Kukla's Korner

23 Intently Staring Goalies

When one backup goalie just isn’t enough

It's always good to have a backup, backup plan for when your goalie goes down, and the "hot spare" (or in this case, his equipment ) isn't immediately available. Some teams are lucky enough to have local universities with club teams. Some teams have one working their front office. The Florida Panthers had their goaltending coach, Rob Tallas.

From USA Today:

There was a No. 1 in goaltending equipment sitting on the Florida Panthers' bench on Sunday night.
No, the Panthers had not traded for Roberto Luongo.
Instead, it was goaltending coach Robb Tallas, who was pressed into duty as backup goalie because of an injury and a luggage issue.
The injury was to Jose Theodore, who hurt his leg during Saturday's night loss to the Carolina Hurricanes. That led the Panthers to call up Jacob Markstrom from San Antonio of the American Hockey League.
He arrived, but his equipment didn't right away. So Tallas, 39, signed a one-day amateur contract, put on his equipment, took part in warmups and sat on the bench.

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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!