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The grass is not always greener

Originally posted on LaxSpot on 06/08/2008

What’s up ladies and gentlemen?!  Well it has been a while since I have posted so I have a lot to tell you about.  The last time I wrote I believe I was coming off my first game back and I had a subpar afternoon at the X.  I also told you that I expected to rebound pretty strong.  We had a bye week and then headed out to Denver to take on the high powered Outlaws, and high powered they were.  Jeff Snider (their face off man, and the most recent MVP of the world games) definitely makes the short list of face off men who I truly respect, I rank him in the top three or four, I have ever played against.  To tell you the truth I went into halftime 4 and 8 (NOT GOOD) but I went in at half time and refocused.  We went back and forth a few times and then I finally found what I had been looking for since the first game…RYTHYM.  I was able to rattle off 13 wins in a row, it felt great.  Unfortunately it made no difference in the game, we lost 19 to 11 and even though I came out on top of the face off battle, my first half performance inevitably led to my being sat down for this past weekend’s game against Boston.

As many of you may know New Jersey Drafted this kid Brennan from Syracuse, and I am sure you were all thinking, I must be Pi$$ed.  Weeellllll  I was, and this past weekend they played him to “see how he did against a common opponent”…here is the kicker, Jenkins who is the starting X man for Boston and the “common opponent” would not be playing in our second game.  Instead good friend of mine, Ben Defelice would be taking the draws.  Even though I know that Ben is a fantastic face off man, I also know that he does not regularly take face offs.  In short I was real nervous, but I should have had more faith in my friend, because he dominated at the X, It was unreal.

Although I was pleased to see that my spot should be secure, it is bitter sweet.  What is disappointing is that I know I could have helped us with that game since face offs played a major part in our loss this past weekend.  Our offense was forced to push the issue, so to speak because we almost never had the ball in the second half, so when we got it on offense we were really forcing stuff.  I also have to say that although it seems like my spot is secure I actually feel bad for this Brennan kid, to be honest he is a real nice dude, and I think he could be pretty good in this league, he just needs to be eased into the game.  I think face offs in this league are one of the hardest transitions to make.  EVERY face off man in this league is great, not good, GREAT, and realizing that is the first step in becoming one of them.  Since it is likely that I will hang up the cleats if I get through this season in one piece, I think this kid could really learn from my experience.  One of the things that I do really well is teach facing off, and it would be really smart if this kid would open his eyes and ears and let me pass along my knowledge of the game.  Don’t get me wrong I have not decided if I will play next year or not but I am seriously considering hanging them up.  My goal was to get back on a team and have a successful year, and if I succeed in doing so I would be fine with handing over the reins to this youngster.

Anyway I expect to be back in the lineup this week, and it should be a real good match up too.  We play Rochester and some of you already know this but I actually coached Alex Smith in high school.  His father found me and contracted me out to work with Alex.  Alex is a carbon copy of me and my style, only he has a few more tricks up his sleeve and youth on his side.  This will be like Mr. Miagi and the Karate Kid squaring off for the first time…I like to believe my wisdom will overcome his youth!  As always I will let you all know how it goes…wish me luck!

Wax on Wax off!

JB

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