I like your style, Cam Ward!

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I’m currently fixated on the “old-schoolie”, “throwbacky”, hybrid Marty Brodeur style goaltending which is going the way of the dinosaur because of the butterfly-centric styles of modern goaltenders. I’ve been like this since the Stanley Cup Final ended. I thought to myself that when Marty finally calls it a career, there will be no more of this type of goaltender in the NHL.

I was wrong (thank God).

There’s Cam Ward! The best part is there is still many years of Cam Ward playing in the NHL (‘cos he’s only 28 thus still very young). Let’s just hope that there will be more young goaltenders that play like Cam coming up so this style doesn’t go extinct. Enjoy the video below:

Something cool I saw

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While I was perusing the Goalie Store Bulletin Board, I saw this really awesome pad set up that is right up my alley, being a child of the 80’s.
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How cool is this? Geeking out to the Voltron jersey and matching gear and the asymmetrical pads, blocker, and glove. Not to mention this goaltenders stick looks like Voltron’s sword and his mask…

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… will form the head!

The one where the Nashvile Predators trade the tall guy

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They’re BOTH really tall!

The Nashville Predators’ goaltenders are tall dudes.

The Preds’ starting netminder Pekka Rinne is 6 foot 5 and is one of the better goaltenders in the league (he is in the top 3 for the Vezina trophy this year). His backup is young up and comer Anders Lindback (some say has amazing upside in the future and could be an excellent starter). Lindback, among the both of them is the tall guy (if you would believe). Standing at 6 foot 6 or 6 foot 7, he is a monster of a man. The Predators have had an embarrassment of riches at the goaltending position.

But the other day…

THIS happened!

What does this mean?

For the Tampa Bay Lightning, it means they have very little confidence in the old guy (Dwayne Roloson) so it’s time that they brought in a young tall Swedish dude to play between the pipes. And even if, for next season, he’s going to be Roli’s backup, you’ll be sure he’ll get more starts next year. This is because Roli’s is really old and won’t be able to play as much. The least that can be said is that Lindback has a chance to win the starting job in Tampa.

For Lindback, it hasn’t been fair for the guy because for the past few years, lots of experts have touted him highly but he never really gets to play. In a league where a backup gets 15-20 starts a year, he only had 10 (I guess it’s because Rinne’s kind of a workhorse for the Preds). At least Lindback’s going to get his chance to earn a reputation. YOu gotta be happy for him in that respect.

Marty’s bringing back the pad stack

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As opposed to my precious post about Marty (the one where he seems to be incorporating more butterfly centric movements in his game), this one is about his few good games and he’s bringing back the pad stacks as you can see below.

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And here are some videos of Marty’s pad stacks in action:

An added note on the second video, I’m glad to see Marty go with the pad stack against a guy on the breakaway as opposed to that sprawling frog technique (which I, obviously, don’t know the name of) because that really worked out well.

What does this mean? Well it means there is a chance that this kind of golatending style could come back or at least a hybrid style. While I and many others understand why moves like the pad stack are practically extinct (because it’s hard to recover from and you’re not very mobile) it doesn’t means that all the old schoolie goalie moves no longer have a place in the modern game and I an hopeful that there is still a place in the game for stuff like that and as such, I would personally, try to start practicing these things and incorporating them in my game because I would love to throw the pads around to stop the puck if not only for show.

But alas it may not be meant to be as more goalies are inclined to play like Jonathan Quick rather than Martin Brodeur because Quick won it all (including the Conn Smythe) but at least it shows that there is still a place for a different style of goaltending in the game today for those who have the balls to try it.

A conspiracy theory about Tim Thomas

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Most (if not all) NHL, AHL, or any pro level goaltenders like to match their equipment with their team colors. Examples of this are as follows:

Fleury in P4 pads that match the Pens home jerseys

Fleury in P4 pads that match the Pens third jersey (not actually pictured) or its practice jersey version

I use Marc-Andre Fleury as an example cos he matches a different set of equipment to his team’s third jersey. He even wears a different mask. Now that’s just vain!

Some other pro goaltenders match their pads in a way that  looks alright, some are just plain lazy and unimaginative (by using pads that match everything like white), and some are just downright garish.

That being said, I heard a little bit about Tim Thomas.

On the day when Tim Thomas announced that he was “taking a year off”, I was listening to that day’s episode of the Marek vs. Wyshynski. In the episode, co-host Jeff Marek mentioned that he felt that it was just a ploy for Tim Thomas to swing a trade to a team he liked after being asked to waive his no-trade clause previously by the Bruins management, a move that supposedly, soured Thomas’ relationship with the team. Marek also noticed how since then, Tim Thomas donned the white pads and mask as a way of saying, I play for team Tim Thomas and not the Boston Bruins. Having looked back the last 2 years, I noticed that as well.  I noticed how his mask was just white with silver and gray designs devoid of any markings of the Bruins francshise. See below:

 As opposed to what it was years before:

Then I also noticed his pads were devoid of any of the gold Bruins colors.

Thomas’ Vaughn pads from last year(?)

or…

Timmy’s Warrior Ritual pads which he surprisingly, broke out in the last game of the regular season, but not surprisingly, were devoid of any Bruins gold.

As opposed to…

or…

Tim Thomas is well-known in goaltending circles as a guy who likes to switch up his equipment and as much as possible try all the other brands. But as a pro goalie, he has access to all kinds of kit and he could easily choose to match this stuff with the team’s colors if he want. So could it just be a coincidence, or is it something a little more sinister? Does Tim Thomas really want to take time off from hockey, or does he just want to part ways with the Bruins? Or maybe he might want to part ways with the NHL altogether? We will never know and as far as the photographic evidence is there, we may never be able to tell.

Today is a full day for NHL goalie news

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As the title states today is a rather eventful day for goaltenders in the NHL.

1st…

Jonathan Quick shutout the New Jersey Devils 4-0 to take a 3 games to 0 lead in the Stanley Cup Final.

How is this news? J-Quick’s been killing it all playoffs. They might as well be given the Stanley Cup now.  Seriously! Although, Marty’s been playing like the Marty Brodeur of old (the legendary one), but Quick is playing better and the rest of the Kings aren’t playing as well as the Devils (who couldn’t put the puck in a soccer goal). Not saying it’s over! But it might as well be.

2nd…

The Washington Capitals trade Tomas Vokoun to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 7th round pick in the draft.

In an attempt to clear their three-way logjam at the goaltender position (as well as get some value for an asset they won’t be their asset come July 1st), the Washington Capital traded last year’s steal (1-year $1.5 million) of free agency, Tomas Vokoun to the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 7th round pick in this year’s draft. Now anyone that doesn’t know what’s going on would ask, why trade a perennial NHL starting goaltender for a draft pick? Well, the answer is to get value (any value) for a pending free agent. The next logical question for the person who doesn’t know what’s going would be “why trade him if he’s going to be a free agent?”. The answer to that is simple, they traded the rights to negotiate with Vokoun to the Penguins because right now, the rights to get a headstart on negotiating a new contract with Vokoun belongs to the Caps. They gave it to the Pens. Now the Pens can negotiate with Vokoun about being a Penguin nxt year before anyone else makes their offer for him. Almost instantaneously, Vokoun’s stint at free agency ended. The Penguins signed hin to a 2-year, $4 million contract. So in essence, he’ll be making more this year to be Marc-Andre Fleury’s backup (or be a guy who could challenge Marc-Andre Fleury to play better).

… and of course…

Tim Thomas announced he’s taking a year off.

Ok! There’s crazy, there’s eccentric, then there’s utterly nuts. This might be a little bit of all of them. I mean, come on, Timmy! There are a lot of Bruins fans who will depend on your exploits to help the team next year. We all know that you are a man of conviction and integrity who has a strong opinion on “more important things” that also happens to be a great goaltender, but you’re 38 years old and on the last year of your contract. You could just play it out and retire because let’s face it, hockey is the last thing on your mind right now and you said it yourself, you’ve already accomplished more than you’ve dreamed. So why not play out your contract, save that money, and retire afterwards? Just a thought.

Despite all this, Tim Thomas is still my favorite NHL goaltender and as respectable his reasons are, I believe it’s just plain rude to leave your team hanging like this (and I get that his relationship with the Boston Bruins is sour or souring). I’d rather that he just asked to be traded to a team of his choosing.  That is my say. It is a little ridiculous and the further it goes, the more strange it becomes.

Stanley Cup Finals 2012: If the Devils lose, it isn’t Marty’s fault

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No it really isn’t.

Through 3 games, the Devils only managed to score 2 goals and not surprisingly (and none on a long 5-on-3 power play in game 3), they’re down 3 games to nothing.

But no it isn’t Marty’s fault (for the most part). He’s playing the best he’s played in these entire playoffs. His stat line in the first 3 games of the final series:

3 games played (duh!)

78 shots faced, 70 saves made, 0.897 save percentage (game 3 really screwed up his stats)

8 goals against, 2.38 GAA

Game 3 really screwed up Marty’s stats, but to be honest, Marty is the only Devil to show up in this series. So if the Devils don’t go home with the Cup, don’t be so quick to blame the old, slow, and “fat” guy between the pipes.

 

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