This morning’s game for T was a league game, the first league game of the new season.

Period 1 – Shift 1

It looks like he took what his coach and I told him about skating harder to heart, because he really did pick up the pace today.  He skated hard on all his shifts and in this shift he not only skated hard in general, but chased the puck hard to the boards and helped get the puck away from the other team.

Period 1 – Shift 2

Much more aggressive today, he went after the puck more often.  He mostly missed it, but was able to block the opposing player from getting it, so that’s still a win.

On one play, he and another member of his team got the puck at the right point of the defensive zone and it got sent down the ice.  Everyone took off after it, of course, but I was amazed that T was the first one from his team to cross the opposing blue line.  He’s usually last and this is a huge accomplishment for him.

Period 2 – shift 2

This shift started with a goal for T’s team.  HIs league doesn’t track +/- for the players, but I’m going to start tracking it for him, so he develops an idea of how that works.  He was –1 yesterday, so he’s back to 0 now.

Later, in the offensive zone, the puck wrapped around the boards and T was able to stop it.  No one was near him, so he had a bit of time and he controlled the puck, checked where everyone was and made a decent pass to center ice.  I was really proud to see him react intelligently and do just what he should have.

Near the end of this shift he missed an opportunity just because he’s still pretty slow.  His center took the puck and got pushed to the left of the net.  He sent the puck right across the top of the crease while the goalie was locked against the pipe.  If T had been faster and been able to just get to the side of the net, the puck would have bounced right off him into the goal. 

Period 3 – Shift 1

The little runt really does have some strength on him.  The other team had the puck, so T got next to the opposing player and bodied him off the puck. 

After his team took a penalty, T was out there for the penalty kill.  Here’s where we see that he needs to understand the game better, on top of just playing it … see, he played his position at right wing. 

So in his own zone on the penalty kill he’s over at the right-wing boards instead of in front of the net.

Then, after his team ices the puck, one of the other team’s players set up behind his own net to start the play and damned if T wasn’t all the way in there putting pressure on him.  I did mention to him that if you’re going to forecheck on the penalty kill you need to have enough speed to get back to your own zone.