Kukla's Korner

23 Intently Staring Goalies

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."

It really didn’t leave much of a pool, and I was beginning to wonder if Beezer was just going to play for both sides. I have to hand it to the goalies who signed up, though, but it looked a little, um, thin….

And then we had a nice surprise for the Winter Classic Alumni Game—Bernie Parent is going to strap them on for one last time From the Philly Inquirer via Philadelphia SportsWeek:

Bernie Parent strapped on his pads, he thought it would be his last.

“It was about 2 or 3 years ago, but then 2-year-old kids were shooting on me at the [Flyers wives’] carnival,” Parent remembered.

On New Year’s Eve, the shots will be a little bit more powerful, rocketing off the sticks of Mark Messier, Brian Leetch and Stephane Matteau when Parent will make his triumphant return to the ice against the Rangers alumni at Citizens Bank Park.

Originally scheduled to just be an ambassador for the game, Parent decided earlier this week — after prodding from fans in public and on Twitter — that he would actually play in the game.

More…

{note)I caught a backhaul where John Davidson talked about how he had physical therapists in every city he visited when he was doing color for the Rangers—just so he could continue to walk the next day.

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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!