... Even when we're fallin' apart (from the All-American Rejects' "Fallin' Apart")
This weekend was pretty rough for me (hence all my non-posting). Don't get me wrong, I'm as faithful as ever, but my loyalty has been really stretched these past couple of days.
Let's start with Friday evening!
After 47 shots - 45 of which were saved - we'd fall to the Dallas. 'We' as in Canucks. Not only that, but we let Dallas pepper Cory Schneider with about 20 shots a period for the opening two! After 60 minutes, we only got 33 shots and only one converted into a goal. It wasn't that we were playing poorly, just something went wrong at certain moments of the game.
The defence didn't make Cory stand on his head but there were moments where we should've blocked the shot but instead, Cory had to stretch every limb of his body to make a couple of miracle saves.
Turco came out big at the end of the game, but Cory was big throughout! That's what ticked me off. I'm not accepting that it was a back-to-back game as an excuse. I've played back-to-backs! Maybe not as high of a tempo but not only have I back-to-back, but sick as well. There is no excuse for playing poorly.
Now onto Saturday. Saturday morning was a little better as the Madrid derby took place in La Liga. Everything looked good in the first half. We had two goals in our backpockets and Atletico had none. Then at the 64' of the second half, we netted another one! It looked like it was a done deal for us.
Guess we all spoke a little too soon because at 66', Sergio Ramos took a red card for a bloody tackle! I like you, Ramos, and all, but why did you have to go and put us down to 10 men? That 10 men (and hole in the defence) allowed Atletico to get 2 pass Iker Casillas and come close, but when the ref blew the whistle for FT, it wasn't enough.
Can't say I was completely happy nor unsatisfied. There was something lacking in tonight's performance though. No, it's not Cristiano Ronaldo. I'm very much happy with out the bloke in the squad (no offence to Ronaldo fans. I'm just not a fan).
At the turn of 4 o'clock here, eveything went downhill. Montreal was hosting the Tampa Bay Lightning and it was the return of Alex Tanguay.
Just as we all expected, Tanguay was instantly boo'ed the moment he touched the puck. I don't think any player that has returned to Montreal has been cheered for. Well, except that Kovalev moment, but I'm pretty sure those lovey feelings are pretty much gone now.
When Brian Gionta netted the PPG to bring us within 1 to Tampa's 2, it looked like there was still hope of winning this - or at least bringing it over to OT. But nope, not tonight. 9 minutes later, James Wright nets a goal that went under a bit of controversy. I'm not happy that it was a goal, but I am at the same time. Why? Because it's my home-boy James Wright! Well, we only hung out once and briefly, but he's a good guy! I can't help but be proud of my friends.
Coming down to the nitty-gritty, Niittymaki and the rest of the Bolts were just a step above the Habs tonight. It wasn't that the Habs played horribly - that's not the case at all; Tampa just played better. That's what gets to me the most.
Don't even get me started on the officiating! It was just atrocious that night! How many times did a Hab get tripped, hit, or interfered with and the refs didn't call it! And they just a mere few feet away! My goodness, it was just horrendous. Just as the people in attendence of this match. They will tell you the exact same thing.
And as the evening of both Firday and Saturday neared, so did the doom of the rest of the weekend. The Vancouver Giants were on their American road trip visiting the Portland Winterhawks, Tri-City Americans, and Spokane Chiefs in 4 days. Portland was a good Wednesday night with us winning 4-0. Friday went down south fast.
I couldn't believe what I was listening to on the radio on Friday evening. It was sickening! We were loosing to the Americans! Not only that, but our loss was just cruel and unnatural torture. Maybe I'm exaggerating but I couldn't stay and listen to the rest of the 60 minutes. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't not jumping off the band-wagon; I was just sick to my stomach with how we were playing.
8 goals! We surrendered 8 goals! Don Hay pulled Jamie Tucker after about 5 minutes and 2 goals for Brendan Jensen. That didn't do as any better as 6 more shots went into the back of our net! It was 5-0 before the half-way mark of the second period and only then did we figure that we should get a goal into the back of the net.
Where in the world were the Giants' heads that night? Clearly that little fight between Brendan Gallagher and Johnny Lazo knocked some cells off of Gall's head, but what about the rest of the lot? I can't even bring myself to critique this bunch. For gosh's sake, I didn't even finish the last period! I couldn't. It was as if we were broken apart that Friday.
Things didn't fair all that much better on Saturday in Spokane. Yes, we played better than we did in Tri-City, but it still doesn't account for the loss. We only loss 2-1 after 60 minutes, our only goal coming from Brendan Gallagher who also earned the third star of the evening.
Finally, after a road trip that seemed to have stretched out too long, we come home to face the Edmonton Oil Kings.
This night was our best out of the weekend. Not only did we win (4-2!) but we just played a better overall game than the past couple of days.
Kevin Connauton just snapped St. Croix's lead in two as he let a snapper loose against Edmonton's Torrie Jung in the second.
The third period was much more interesting. In the opening moments, Mitch Spooner banked in his first WHL goal to give us the first lead of the night! But then Rachinski of the Oil Kings got on in to tie 2-2. The G-men are never done - ever. Under 4 mintues left in the final period, James Henry let loose a rocket against Torrie Jung to give us the lead once more! And just for good measure, Lance Bouma cashed in an EN.
(1) Kevin Connauton
(2) Mark Pysyk
(3) Brendan Gallagher
That's what I admire about the Giants. No matter what the goal difference may be, we never stop playing unti lthat final buzzer sounds. Even when we were down 8-1, it didn't stop us from trying to get another goal in just to close that deficit. We fight for ourselves night in and night out. We could be trailing or leading, but we never sit back and relax.
It's not that I hold these juniors in a higher esteem than the big boys, it's that they have characteristics that I don't see much in other teams. I've never seen Montreal play like the G-men have; nor the Canucks. So don't mind me when I admire these young boys more than their older counterparts.
In my more personal sports life, training has just been killer. Since volleyball has ended the weather has been getting murkier over the days, I've had to move my outdoors training to indoors. No more running in the late afternoon/early evening and no more tennis practices.
This week I started my winter training. That meant running on a treadmil, running in the bleachers at school, using the weight room at school, and doing wrestling with the PE class I leadership. This weekend was the toughie. Thankfully, it didn't rain so much over the weekend and I got a good 40 minutes worth of a run around the area.
School has also been a big road block this week. With a social studies presentation to do on Remembrance Day, a Biology 12 project and homework due on the same day, a Math 12 test to study for, and a French project to start working on, I'm teetering on actually stressing this week. And now I have to crunch in a week's worth of school into a couple of days because of a vacation I'm going on next, next week.
Guess this late hour is the only time I've had to de-stress. It's not much, but it's something. I'm falling apart, but I'm holding strong no matter what!