May 23, 2004

Stanley Stick preview: Dynamic duel

Ottoman can see clearly now. And he's got his sights set on his first Stanley Stick championship.

The third-year 'tender says he's seeing the ball better since undergoing laser eye surgery midway through the season. That's giving him newfound confidence. And that's bad news for opposing snipers.

"You see everything a lot clearer now," says Ottoman, who made a number of key saves late in Sunday's game to allow his team to claw back from match goal to win a 16-14 overtime thriller. "The point shots are a lot clearer."

Opposing fowards who used to pepper shots from the point and then battle for rebounds rolling around at Ottoman's feet are now finding their blasts smothered by the goalie's lightning glove hand or steered harmlessly into the corner. And holes between his pads or underneath his arms have suddenly disappeared. Always a formidable presence between the pipes in his rolls of oversized equipment, Ottoman has become an impenetrable wall.

"Ottoman is playing the best he's ever played," says Elvis.

His timing couldn't be better.

Heading into next week's Stanley Stick opener, there seems to be little to choose between the goalies, as Lobsterboy won three of the last four games in the regular season, falling just short of the season-ending sweep when Bird got just enough on a cross-court pass to knock Sunday's winning goal beyond the reach of the supine shotstopper. Their styles couldn't be more different; Ottoman's disciplined stand-up saves versus Lobsterboy's raucous diving and sprawling. But they're equally feeling the pressure.

"Everyone has pressure," says Ottoman. "No one wants to lose, everyone wants to go out there and work hard."

"Now it's the end game," says Lobsterboy. "You turn to the Zen moment, you try to play well, don't take any dumb risks. You just want to get in there and get the first win."

To do that will require chemsitry and hard work, say the roadsters. With the goalies at the top of their game, and opposing forwards evenly matched, those intagibles could be the difference.

"The Stick is all about determination and it's all about chemistry," says Elvis, who will be vying for his third straight championship. "You've got to keep cool heads, play as a team. You can't get too stupid by losing your head and getting off your game."

"The only thing that's going to win the Stanley Stick this year is hard work," says Billy Idol. "Everyone is playing a bit more physical, you're not able to walk through guys like you used to."

"You wanna go in on a positive attitude, and a win helps that way," says Paul One.

And that's just what his team achieved in Sunday's game, as they were able to battle back from a 14-11 defecit with five unanswered goals.

Battle being the operative word, says Elvis. "We just had to go out and win all the battles, beat them to the ball.

"I think we just had to pick up the intensity a little bit and start beating the other team to the ball in their own end," says Paul One. "We started to work real hard and hustle and that made all the difference."

So did the sudden departure of Lak Attack from their opponent's blueline. When the superstar speedster had to leave early to service the onerous demands of his exploitative employer, his side had a narrow 11-10 advantage. They responded with three quick goals to get them to the edge of victory, but then their hands turned to stone. Nibs twice blasted shots past the open side.

"I think what happens is they lose Lak Attack and they know they have to pick up their game, and that's exactly what happened," says Paul One.

"Obviously Lak Attack is a pretty big person out there, it's impossible to replace him," says Elvis. "Definitely with him out of the lineup we had an easier time going to the net and getting to our own rebounds."

"When Lak Attack left, it was just a matter of time," says Lobsterboy. "We just couldn't keep up. We just ran out of gas."

"It seemed like we just used all our reserves," says Billy Idol. "It was a tough, tough loss."

Posted by jaysuburb at May 23, 2004 05:39 PM

I am absolutely positively going to be a the stanley stick this year. I am back from my crazy ten day trip to toronto/norway completely jetlagged the whole time, and my work is done tomorrow, so come sunday i will be blasting shots past ottoman/lobsterboy/gump/whoever gets in my way...look out

Posted by: PFF at May 28, 2004 10:25 PM

Its a DATE!!

Posted by: Gump at May 28, 2004 09:30 AM

Good point Wendel, i intend to go on a binge as well on friday and saturday, so i guess the determining factor will be which goalie is most unfit for duty. see you at the cobalt hotel around 3pm on friday, gump

Posted by: lobsterboy at May 27, 2004 09:26 PM

Hmmm the more hung over Gump is the better netminder he is. Will there be 3 goalies vying for two spots in the Stanley Stick??

Posted by: Wendel at May 27, 2004 08:39 PM

I would say it'd be a three nighter for the Gump. Definetly be doing an all night drinking binge on Saturday night with all my AA buddies.

Posted by: Gump at May 27, 2004 08:36 PM

I want to win it BAD, REAL BAD.

Posted by: PaulOne at May 27, 2004 07:39 AM

Er, One, it's actually FOUR sleeps until the Stanley Stick, unless you're planning to go on an all-night bender on Saturday.

Posted by: Living Legend at May 26, 2004 10:00 PM

Check out for all your specialty vocabulary needs.

Posted by: Wendel at May 26, 2004 08:29 PM

Nice visual you've created for us Elvis ...

Doesn't anyone have anything a little more cerebral to say as we approach game 1 of the Stanley Stick? Perhaps Beetle Boy, Sunday Morning's self-proclaimed Fluffer, can provide a little thrust (as in a very litte thrust) to get us started ...

Posted by: TheColonel at May 26, 2004 08:29 PM

For you Lobster -something you put in your mouth... and yes NewGuy -similar to Arabian Goggle -only slightly different -the bag is just a bit lower.

Posted by: Elvis at May 26, 2004 04:39 PM

What the hell are you guys talking about?

Posted by: billy Idol at May 26, 2004 04:29 PM

Arabian goggles?

Posted by: New Guy at May 26, 2004 01:12 PM

Tabarnac, what does teabagging mean? is it something that I sit on? or put in mmy mouth?

Posted by: lobsterboy at May 26, 2004 11:39 AM

Imposter post alert.

The Paul One post wasn't me. My post is name is PaulOne (no space between). Apparently the "Stick Post Antics" have begun.

By the way, does anybody else feel like a kid before Christmas. 3 sleeps till the Stick.

Posted by: PaulOne at May 26, 2004 09:38 AM

I'm sure we'll be able to work something out Wendel. Same goes for PFF.

Posted by: Living Legend at May 25, 2004 10:53 PM

Not to derail a perfectly good chat about road hockey porn, but is there anyone who can make Stanley Stick Game 1 but not 2? I can't go to Game 1 because a good friend had the bad manners to set their wedding for 11:00am on Sunday, but I'm keen for Game 2.

Any comments / rulings from the Commissioner about single-game eligibility?

Back to the porn theme, I remember somebody commenting last Sunday about "teabagging" Lobster Boy. Anyone else catch that??

Posted by: Wendel at May 25, 2004 08:35 PM

not to mention living legends "dry fister" shot

Posted by: Paul One at May 25, 2004 07:14 PM

Roadsters are all about the "moneyshot!"

Posted by: Unabomber at May 25, 2004 05:13 PM

It's simply road hockey porn, check out Ottoman's deep throat shot...

Posted by: lobsterboy at May 24, 2004 09:46 PM

What the heck is going on between Lak & Bird in that photo?!?

Posted by: Unabomber at May 24, 2004 04:11 AM

I hate you bird (but Wink is the worst)

Posted by: lobsterboy at May 24, 2004 12:10 AM

Warrow--I am sorry I have tried to keep the original spirit of the RHI intack by wearing the cheapest equipment possible and also by never wearing "realgoalieshit". But. after today, I am converted to the dark side-there were no bruises on my body, shots that would make me cringe fell softly, like tears in the rain, and I was not chased from the crease in the opening warmup. Nobody, not even the rain has such small fingers...

Posted by: lobsterboy at May 24, 2004 12:09 AM