Kukla's Korner

23 Intently Staring Goalies

Marty Turco, to the Black and Gold Courtesy Phone, Please!

The Boston Bruins, looking at a great big empty where Tuukka Rask used to be, signed Marty Turco to play for the rest of the season.

Turco, who had been playing for EC Red Bull Salzburg (which maks you wonder if they have a special rate for NHL goalies—Arturs Irbe finished his career with Red Bull) while waiting for a call from an NHL franchise. Now he gets to wait a bit longer while he goes through waivers.

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Goalies Stacked Up Over Ottawa

The Senators are in a situation that usually isn’t seen at this point of the season—they have more goalies than they can reasonably use. Usually when this happens, the happy GM starts filling his post-season schedule with “lunch, 18 holes, and trade talk” with the less fortunate.

Ottawa, however, made the trade to as much fill in the gaps behind Craig Anderson, or to provide some insurance for Craig Anderson, who has had a history of being as streaky as a slab of bacon.  The “problem”? Lehner has been playing such a solid game that they don’t want to swap in Auld (or bring up Bishop from Binghamton), and take the chance of breaking his rhythm.

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  Tags: anderson, auld, bishop, goaltenders, lehner, ottawa+senators

Bishop to Ottawa—first move in the goalie market?

Ben Bishop went to the Ottawa Senators, who signed him to a one year, on-way contract, ending any speculation that Bishop would become a Group VI UFA on July 1 this year. The 6ft 7 Bishop spent most of the season with the Peoria Rivermen of the AHL, after losing out a starting role with the St Louis Blues.

This settles the Blues immediate goaltending future, and give Ottawa a younger goaltender to build on.

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  Tags: ben+bishop, goalie, ottawa, st+louis, trades

Brodeur Pere et Fils

There’s been a lot going on around Martin Brodeur. He’s been struggling back from a cold start this season, with the annual discussions as to whether he should finally hang them up.

Brodeur has turned it around, and was back to his winning ways. Then came the phone call—his father, Denis Brodeur had been diagnosed with a brain tumor.

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  Tags: denis+brodeur, goalie, martin+brodeur, nhl

On the trading room floor

I was listening to the post-post game show on WGN radio this past Friday night, when a caller asked about trades. The show’s host Judd Sirott, said that everyone is looking to get a Center or a Defenseman.

Well, yeah, except when they’re looking for a goaltender. And as the trading deadline approaches we’ll start seeing teams trying to get that second goalie who can spell their star, or who will be looking for some fresh talent to try out in goal as the season slams head-first into the playoffs.

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  Tags: goalies, goaltenders, nhl, trades

Chicago goaltending is like leftover breakfast oatmeal: cold and lumpy

All across Canada this morning, children everywhere were clamoring for oatmeal with berries for their breakfast, after hearing about Sam Gagner’s morning meal.

Meanwhile, in the Chicagoland area, children were seriously reconsidering their breakfast options, especially if they’re playing goal.

Every NHL goalie has one game a season that comes under the moniker of “not a demo reel night”. The trick is keeping the blowouts and belly-ups down to a minimum, and the Chicago goaltending duo of Crawford and Emery are hovering dangerously close, if not already having crossed that line.

 

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  Tags: blackhawks, bowman, crawford, emery, quenneville

Taking one for the team, even when it’s not at a game

Well, who knew that a NHL goaltender could be so lacking in grace?

Everyone else is talking about l’affaire Tim Thomas, so I might as well get my two cents in.

First a confession:  I have a number of relatives who, while not career politicians, sure made an attempt at it. They did this in and around Chicago, and oddly enough on both sides of the political aisle.

What did this mean to me? I attended a lot of events where I wasn’t particularly happy to be there, and didn’t necessarily agree with the views of the people putting on the party.

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  Tags: goalie, goaltender, manners, tim+thomas

One More Season for Brodeur?

Marty Brodeur says he wants to play at least one more season.  At some level, this has to make Lou Lamoriello happier, because he doesn’t have to figure out who’s going to be in goal next year. On the other hand, New Jersey is going to be playing, if they stay with the current duo, with 40 and 39 year old goalies.

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  Tags: brodeur, goalies, goaltender

Bi-Coastal Goalie Woes

It’s the New Year—how’s your goalie situation?

The lucky teams have 2 (or 3!) healthy, happy goalies, and some nice spares in the AHL.

The not quite so lucky teams have 2 not so healthy, maybe not so happy goalies. The even less lucky ones might be able to scrape together a goalie from the three they are carrying, but don’t count on it.

Then we have the teams that are looking into the abyss, with injured and/or past their pulldate goalies, and nothing much of interest in the AHL cupboard.

And the teams with 3 happy, healthy goalies rap every piece of wood they can find, and wait for the phone calls.

 

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  Tags: anaheim+ducks, florida+panthers, goalies, iiro+tarkki

Chris Mason’s Hairy Problem

Chris Mason has a hairy problem. It was time to him to give his beard a trim, and he started winning. Four games later, he’s still winning, and the beard is still there.

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  Tags: beard, chris+mason, goalie, winnipeg+jets

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About 23 Intently Staring Goalies

23 Intently Staring Goalies comes from the 23 close-up photos of goalies that used to line the walls of my office.

On the good side, it kept down interruptions, but it also made sure I had to leave my trash outside my door if I wanted it picked up.

I've been watching and analyzing goaltenders for going on 40 years. Some of that was spent drawing goalies on my grade 8 math homework. Then it was taking my card decks and printouts to Indianapolis Racer games. Luckily, the Internet took off, and by 1991 I was half of the duo that would ultimately become the Plaidworks hockey mailing lists. I wrote "Handicapping the Goalies' for the San Jose Sharks mailing list, and took a lot of photos of goalies in action. I have around 5000 slides of mostly goaltenders in action from 1989 through 2001 from the WHL, IHL and NHL. Since I've gone digital, I've added about 10,000 more images to the library. During summers and when the league went dark, I was reading through multiple SF By area news papers, tracking ice hockey from the 1917 recreational leagues up through the California Seals.

We'll be talking about goalies and goaltending. We'll talk about whats going on now, who's in the system, and when the doldrums hit, I'll haul something out of the big bag of history, or something from the photo archives. We'll talk about who's hot and why, and who's not and what they can do to get back on track. We'll take a look at the trends in scouting goalies, and why a style may work for one team but not another. I'll battle with my dictation software to get it to understand Bryzgalov and Bobrovsky.

It should be interesting--hope you want to come along for the ride!

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