April 15, 2018

Joker gets serious

The scoresheet read 15-9 for the other guys, but for Joker Sunday’s game felt like a victory.

The fiery goaltender, known for his tantrums when the game goes awry, kept an even keel and his veteran team in a game in which they were consistently outrun by a younger, faster opposition.

“Everybody plays better when they’re cool and calm,” said Joker of his mild-mannered game management. “I have to remind myself to be that way.”

Several times this season Joker let his emotions get away from him as rebounds and bad bounces found their way into the back of his net. A couple of games even ended early when he stormed off the court in a pique of frustration.

Lak Attack said the change in temperament had a positive influence on the rest of his team, as players continued to work hard and manage their effort even as their legs wilted.

“We had to have outstanding goaltending today and that’s what we got from Joker,” Lak Attack said. “He didn’t get out of position too often and he really covered the rebound.”

For two-thirds of the game, the wily veterans matched their fleeter foes, never letting the goal margin get larger than two. But the lack of spare players to spell off tired legs finally caught up to them in the third period.

But even as they were outscored 5-1, Joker remained cool.

“He’s most effective when he’s quiet in the net,” Doo said of the veteran netminder. “He was tracking the ball well and they played some good defense.”

Lak Attack said Joker’s assured presence between the pipes gave his team the confidence to jump on opportunities in the transition game. More often than not, they paid off, as Kid struggled.

“It was all about pacing today,” said the versatile veteran.

Joker said his game lays a food foundation for the regular season’s final game and the opening of the Stanley Stick finale in two weeks.

“It doesn’t feel like a loss.”

Posted by jaysuburb at April 15, 2018 09:04 PM