Kukla's Korner

23 Intently Staring Goalies

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.


The RatTrick is looking at the Panthers state of goaltending, but thinks this will all settle out:

The Florida Panthers have endured some goaltending difficulties of late, after starting goaltender Jose Theodore went down against the Montreal CanadiensTheodore is currently is day-to-day with a knee injury and hopefully will be back in action shortly, but until then Scott Clemmensen and Jacob Markstrom have taken the reigns.

While Panther fans were dismayed by the fact that Jose Theodore was injured as he had played great this season, the fans were excited in another way that they would get to see top Florida prospect Jacob Markstrom called up from the San Antonio Rampage to join the Panthers on their 2-game road trip.


And on the west coast, the Anaheim Ducks are about to find out how deep their goaltending talent runs. From Eric Stephens at the Orange County Register:

The plan was for Iiro Tarkki to be seated with a baseball cap on top of his head all night.

Plans can certainly change. Tarkki was forced into action Sunday night when Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller was pulled after hurting himself when making a sprawling save on Columbus star Rick Nash near the final minute of the first period.

Hours before, Tarkki was on a flight from the East Coast after playing Saturday night for Syracuse in an American Hockey League game against Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. He was replacing Dan Ellis, who re-injured a groin muscle in Saturday’s practice and is out for four weeks.

“I didn’t expect this to happen so fast,” Tarkki said after the Ducks’ 7-4 victory over the Blue Jackets.

“Scary. Of course I was a little bit nervous (when) I heard that I’m going in. Actually I felt pretty good going in.”

Tarkki only had to make a handful of saves after replacing Hiller, who came out after Saku Koivu’s goal that gave the Ducks a 4-1 lead. Teemu Selanne was one of a few Ducks to talk with the Tarkki, 26, before the game.

“I knew he was nervous,” Selanne said. “(It’s) not an easy situation to go out like that. He did his job. And we found a way to win the game. That’s really what matters.”



Filed in: | 23 Intently Staring Goalies | Permalink
  Tags: anaheim+ducks, florida+panthers, goalies, iiro+tarkki


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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!