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Impact of the Butterfly on Goalies

From David Epstein at Sports Illustrated:

By the time [Patrick] Roy retired in 2003, having amassed a record 551 wins with the Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche, 12 of the 30 starting goalies in the NHL were Quebecois, including Giguere, and nearly all 30 used the butterfly at least on occasion. What neither Allaire nor Giguere nor the throngs of youth imitating Saint Patrick could see, though, was that Roy’s style had been steadily ravaging his hips.

“All that going up and down at high speed,” says Pat Karns, a former Avalanche trainer. “We really had to work on Patrick daily [to keep his hips healthy].”

With each drop, the butterfly excavated the cartilage in Roy’s joints. It would be worse for his disciples, the goaltenders who started using his style as children and have dropped to the ice thousands of times. Those boys are all grown up now, and for many of the brightest among them—Giguere, Rick DiPietro of the Islanders, Antero Niittymaki of the Flyers and Vesa Toskala of the Maple Leafs among them—a scar on their surgically-repaired hips marks them as the butterfly generation. But from pee wee to the pros, butterfly is firmly entrenched.

much more

*thanks to KK reader Alan for the pointer!

Filed in: NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: goalies, injuries

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

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