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by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Well, as I prepare to write my first blog about the beginner's workshop, I'm left to ponder one thing: wow, that last blog was really long. Looks like I'll have to break out my thesaurus to match Andy Liu's word count.

Photo Gallery: Day III | Day II | Day I
Blogs: Day II | Day I

Now, on to the ice.

This was our first workshop in about 10 days. Luckily, the rust fell off pretty early. However, I must say, I did need to remind myself of all the equipment to put on. Regardless, I ultimately end up feeling like I'm forgetting something. Confident that I'm fully dressed, I head out to the ice only to then realize that I've left my skate guards on. If this happened once I would be fine with, but the fact that of all three lessons I've done the same thing all three times, I'm beginning to worry about my mental stability as a hockey player.

Now it's onto the ice.

After a few laps Daryl put us through our usual paces (skating forward, working our edges, skating backwards) for about 15 minutes or so. My wife and I are taking this workshop together and as I glance over I notice that she's actually getting quite good. I would definitely give her "Most Improved" if I were to hand out awards for the workshop. When we first started she was so afraid of falling that she had all the confidence of someone walking over Niagara Falls on a tightrope for the first time and the misery on her face like I have when I'm forced to chose between the Ducks and the Stars in a playoff game. But now she's getting up speed and confidence.

Then the pucks came out. Like children on Christmas morning we all looked longingly at these frozen pieces of rubber, scenes of scoring our record breaking goals flashing in our heads. As it turns out, I'm much better at puck control in my dream sequences than I am in reality. We went up and down the ice a few times, passing back and forth between each other and then taking a shot at the end. This allowed me to do two things: 1) imagine myself as the new Wayne Gretzky and 2) watch Andy Liu take one of his now legendary falls.

After that we worked on defense for a while. We covered 2 on 1 and 3 on 2. My wife made fun of me for how eager I was to volunteer to be on defense. It was a lot of fun. I was so good at it in fact that I started calling myself the Secretary of Defense, only to find out that Garry Maddox beat me to that nickname (five points for working a baseball reference into a hockey blog). Then--as it turns out--I'm not actually very good at defense at all. Skating backwards at full speed is hard!

So, a little defense, a little offense and with that we were one step closer to our big scrimmage in about a week. Of course, I predict the purple team will dominate.

Until next time, I'll see you on the ice. Just look for me--I'm the one trying to skate with my skate guards on.


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