Saturday, November 26, 2011

Goalie Photos from around the NHL, November 25, 2011 Edition

It was a busy day in the NHL yesterday, so I'll post photos of most of the goalies in action. There were a few that photos were not available of yet.

Mathieu Garon

José Theodore

Johan Hedberg

Al Montoya

New York Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist

Michal Neuvirth

Josh Harding

Nikolai Khabibulin

Brian Elliott

Miikka Kiprusoff

Drew MacIntyre

Curtis Sanford

Jimmy Howard

Tuukka Rask

Sergei Bobrovsky

Carey Price

Corey Crawford

Chris Mason

Cory Schneider

Mike Smith

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"Emergency" Goalie Signed for Tonight's Minnesota Game

Here's the story.

Backstrom Out; Paul Deutsch Is Wild’s Emergency Goalie

Due to personal reasons, Niklas Backstrom, who was the scheduled starter tonight, will not be at the game tonight. That means Josh Harding will be the starter, but here’s where it gets interesting.

Houston Aeros goaltender Matt Hackett has been recalled and is on a flight to the Twin Cities right now. He’s not expected to touch down on the biggest travel day of the year until about 6:30. That means the likelihood that he’s here for warmups is very small and he may even miss part of the first period.

The Wild has reacted by signing Paul Deutsch, who runs a screen printing and embroidery store in Richfield, as the emergency goaltender. As per League rules, the Wild was forbidden from signing a goalie with professional experience, so Deutsch signed his ATO today.

Deutsch is no stranger to the Wild, however. As a good friend of former assistant Mike Ramsey, Deutsch has been used in many Wild practices when one of the top goalies gets an off day.
You can see a Wild TV feature on Deutsch from three years ago right here.

While he can hold his own in practices, Deutsch was not even a goaltender growing up. According to Ramsey, he started playing in his thirties. The guy is 51 years old and will wear number 33. You’re going to be hearing a lot about him over the next few days most likely.

Coincidentally, Deutsch was already going to be at the game tonight as a fan, along with a youth hockey team he was accompanying. Now, those players are going to likely see him take warmups with the Minnesota Wild tonight.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Andrew Raycroft 2011-12 Mask

Andrew Raycroft of the Dallas Stars (born May 4, 1980 in Belleville, ON.)

Artist: David Gunnarsson

Anders Nilsson 2011-12 Mask

Anders Nilsson of the New York Islanders (born March 19, 1990 in Lulea, Sweden)

Nilsson made his first appearance of the season on November 19, 2011.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Braden Holtby 2011-12 Mask

Braden Holtby of the Washington Capitals (born Sept. 16, 1989 in Lloydminster, SK.)

Holtby has played most of the season with the Hershey Bears of the AHL, but he was called up due to injuries beginning in February.

Artist David Gunnarsson.

"Braden Holtby had an awesome idea to put a rollercoaster ride on his mask, cause in Hershey there is a sweet amusement park. So I came up with this design with a mix of Hershey and Caps theme."

Friday, November 11, 2011

Peter Mannino 2011-12 Mask

Peter Mannino of the Winnipeg Jets (born Feb. 17, 1984 in Farmington Hills, MI.)

Mannino was called up when Chris Mason went out with an injury. He played the 3rd period of the November 10, 2011 game against the Florida Panthers (I know, because I was watching. ;o)

But these photos were from warmups on November 5th.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Experience, adaptation spell success for older goalies

Tuesday, 11.08.2011 / 11:05 AM / NHL Insider
By Kevin Woodley - Correspondent

Original article found here.
National Hockey League goaltenders don't all get old.
Some just get more experienced.
How else to explain the ascension of the aged between the pipes, a geriatric charge up the statistical puck-stopping leaderboard led by Boston's 37-year-old record-setter Tim Thomas last season, and Edmonton's Nikolai Khabibulin this year? The Bulin Wall turns 39 in January, and with a miniscule 0.98 goals-against average and .963 save percentage shows no signs of crumbling.
For both, the feats are all the more remarkable coming off debilitating injuries that contributed to poor seasons before the renaissance. A serious hip problem cost the Bruins' goalie his starting job in 2009-10, and Khabibulin underwent back surgery in 2010, explaining, in part, a dismal showing last season.
Those setbacks might have been disastrous for a less-experienced goalie, said fellow over-35 starter Tomas Vokoun of the Washington Capitals.
"You gotta live through stuff," Vokoun told "The goalie position has always been one where you can't buy experience when you are young. It's just something you have to kind of pick up along the way. Even if somebody tells you what to expect, it's not the same as when you live through it. I think that's it. The older guys are just better equipped to deal with adversity."
The pressure that comes with being the last line of defense on the world's biggest hockey stage can be an incredible mental battle, added Vokoun. The benefit of experience can manifest itself in different ways, he says.
Take Khabibulin, who was a noted statistics junkie earlier in his career, and still perilously consumed by them during a lean first couple of years with the Chicago Blackhawks from 2005 to 2007. But the numbers are no longer an obsession for Khabibulin, whether they were miserable last season in Edmonton, or atop the League during an amazing start to this one.
It comes with experience, which can also be as valuable between the pipes as it is between the ears.
It's what allows Khabibulin, Thomas, and Vokoun -- not to mention New Jersey's Martin Brodeur, Tampa Bay's Dwayne Roloson, Dominik Hasek and play-forever pioneers like Jacques Plante, Georges Vezina, Gump Worsley, Glenn Hall and Terry Sawchuk -- to stay a step ahead of shooters sometimes half their age.
As New York Rangers' goalie guru Benoit Allaire is fond of saying: "Beat the pass, solve the equation." Experienced 'tenders tend to have a better idea where that pass is going, and a quicker response to what happens when it arrives.

The best in the game today know when they have time to react with active hands, when they need to stay on their skates, and when they need to drop, seal the holes and simply take up as much space as possible. It all comes with experience.
"For the goalie, hockey is a game of patterns and the faster you can recognize patterns the better you will be," Mitch Korn told Korn is in season No. 14 as Nashville's goalie coach after a seven-year run with Buffalo.
"Playing goal is like a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle and, at 23, you don't have all the pieces together. Sometimes they don't fit or you don't have all the colors, so you don't know where they go. You have to get older and wiser for the pieces to start to fit. But it's Mother Nature's cruel joke that just when you figure out all the answers, your body breaks down and doesn't let you perform."
If there's a common denominator among goalies like Thomas, Khabibulin, Roloson and Hasek, who Korn coached with the Sabres, it's their health and fitness.
Thomas was reduced to a "one-legged goalie" by hip problems before surgery two summers ago restored his mobility. But he'd already been working to improve flexibility and fitness by adding yoga to his workouts years earlier.
Khabibulin, whose summer training focused on core strength, has talked about the post-surgery stiffness that plagued him last season being mostly gone now, and his back going from 80 percent to a lot closer to, if not quite, 100 percent.
Hasek still works out hard enough at 47 that he hasn't ruled out yet another comeback, and Roloson exercises his eyes as much as some young goalies do their entire bodies, all in an effort to improve his ability to track the puck.
"For the goaltending position, if you keep yourself in shape at 35 it's not like players who maybe lose a step," Vokoun said. "With goalies, it's different movements, short movements. So as long as you keep up your conditioning, agility and flexibility, I think being mid-30s is not a problem for goaltenders."
Surviving at the top level for an extended period usually means evolving along the way. That became especially true as the game opened up during the past six-plus seasons.
The increase in quality scoring chances from prime shooting areas forced goalies out of the drop-and-block mentality that was so successful through 2003-04. Those that could not adapt were phased out of the game. Give a shooter time, space and the same corners to pick and almost all can do so at the NHL level, which is why Thomas's unpredictability gives so many of them fits.
If being 5-foot-11 has forced Thomas to be more patient on his skates and rely less on the butterfly, experience allows him to read and react effectively.

"I can't go on my knees and cover the whole top corners with my shoulders, so I have to be selective with when I am down on my knees and selective with when I stand up and I've had to learn over the years to read whether a guy is shooting high or a guy is shooting low," he said. "And just years and years of practice kind of gives you the percentages in your head, so at the time when you don't know whether to stay down or go up, you choose based on experience."
It may also help that goalies like Thomas, Vokoun and Khabibulin are old enough to have played before the butterfly became the most common -- and, for some, the default -- save selection. They grew up relying more on their own instincts, which Korn said forced them all to learn how to track the puck better, both around the zone and reading how it comes off a shooter's stick.
"Dom saw the game and puck in slow motion," Korn said of Hasek. "He used to like to do a drill where guys came in close and he wanted them to hammer the puck as hard as they could and he could tell high, low, left, right from a very short distance. It was like slow motion. And that doesn't disappear with age."
Thomas wasn't exposed to the butterfly until he was 23, and grew up reading and reacting on instinct, a trait many young goalies have not embraced fully because of a reliance on style.
"I've seen a lot of kids that have great technique but turn into robots and it's like their arms are glued to their sides; but you have to be able to move out of that technique mode when need be," Thomas said. "Some of the kids having trouble because they rely on technique too much could use some street hockey because when you have to move on your feet you can't use the same technique."
Khabibulin re-activated his hands after leaving Tampa Bay by moving his gloves forward and off his hips, freeing them from more of a blocking mentality.
That's not to say technique goes out the window.
For all the focus on Thomas' more acrobatic saves, he has worked tirelessly to modernize his movements, and insists those overlooked technical improvements are the key to consistency.
Martin Biron is playing some of his best hockey with the New York Rangers after dropping deeper in his crease to remove some of the inconsistencies and reliance on pure athleticism that came with the extra movements he had previously. It's a change he made last season because he wants to play as long as other guys on this list.
"It's not something I had to change," Biron, now 34, said of an adjustment that started last season with Allaire, the aforementioned goalie coach. "We had that conversation where he said, 'You're not 23, you're 33, you are coming to a moment of your career where you are at a crossroads. Do you want to keep playing six, seven years and go late into your 30s and 40s and be able to play at a top level, or do you want to be content the way the last couple of years went?' And my answer was I want to play for six, seven, eight, even nine more years and I want to go that direction."
It's a direction that may have to change again during that time frame.
"I play different than I played two, three years ago, and totally different than 10 years ago," said Vokoun, who worked with Korn in Nashville. "As goaltending evolves you have to change too if you want to stay in the League."

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Carey Price 2011 Remembrance Day Mask

Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens will be sporting a special Remembrance Day Mask for at least one game in November.

Here is the entry for his Breast Cancer Awareness Mask worn in October.

Here is the entry for his regular mask he will wear the other times of the season.

Artist: David Arrigo

From the artist:
"In honour of Remembrance Day and the troops that have served our country proud. Carey Price of the Montreal Canadiens will be wearing this Canadian Military themed goalie mask on November 8th against the Edmonton Oilers.

The helmet will be auctioned off with the proceeds going to military family support groups. will be hosting the auction for the helmet."

Article at InGoal Magazine.

Tim Thomas 2011 Movember Mask

Article at InGoal Magazine.

InGoal is pleased to present the “Moustache Mask” Thomas will wear in November. Even better, the Tim Thomas Foundation is providing you with the chance to win both the mask and an opportunity receive it while also meeting the Stanley Cup, Vezina and Conn Smythe-trophy winning goaltender in person!

Throughout the month raffle tickets will be sold and on December 16th, one lucky winner will get to take three friends to a game, meet Tim Thomas and go home with the mask! This is an incredible opportunity to own a game-used mask, meet a legend and make a difference for an important cause. Proceeds of the raffle will benefit prostate cancer awareness and the Tim Thomas Foundation.

Here is the entry for the mask Thomas will wear the rest of the season.