Extending Your Hockey Career

July 8, 2012

Here is a table that you can use to tick off the EYHC check points and keep track of your self assessment. You may have to look at the text in the Bonus section to recall the discussion on the various check points.

Extending Your Hockey Career
Self Assessment Table
If Okay, Check ?, If Questionable Check ?,  and make a note for yourself.
Assessment Date: ____________

Check Point    Description                                  Okay with this ?; Questionable ? Improvement Needed?
EYHC 1    When you are not having fun anymore
EYHC 2    When you don’t feel like playing with them anymore
EYHC 3    When you overhear negative comments on your abilities
EYHC 4    When they don’t ask you to play
EYHC 5    When they ask you to be the coach
EYHC 6    When you need help putting your equipment on
EYHC 7    When they start to patronize you or are condescending
EYHC 8    When you are not included in the play
EYHC 9    When there is a danger that you can get hurt
EYHC 10    Every play ends with you.
EYHC 11    When your wife won’t let you play.
EYHC 12    Are you still having fun?
EYHC 13    Positive Attitude
EYHC 14    Maintain good equipment and prepare for the game.
EYHC 15    Have a warm-up up routine
EYHC 16    Get along with the guys.
EYHC 17    Practice at home
EYHC 18    Stay in shape
EYHC 19    Extending Your Career – Basic Hockey - Think Hockey
EYHC 20    Make yourself available for a pass
EYHC 21    Support the puck
EYHC 22    Know what you’ve going to do if you get the puck
EYHC 23    Use the pass option first and often
EYHC 24    Don’t get in harms way
EYHC 25    Play in certain areas of the ice
EYHC 26    Play certain positions
EYHC 27    Goal Tender
EYHC 28    Short Shifts
EYHC 29    Off Ice - Dressing Room Talk
EYHC 30    Enjoy Good Health if you have it.

Check out www.pickuphockeygame.com and my book Pick Up Hockey – Insights on playing the game.


Extending your Hockey Career

June 30, 2012

I just added a new Bonus section called Extending Your Hockey Career.  We first ask if it’s time to stop playing hockey. If the answer is No then we examine ideas on how to extend your playing career. Please check it out.


HC Pick Up Hockey - Hockey Club (HC)

October 14, 2011

Ah, the first of October 2011. Do you know who you are going to play with this season? Do you know where you are going to play and how much it will cost? How good is it to play with your HC Pick Up Hockey team? That is what it is isn’t it? A Hockey Club.

Can you imagine what the privilege of playing on a Hockey Club in a larger city like Montreal or New York would cost you? It is a privilege to play with a great bunch of guys (gals), get to know them, at least by their first name, and play a decent game of hockey without the fear of someone trying to hurt you. We ought to be thankful for the opportunity to play and for the organizer who puts it all together.

The Organizer has to organize the pick up hockey team for the upcoming season and collect the fees for the winter hockey ice times. S/he will need two regular goalies and maybe 22 guys; a gal might be included in that group. Maybe 22 players are too many. Twenty players or even 18 or 19 may be enough. It sometimes depends on the length of your ice time. Sometimes an hour of ice is too short. Sometimes an hour and a half is too long. With fewer players, you get more ice time.

No matter how many players you have, you have to collect the money up front. Non of this pay as you go stuff. What is the cost of ice these days? It depends on the time of day that you play and of course the days on which you play. Ice time is cheaper during the day when kids are in school. Conversely, ice time is more expensive from 5 PM onward into the evening. Ice time in Saint John New Brunswick can be $8 to $10 an hour each for 20 guys. Not bad, eh? So, for 22 games in the season, you may have to pay $220. Maybe your organizer will want to collect that amount in an October payment and a January payment. That eases the burden for everybody and it even allows for some player changes in the second half of the season. Circumstances come up that require changes to the team. Players change jobs, get sick, get hurt, home front changes, etc, etc. You just do not know what will happen over the year. Get your hockey covered; pay the fee up front, don’t ask any questions, don’t argue over the cost, just be happy that you have a Hockey Club (HC) to play with.

Alas, there is that one guy who wants money back if he misses an ice time. This is the guy who expects the organizer to get a substitute spare to pay for his missed hour. With 20 guys, there is not a substitute spare. The ice is paid for. The guys don’t even care if there is one or two players missing. Everyone agrees that the game is faster with a full squad on each side. No question about it. You will be missed. Don’t the guys ask “where were you last game?” So don’t ask the organizer for money back. Don’t ask if you can send a substitute just so you can get your money back. Just tell the organizer that you can’t make it next game and s/he, maybe, maybe will suggest that s/he has a prospect that would like to come out with us. A future consideration. The prospect may even give you the $10 next time s/he sees you. So guys (gals) let’s not be cheap with our Hockey Club. Don’t even bring up the topic of money with your Organizer. Just ask “how much do I owe you.” They always lose money. This is the time to play the big time spender. This is the time to not worry about your lost $10. This is the time to be generous; it will come back to you. Have a great season.


Too Much Drug – You might find this info useful

March 8, 2011

In my book, Pick Up Hockey, I describe taking a Beta blocker as part of my blood pressure medication. The drug is Metoprol 50 mg. It slows the heart (pump) down and thus aids in keeping the blood pressure down. It really works. I feel stronger than without it. Without it, my heart rate is faster. With it I get good blood flow to all body parts
because of the slow pumping action. I feel strong and calm. Without the pill? During strenuous exercise, like playing hockey, without the pill, my heart rate can go to maximum of 155 or 160 bpm, my legs go rubbery I feel weak and that doesn’t feel good. The heart is pumping too fast. Got to have the pill.

After extensive experimentation about 6 years ago, I determined that I needed to take the pill 2 hours before game time. I messed up a couple of weeks ago. When you get upat 6:30 a.m. or 7 am, what if you take your pill right then. Now, for a game at 2:15pm , when do you take the next pill? I don’t believe that I experimented enough to determine when the first pill wore off. Between 6:30 am and 2:15 pm, we have 7 hours and 45 minutes. Is the effect of the pill minimized by then? What if I take the pill at 12 Noon? That is 2 hours before game time. Well I took the pill at noon. During the early part of the game, my legs were feeling like dead logs. I could hardly make them go. I had to work really hard getting up and down the ice. A dentist playing with us said that I was “stalling out.” My heart was pumping too slowly, Strong, but too slow. The last 20 minutes of the 1 hour and 15 minute game, my skating improved, my strength came back and I felt much better. The game was over. The lesson: take the pill 2 hours before the game. I do know that I can take the pill at 6:30 am, then at 2:15pm for a 4:15 game. That works. For 2:15 pm games, all I have to remember is “don’t race the heart between 6:30 and say 1 pm. Here are some of my average and maximum heart rates during a 1 to 1.25 hour game.
Feb 11-96/112; real slow; took pill 8:30 and 12 for 2.15 game
Feb 14 -112/143 felt good; took pill at to for 12 noon game
Feb 17-110/135 felt good; took pillar 6:30 and 3pm for 4:15 game
Feb 25- 103/137 felt good. Took pill at 12:30 for 2:15 pm game
Mar 3 – 98/126 felt good. Took pill at 12 noon for 2:15 pm game


How To Pick Up The Puck With Your Stick

February 22, 2011

Isn’t it amazing how these young hockey players can handle the puck. They can pick it up off the ice with a swoop of the stick, carry it, toss it up and down and shoot it. I am not that far advanced; but I can now pick the puck up off the ice with my stick. It took patience, persistence and a lot of practice. Here is a short video on how I learned to do it.


Journal for February 7 2011

February 9, 2011

In my book “Pick Up Hockey”, I recommend keeping a journal on your hockey games and hockey exploits. Keeping a journal helps you review, think, change, act, and improve. How else are you going to improve your game when every ice time is a game?  Here are some of my thoughts while reflecting on my last game; I definitely needed to reflect on the game.

First: Get there early. I hate to be late, but the fact is, I have been late getting to the arena the last three times. Not good. I’m always the last person on the ice. The game is underway. The instant you get to your bench, someone wants to change up. You haven’t even stretched. You missed a good warm-up. Allow more time to travel. Leave house earlier. Stop working on all home projects earlier. Pack bag earlier. Repair things earlier.

Second: More thinking during the game. On D, clear the puck quicker in front of the net. Judge the speed of the puck carrier better to angle him off when he comes in on you. Use a breathing routine on the bench. Don’t forget short shifts. Cut down on risky passes.

Third: Use sharp skates. The ice was hard. Skates had been used three times. Had a sharp pair in bag. Should have used them. I have an article on Extending Your Career I need to review it.



January 1, 2011

This is a comparison of Pick up Hockey and Pro Hockey using stats from the Atlanta Pittsburgh game of December 28, 2010. Atlanta 3 vs Pittsburgh 6 December 28, 2010. I am using data from one of my games earlier this season. See the table below.


Pick Up Hockey Player

Pros Player

POS # Position - Number

RW - 16

C - 87 Crosby

G Goals



A Assists



P Points



+/- Plus Minus

+6 (Approx)


PIM Penalty Minutes







30 minutes

11:48 minutes

PP TOI Power Play time


3:47 minutes

SH TOI Short Handed Time


0:08 minutes

TOI Time on Ice

30 minutes

15:43 minutes

S% Shooting %



SHFT Number of shifts

10 (Avg 3 minutes)

19 (Avg 00:49 sec)

FO% face off %



Goalie Stats

G – 1 Ron

G - 29 Fleury

Sv% (Save Percentage)



TOI (Time On Ice)

60 minutes

59:46 minutes

Shots On Goal

35 (guess)


GA (Goals Against)



GA (Goals Against) Other Goalie



Any pick up hockey player or recreational player can get some of the basic data. You can make some guesses or get someone else to collect the data for you. The data for pick up hockey is fairly simple. Remember, there are no penalties or power plays. You can keep your own face off records if you happen to play center. Now let’s note the fun stuff. You can actually outscore Sidney, have a higher +/-, get more shots and have more time on ice. He has more short shifts. Think about it. This has got to be one of the reasons we like to play hockey so much.

Alas! I pay to play; they pay him millions to play.

Have fun. Here is some of the math.

Plus-Minus A player is awarded a “plus” each time he is on the ice when his Club scores an even-strength or shorthanded goal. He receives a “minus” if he is on the ice for an even-strength or shorthanded goal scored by the opposing Club. The difference in these numbers is considered the player’s “plus-minus” statistic.

Save Percentage Subtract goals allowed (GA) from shots against (SA) to determine saves. Then divide saves by shots against.

Shooting Percentage Divide the number of goals scored by the number of shots taken.


A Bruised Rib - The 2nd Incident for the Right Side

December 13, 2010

Friday, November 26, 2010 I am playing defense and the game is half over. Jimmy chases an opponent into our zones left circle. I feel that I have the approach under control when Jimmy makes a final lunge and knocks the opponent down and crashes into me with a heavy body check to my right side. The blow partially knocked the wind out of me and makes me angry. I am on Jimmy’s team for Pete’s sake. He really doesn’t need to play that hard. He is really making a nuisance of himself and an on ice hazard to all members of both teams. I keep telling the guys that “birds don’t bump into each other!” Isn’t that the truth?

Now I am left with bruised ribs again. This is the third time in 14 months and I am looking at 6 to 8 weeks of pain and healing. Jimmy was the first cause in 2 of the incidents. I had X Rays on Thursday, December 9th. There were apparently no breaks or cracks. I didn’t like the doctor’s idea that adhesions could occur and cause long term pain that could only be remedied by surgery if it lasted, say 2 years. No black and blue marks this time. However the effects are the same as when I took the puck in my right side in September 2009.  I am doing my own therapy this time. Night time is the worst. Lying on your back or side the ribs hurt. They seem to be more stressed in these positions as opposed to sitting upright. I take Tylenol 3 and sleep on either side. The incident happened November 26th. It is now December 13 and the pain is still persistent. Week 2 has passed. It will hopefully be no more than 2 more weeks before the pain becomes minimal. It certainly takes you out of hockey and now my wife suggests I have to quit because I can’t keep taking this punishment.

I have not been wearing extra rib protection. Going to have to do that. One of the mental rules a hockey player must always remember is “know who is on the ice.” You would naturally think this applies to ringers. Make no mistake about it; the rule also applies to a careening wrecker virtually out of control on the ice. Think about it guys. We are playing pick up hockey. Birds don’t bump into each other!


Play Hockey Inspired

November 29, 2010

Check out this advertisement that should appear in Ignite SJ Issue 2. What do you think?

Advertisement in Ignite SJ Issue 2

Advertisement in Ignite SJ Issue 2


Rhoda’s Christmas Celebration

November 23, 2010

Display Booth Left View

I spent the weekend at Rhoda’s Christmas Celebration; a craft exhibition and sale at Harbour Station. A lot of kids and even some brave adults tried shooting pucks. Almost all of them commented - “that’s cool”.  We displayed “myHockeyTrainingFacility”, (myHTF).  myHTF is an outdoor, indoor, backnet, net, shooting surface, puckpasser and baseball pitching target arrangement that provides hours of a totally satisfying hockey workout.  Shooting pucks improves and strengthens you body core, arms and legs.  myHTF greatly improves and develops your hand-eye coordination, your shots (forehand/backhand, slap, snap) and your accuracy. The backnet is so important in protecting your property. The backnet should protect garage doors, windows and walls, basement windows, walls and appliances. Unhook the backnet frame from the outdoor frame and take the whole assembly indoors to you garage or basement.

Display Booth Right View

I am promoting the use of white pucks with myHTF. The fact is that “white pucks don’t leave black marks.” Everyone who read that poster had to chuckle; especially grandmothers and mothers who told me of the damage that their kids caused shooting pucks while growing up. I didn’t mention that white pucks can still break glass and smash doors, walls and appliances. That is bad advertisement for pucks. However, it is good advertisement for myHTF.  If your shooting surface is clean then your white pucks should stay clean. Walking over your shooting surface with sneakers and boots on will leave dirt and any colour pucks will pick up the dirt. You should clean your shooting surface fairly often. You can clean your pucks with ArmorAll.  ArmorAll cleaned pucks slide better on plastic on a hot summer day. In the picture below is the ABS plastic plumbing pipe version of the outdoor frame.  You can also make the outdoor frame out of galvanized fencing pipe. That is rugged and that is heavy.


Check out myHTF in the Basement Hockey folder.