I felt great before last Thursday night’s game. I didn’t over-eat at dinner, had a quick nap before the game, went hard in the warm-up and felt like all the ingredients were in the mix for having a great go with the dreaded white team, the team Larry plays for. However, in the end, the orange team took it on the chin. The white team, with Larry up front and Duncan on D, also had a whole bunch of other cats in between who on this night were faster (and dare I say luckier?) than us.
But this post is about Larry. One of those classic hard-to-play-against guys. Big, fast and about as strong as a large Buick, he’s a treat to try to defend against. Did I mention he’s also one of those guys whose shots we all try to avoid blocking? No? Well, that’s because when Larry leans into his wrist shots, (and he does lean into them, so much that you can see that ol’ stick of his just wincing with the torque), most of look to see if we can help out somewhere else. Hey, the goalies have the big pads on so it seems a pretty reasonable approach to me.
On one shift, Larry’s line scored twice on our line. I remember lining up at centre against him after they scored the first one and since I had chased him all the way down the ice just prior to them scoring (and obviously my back-checking skills really shone there), I was sucking air big time. It hurt even more when Rich the Ref dropped the puck and Larry, not quite as winded as me, slapped at the puck to knock it past me and in doing so knocked the stick right out of one of my hands. So there I am at centre, not enough oxygen left to skate in either direction, trying to grab on to my stick properly and Larry is already at our blueline.
Goal #2 goes in shortly after, which in one respect proved a blessing because it allowed our line to coast to the bench for a change instead of skating hard to get the hell off in order to have the next bunch of suckers have to chase him around for the remainder of his shift.
Larry’s a great guy, one of many in the WOHL. But I hate playing against him.