Kukla's Korner

23 Intently Staring Goalies

Petr Mrazek—worth the price of admission!

If you’re not paying attention to the World Junior’s, start—now.  Selected games are on the NHL Network in the US and TSN in Canada.  And we have a hot goalie with, *gasp*, personality.

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  Tags: goalie, petr+mrazek, world+junior+championship

The Ryan Miller Mystery

I’m probably like a lot of people in Buffalo, wondering what exactly is going on inside Ryan Miller’s head. After this weekend’s performance, along with what the owner had to say, my predilection is to pull Ryan Miller immediately and put them through a couple more tests, specifically a guided EEG,  because I want to find out exactly what is going wrong, and whether it’s his brain or his mind—or both.

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  Tags: buffalo+sabres, pegula, ryan+miller

Parent back for Alumni Game

A month ago, I was trying to come up with enough goaltenders to play the game, and had enough of a connection to either team that they made sense. If you start working through the lists of goalies who had significant careers with either team, there’s a lot of     "He still looks great, but he’s 80 years old!" or " hear that faint scream? That’s the orthopedic surgeon who put that goalie’s knees back together the last five times."

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Billy Smith, to the Angry Red Phone, Please!

Ryan Miller comes back, gets hit. Everyone had to see this one coming, especially with the Predators’ situational behavior-challenged Jordan Tootoo. It was right to put Tootoo in the box, and he should be expecting a call from Brendan Shanahan some time this week.  The overhead camera shows that Miller was on the magic blue ice, and Tootoo didn’t make an attempt to stop before he said hello.

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  Tags: goalie, ryan+miller, sabres

Fire Up the Goalie Time Machine: 100 Years Ago

It’s "Black Friday" in the US, Grey Cup Weekend in Canada, and the inner harbour in Victoria will soon be decorated in full holiday mufti. Way back when, (okay, 1925) the Victoria Cougars won the Stanley Cup, and if you ever attended a game in the old Memorial Arena, they had the banner to make sure you knew.

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  Tags: clint+benedict, goaltender, lesueur, nha, nhl

Protecting goalies now to pay more later?

First, I’d like to apologize to the Edmonton and Dallas goalies. I obviously jinxed the bunch of them last week. Temporality doesn’t imply causality, but whoa….

Speaking of temporality, the cause d’jour is now whether the NHL should better protect their goalies. Actually, that’s protecting their goalies from hits by other players. That’s a different issue from protecting goalies from pucks hitting them in under protected or inappropriately re-engineered on-the-fly equipment. That should be looked at, and I hope once the GMs finish up with the player hits, they’ll take another look at how they can reduce other goaltender injuries.

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  Tags: goalies, goaltending, nhl, nhl+rule+book

Ups and downs in the Western Conference

We’re a month into the season—how’s the goalie situation?

Clint Malarchuk has some pretty strong opinions on how the Calgary goalies, and Karlsson in particular, are doing:

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Don’t leave that goalie on the shelf!

Tim Thomas is on the cover of this month’s Improper Bostonian. Trim Thomas’ story, and how he ended up playing for too long in the minors and in Europe, make an interesting point about how goalies are selected and developed (or ignored) in the NHL:

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  Tags: goalies, goaltending, nhl, tim+thomas

Elliote Friedman re: what can we do to make goalie masks safer

It looks like it wasn’t just George Malik (and thank you George, for the drill-down on my post!) and myself who were thinking that someone or someones need to take a better look at how to deal with the current state of goalie masks. Elliote Friedman explores this in his CBC/HNIC column:

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  Tags: goalies, masks, nhl

Who left the wake-up call for November 1st?

Seems like the goaltending issues are hitting early and hard this season. We have goalies who made late entrances, some whose teams wished they had made late entrances, and some who are coming and going so quickly that the pre-game notes are getting eraser marks.

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  Tags: blue+jackets, bryzgalov, canucks, flyers, goalies, luongo, mason, nhl, schneider

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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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