23 Intently Staring Goalies
by lsefton on 09/20/11 at 02:44 PM ET
The first full week of training camp means that teams get to take a good hard look at their goaltending situation, and for some of them, hoping that the Goalie Fairy has left something nice in the crease.
For others, it’s realizing that it’s a good goalie crop season. Pierre LeBrun takes a look at the Los Angeles Kings, and reports on a "good dilemna"—who’s going to be the number one goalie this season?
Kings head coach Terry Murray stressed Monday that Jonathan Quick is the No. 1 goalie on his team after a standout year last season. But he also opened the door a little in saying the emerging Jonathan Bernier has a chance to push.
In the Central Timezone, Ray Emery is plying his wares with the Chicago Blackhawks. The question is whether Emery can unseat Alexander Salak from the backup job. Quenneville and his staff are going to have to analyze a number of factors, which includes NHL experience. If Emery and Salak perform at the same level, Emery is likely going to get the nod, just because he’s already "been there". This tends to confound the casual observer, because if they go by the box score, it may look like Emery would take the train to Rockford.
There’s also the ability to be a backup goaltender/ Some goalies do well playing 25 games a year. With others, you might as well hang a tire from the crossbars, because you’d likely have a better chance of stopping pucks. It really stinks if you happen to be the goalie who gets sent to the AHL because you need more playing time.
One note, though—I’d rather see a tryout in "whitetail" gear than wearing the previous teams’s gear. Chris Kuc from the Chicago Triibune takes a look at Emery’s tryout with the Blackhawks:
Ray Emery began his bid for the Blackhawks’ backup goaltending job while using pads that sported Ducks logos and a helmet with the Indian head on the chin.
A new paint job and pads with Hawks logos could be in his future, but first Emery, who is in camp for a tryout after playing for Anaheim last season, must beat out Alexander Salak for the No. 2 job behind Corey Crawford.
And back east in Boston, Tuukka Rask hopes that coming off of hip surgery, he’ll be back to his previous form. Tim Thomas is still the number one goalie, but I’ll bet the Bruins’ management will sleep better at night knowing that Thomas doesn’t have to pull a 60+ game load. The Bruins are going to be a lot happier if they can finish camp with two healthy, happy, goalies.
Tim Thomas has said the only thing he can think of to shoot for as and encore to last season is duplicating it. Tuukka Rask would take that, in one of two ways.
If he’s watching Thomas win the Vezina (best goalie) and Conn Smythe (playoffs MVP) trophies in 2012, then Rask and the Bruins will win their second straight Stanley Cup.
Or ... if he comes off surgery and returns to the same form as his best previous season – which Thomas did last year – then it’ll be Rask picking up trophies on the way to another Cup.
After this wek’s pre-season games, we’ll start to see the goalie shake-out across camps. Some will stay, some will go to the AHL, and some phones will start ringing….
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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!