February 25, 2015

Chico's pain in the neck persists

An MRI on Chico was inconclusive, but the veteran goalie still can't offer a clearer picture of when he might return to action.

The stalwart shotstopper has missed most of the season with vertigo-like symptoms.

That's made for a frustrating year after Chico was shelled in last season's Stanley Stick finale. He also missed much of that regular season as he pursued educational opportunities.

In his absence the league recruited upstart netminders like Joker and Eight Ball, who've stepped into the crease admirably.

Chico admitted his injury woes have put his role as a starting goalie in jeopardy. In his only appearance this season, he played out.

"I've been reading about Eight Ball's emergence," said Chico.

While the clean bill from the MRI exam hasn't brought him or his medical team any closer to resolving his symptoms, Chico said it has eliminated "the really bad things."

Doctors will now work to determine if his dizzy spells and nausea may be related to an issue with his neck muscles.

At the peak of his playing career Chico proved remarkably durable as time and again he scraped himself off the concrete to endure another barrage of shots through sometimes porous defenders.

Chico's relative inaction over the better part of two seasons have left his conditioning wanting.

In fact, he said it's "at an all-time low. I'm hoping to get in the gym starting in a week."

While Chico's extended absence may have proved a fatal blow to the league two seasons ago. the development of Joker and Eight Ball as reliable rearguards, and the retrenchment of Twizzler as a frontline starter has, for the most part, mitigated any lingering goalie crisis.

Before the newcomers came along the roadsters were forced to develop a modified set of rules for a half-court game to keep the league going with only one consistent keeper. Since Joker and Eight Ball became established there have been only a handful of such games.

Posted by jaysuburb at 08:07 PM | Comments (7)

February 08, 2015

Odd men out

The Living Legend and Scooby each scored six times and the Colonel added another three to lead their side to a 15-13 win in Sunday's game. But their offensive bonanza wouldn't have been possible without Eight Ball's yeoman effort in net.

The rookie rearguard with the unorthodox style that defies description and basic physics made some key acrobatic saves to bail his side from their defensive lapses. And give them the assurance they needed to spark their transition game and press deep into the offensive zone.

"He made some saves when we needed them," said Scooby of his team's stalwart shotstopper.

"Eight Ball bailed them out on a lot of big opportunities," said Holt.

Though the winners never trailed, age and fatigue caught up with them late in the game as they allowed their feisty opponents to crawl back within a goal after trailing by as many as five earlier.

"We had two good periods that we won," said Holt. "We didn't give up."

Instead they tightened their defensive effort by keeping Joker back and pressuring the Colonel every time he wound up for a big shot from the point.

"He's got a shot from anywhere on the court," said Holt of the veteran's seeing eye slapshots. "If you're not working in that space between him and the net, it's always a danger."

Still, Colonel's frustration created opportunities for his mates, as time and again Scooby and the Living Legend were able to create odd-man rushes from turnovers.

The onslaught wore down Twizzler, who returned to the net after missing the last two weeks.

"We were winning some of those battles that gave us those breaks," said Scooby. "We were aggressive on the forecheck."

Playing with the lead all game gave the winners a mental edge that paid off as players fatigued.

"It helps having the lead," said Scooby. "When you're up, you don't grab your stick as tightly."

"They played hard the whole game," said Holt. "They deserved the win."

Posted by jaysuburb at 02:59 PM | Comments (11)