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So many stops

(Originally published on Kukla’s Korner)

An old cowboy once told me that a horse only has so many stops in him.  He was referring to sliding stops, something required of high-level western show horses, known as reining horses.  Due to the physical strain on the joints and tendons, and the high level of reactive sharpness required, a horse can only do this so many times in its life. How many?  You never know, so don’t waste those stops.

Similarly, we only have so many starts in us.  Cameron MacIntyre is making a new start right now.

MacIntyre seems a little bit serious in these Captain’s Practices.  He has good reason to be a little serious.  Last year around this time, he was getting all injured and preparing to miss Sharks training camp.   He might feel like he missed a season full of starts that would have him further along in his career than he is now.  A habitual optimist would say he was just banking those starts for later, they aren’t lost.  At his age, there is really no reason not to be optimistic.  I know, I know, the NHL adds years like tv adds pounds but he is still young, no need to panic.

In any case, he was moving a lot faster today, doing everything with more snap than last week.  He still isn’t wearing a visor. I find this especially strange since most young players today do wear them, and if you don’t like them you probably need to get used to them.  Unofficial practices like these would seem to be an obvious place to do that.  You wouldn’t want to suffer an injury even before training camp starts.  Ahem.

For various reasons, I have not quizzed MacIntyre on this, but I imagine he has a perfectly good explanation.  Perhaps he has some very special visors on order, but they are manufactured in China, therefore they must be shipped a great distance.  Because they are so special, they cannot be shipped by air, as the pressure change might harm them, so they are being shipped by sea.  But the ship was taken by pirates and the whole process had to start over.  Surely, one ship or another will deliver Cam MacIntyre’s very special visors before training camp.  Surely.

Goalie Will was with us again today.  He is a very nice fellow.  Although the skaters swapped sides at some point during the skate, the ice always seemed titled against Will.   He seemed much busier than the other goalie.

Owen Nolan looked very well today, was also moving faster and with more authority than previously.

Perhaps this accelerated pace had to do with the assembled company: Dan Boyle was there, as was Brent Burns, Sena Acolatse and Frazer McLaren.  Viktor Tikhonov and Brad Stuart also  played.  The number of NHLers is growing.

As for Mr. Bourne’s jersey rules, I had to throw those out today.  Nolan wore his Minny jersey logo in, but Stuart was wearing his Red Wings jersey logo out.  Obviously, all the Sharks wore regular Sharks training garb, I think one has to make an exception for that anyway.  It is their ice.  The non-NHLers also followed no pattern I could discern, some wore logos in others wore them out. So much for rules of dress.

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