This is a story I submitted ten years ago to a fledgling sports magazine as part of a sports fiction contest. Neither the magazine nor story did very well, but the shinny hockey pictorial essay in the November 29 New York Times made me revisit it, update it, and decide to share it on the day that indoor hockey has been postponed in New Jersey. We will all hold onto our game faces a bit longer.

February

“Less than a gallon of blue paint” is the answer that pops into my head. My left hand is holding a red Borgata $5 chip on top of my two pocket cards while my brain muddles through a…