Want to start an argument amongst goalies (or non-goalies for that matter)? Just ask them “who is the best NHL goalie ever?”
Click for video of Martin Brodeur talking about breaking Terry Sawchuk's shutout record
Regardless of era the statistics point to one man: Martin Brodeur. You can talk about the neutral zone trap all you want but every goalie knows a shutout is as fragile as pond ice in March… one small slip up and it’s over. A bouncing puck, a deflection off your own player, a shot off the inside of the post instead of the outside (or in my case, once shooting the puck into my own net… don’t ask) and a shutout vaporizes in an instant. Just mention the word “shutout” when a goalie is close to recording one and see what kind of reaction you get! And now Brodeur has more of them than any other goalie in history. Continue reading
I recently took a tour of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto and since I was pressed for time I decided to make it a goalie-specific tour. If you haven’t made it to the HHOF then I strongly recommend you scrounge up your pennies for a trip to Toronto to see this shrine to everything hockey. I’d say go see a Leafs game while you’re in town but why ruin a good vacation?
The HHOF is divided into sections that culminate with the grand trophy room. A thorough tour should take at least two hours if you really want to soak in the experience. My goalie tour is divided into sections as well but they don’t necessarily correspond to the groupings you’ll see there. And remember, what you see in the HHOF is only a small fraction of the Hall’s collections so some of what you see here won’t be on display when you visit. On the other hand you’ll probably see things I didn’t.
Masks – Grand Entrance
This will be the best part of the tour for any goalie… and technically it’s free! The grand entrance to the HHOF takes you past a number of display cases showing off the best and most important goalie masks in NHL history. This display is the best way for NHL goalies to make it to the HHOF without having a Hall of Fame career!
You have to walk past this display, as well as a pretty impressive puck collection, to get to the ticket cashier so if you really wanted to you could see the masks without paying a dime. This is like having the Mona Lisa on display in the entrance to the Louvre!
Not the original mask worn by Jacques Plante but the one he considered his favorite. An upgrade from his original solid fiberglass mask, this model allowed much-needed ventilation. He continued to build upon the pretzel concept in the years to come.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of the first game played by the Montreal Canadiens, just one month after the 50th anniversary of Canadiens’ goalie Jacques Plante first wearing a goalie mask. I recently took a tour of the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto where they had set up a beautiful tribute to the Habs’ centennial. My attention, of course, was centered on the goalies featured in the exhibit. In case you didn’t get a chance to visit the HHOF before the exhibit ended you can at least view the important parts here.
What a great way to enter the Habs Centennial exhibit! If you watched the Habs during the 1970's the only image more lasting than Ken Drydens's famous pose is that of the Cup being lifted again and again. And then again and again and again and again. What's the opening bid for this statue when the exhibit ends?
Bernie Parent just launched an authorized version of his famous mask and took time to talk to TendersLounge about masks, Ray Emery and Pearl Jam.
You can't get more authentic than a mask made from the original mold. Click on the photo for more details or to order one for your favorite goalie.
Parent’s mask is iconic for its simplicity and he is now offering an exact replica of the mask he wore for the Flyers’ first Stanley Cup to his fans. Why now and why is he doing it himself? “Some of the replica masks I’ve seen are very poorly designed and don’t really look like my mask. I want fans to have the real McCoy. We’re coming up on the 50th anniversary of Jacques Plante wearing a mask for the first time so it seemed like a good time to do this.” Parent’s mask was actually designed by Plante, with technical advancements provided by NASA to help absorb and dissipate impact. Continue reading
Anderson knows he needs to get down to business in Colorado if he wants to prove he's a true number one.
10. Is Craig Anderson ready for prime time? He showed he could be the go-to guy when Tomas Vokun was hurt last year in Florida and now he gets the chance to prove it in Colorado. But Peter Budaj is ready to show he can still be the guy if Anderson falters. Continue reading
Tenders Lounge is taking an early look at the potential goalie lineups for the 2010 Winter Olympic hockey tournament in Vancouver. The first segment of the series reviewed Team Canada, a team that many assumed had their two goalies lined up but after some playoff surprises could be making some changes. This segment looks at Team USA who, for a refreshing change, will be looking anywhere but the crease for potential weaknesses to correct.
Tim Thomas is a lock for one of the two spots on Team USA and gives them the type of goaltending that can steal a game from Canada or Russia. Playing on NHL-sized ice will help Thomas, who's style is rarely as quiet as this reflective moment.
Steve Yzerman recently attended the World Championships in Switzerland to scout for the 2010 Olympics. With that in mind, and after some surprise performances in the first two rounds of the playoffs, the time has come to begin the goalie watch for the Games. The Canadian home ice advantage, the use of an NHL-sized ice surface and the league’s unwillingness to commit to the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia are laying the groundwork for what could be the best hockey tournament of all time. So it’s only fitting to expect the best display of goaltending. Most countries will hold summer camps and then evaluate the first half of next season before will making their final decisions but we say let the armchair quarterbacking begin! The top contenders for the gold medal will each need to make some potentially difficult decisions so Tenders Lounge will dedicate separate posts to the medal contenders. First up, the home team Canadians.
Not only are does Team Canada face the pressure of being the host country but they also need to remove the bitter taste from a 7th place finish at the 2006 Torino games.
Luongo and Brodeur were expected to reprise their roles from Torino. Will anyone push them out of the picture?