Made it to my second Monday clinic and it was a much better experience than the first one.
Coach started us off with laps because no one had stretched – four times around, but I was able to stay with the pack and had no foot pain, so I was pretty pleased about that. The new skates remained comfortable throughout.
The drills concentrated on screening the goalie and deflecting the puck around the net.
He and another guy set up at the points and we were to skate in from the side of the net and stop – screen the goalie and try to deflect a shot from one point, then move quickly to the other side for a shot from the other point.
I’m new to the drills, but part of this I don’t understand completely. The explanation was that if the first shot misses it’s likely to go around the boards to the other point, so that’s why the move to cover the other side of the net. That makes sense to me if it misses wide, but it seems more likely to me that there’s going to be a rebound from the goalie in this situation, so we should be “training” to turn and try to pick that up.
We moved from that to skating straight across the slot and deflecting a shot on the move, then to circling behind the net and coming in front to deflect a shot.
I have no idea if any of the shots I was working with went in the net or not, I was too busy concentrating on moving to where I needed to be next. I figure that’ll fix itself as I get more used to the environment and working with the puck.
I fell once during the drill where we were crossing the slot – I think the shot was more in line with my skates than my stick and trying to adjust backwards to deflect it sent me off balance. I went down and hurt my right elbow a bit – I was worried at first, because I’d broken that elbow in the past, but it’s getting better.
After the clinic one of the guys asked if I was going to start playing in the rookie game they have afterward – I demurred, but he said he thought I was skating well enough to join.
I’m still going to hold off on a decision, though – I plan to stick around after next Monday’s clinic and watch a game to see what it’s like. Maybe start playing by the end of January, which will still be sooner than I expected when I started this nonsense.