipitated the second goalie crisis in as many
weeks. That's when the emergency call went out to ER, who required a Bird
escort to get to the courts for gametime.
The diminished ranks of creaseminders is especially disappointing for the roadsters who, only four weeks ago, had thought their goaltending woes were forever behind them when there were enough equipped ballstoppers at the court to convene two games.
"Things were looking really good," said Elvis of the downward spiral of shotstoppers. "Now you've got players who don't necessarily want to play goal, or you have call-ups, people playing between the pipes who don't usually play. It's not the same game we're used to."
"It would be nice to have another starter at the other end," said Gump, who's walked through the door of opportunity opened by the lack of regular creaseminders. "It's nice to get a shot at playing goalie every week. It definitely helps me develop my game."
Wink also returned to the courts, after missing last week's game to
service the onerous demands of his exploitative employer. While the fellow
founding father admitted his timing was affected by the layoff, the steady
drizzle that didn't let up for the duration of the game, and the resulting
slick concrete, were in his favor.
"This is a day built for Wink," said the notorious gameshow host gone bad, who followed up his unlikely lob goal with a patented blast that also connected from the far end of the court. "This brings everybody back to my speed. I can't get any slower, but everybody else can get slower."