Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Outdoor Luke: Shinny Season Has Arrived

This is a guest blog by Outdoor Luke. Recapturing the roots of hockey, Outdoor Luke loves playing hockey outside in the elements and writes about his experiences for Dirty Dangle.

As of Saturday Dec 4th, all of the outdoor rinks have opened and with the weather being below zero for this week we are looking at some great ice.

This past weekend, I decided to check out my local rink for some early morning Shinny. It was from 8am-11am and I wasn’t sure how many people would go, so I brought a few pucks just in case I was the only one there.  I was surprised to see well over 20 skaters and a game already going.  There were a few young guys, but mostly guys over 40. The oldies always wear old jerseys, have retro gloves, but have top of the line skates. As I stepped on the ice, one of the older guys who looked like Reg from Slapshot told me I was on his team.

I decided to warm up by staying back and playing defence. I was a slower moving Kaberle who would just send up passes to my wingers. After a few minutes, a shot deflected off my shin and I decided that was enough defence for me. I was going to start joining the rush and see if I still had my hands and acceleration to blow by guys. I still had my speed but it is hard to deke through guys when you’re playing 10 on 10 games. There are sticks everywhere and you get guys back checking and not wanting to lose any battles. It feels like a playoff game out there sometimes.

I love the old shinny veterans that are also like referees and keep order on the ice. When someone scores from 10 feet out, you hear them yell “too far, too far” or when a guy flips the puck up in the air you get a chorus of “keep it down” louder than Daniel Alfredsson getting booed at the Air Canada Centre. There is no body contact in shinny, but there is the odd collision out there when you have guys battling in the corners or even when you get the Eric Lindros of shinny skating with their head down and running into guys.

In the middle of the shinny game, 3 teenagers showed up to play and one of them looked like he just rolled out of bed and was wearing striped pyjama pants, or it could have been the Montreal Canadiens Centennial gear. It’s nice to see young guys out and loving hockey, just like I did at that age. It seems like way too many of the youth just play video games all day or chat on Facebook rather than play puck.

I am glad Shinny season has started up. It was a good skate out there and I forgot about how much I loved setting up someone for a nice tap in goal or making a nice move and scoring. Now I always have my skates and gloves in the trunk of my car, and my Bauer stick riding shotgun, much to the dismay of my girlfriend. Some people like to go to Church on Sunday mornings. I make sure I am out there playing Shinny.

11 comments:

  1. Awesome post. There is nothing better than outdoor hockey; the cool crisp air going in your lungs is almost sexual to some. And the only way to stay warm is to keep skating...

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  2. I want to become a guest writer. What can I write about?

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  3. Love playing shinny and looking forward to some boot hockey this year also

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  4. Where was the phone call Luc!?

    The box is notorious for that 10 on 10 business or even 17 on 14. Sometimes its worth the drive to Rosedale. They roll lines properly there

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  5. Getting my skates sharpened this weekend and ready for some puck

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  6. Nothing like playing some shinny with your boys.

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