While reflecting on why my team lost 3 out of 4 on all star weekend, I realized that C.J. Yoder might just be the smartest player I ever played against. I pride myself in knowing the tendencies of my opponents, and hope that they don't know what I'm thinking on the rink. In looking back like a Monday morning quarterback, I now see that C.J. not only was in my head, but also in Yings and Sauces head, all at the same time. It happened while we were on the powerplay, me on the shooting side for a lefty, Sauce on the opposite side, and Ying, down around the goal line, on my side. I could almost see C.J. smile when I took two steps toward behind their net to do a patented Houdini pass that always has the goalie looking on the wrong side of the net, while the weak side forward is celebrating, so I had to scratch that idea. Next up was to hit Sauce across for one timers that are a certainty when that kid shoots them, the only problem was C.J. was putting his stick in the passing lane every time I wanted to zip one over. His stick looked like a toll on a bridge, and I had no E-Z pass,literally. Every time "Sauce" tried to find a new passing lane for me, C.J. seemed to look over at him with a face that said "good thinking kid, I would've done the same thing", and have been for a lot longer than you. Poor "Sauce" had nothing to do over on that side, and I felt even worse when he had the puck, trying to get it to me, knowing the mind torture that he would have to go through. Finally there was Steve Yingling, who has probably had to go through this every weekend for over 20 years. Steve, the best down low player in the league, a player who you want to have the puck, in a phone booth type situation, with he and the goalie, was handiling the puck as if he was expecting to be robbed. His reason on the bench, C.J. knew what he was trying to do when I gave him the puck. Amazingly, all of these situations happened in less than one minute of power play time, but continued throughout the course of the game for me, at least. Always thinking to myself if C.J. is getting a read on me, I felt like a poker player that was forced to go all in with a 7,2 offsuit against pocket aces every time I attempted a pass in his neighborhood. That's what separates him from other great players. He has not only great tools to work with, but an equally great mind to read every situation. That's one good poker player. I fold C.J..