April 27, 2012

An Anatomy of Three Hits: Hall of Fame goalie Ken Dryden pens an essay at Grantland about hits and their consequences in the NHL of today and yesteryear.

posted by holden to hockey at 02:30 PM - 1 comment

Really enjoyed this article; some great anecdotes and observations. Two of my favorites:

[From the 1964 Stanley Cup Finals] The puck had been shot into the corner in the Leafs' zone near Bower's net. Bower, who had learned to play his position before Jacques Plante had untethered goalies from their goal creases, moved toward the puck uncertainly, leaving himself exposed from behind. Howe bore down on the puck. Bower and Howe were both from Saskatchewan, Bower from Prince Albert, Howe from Floral. They had fished together. They were great competitors. The Wings hadn't won the Cup in nine years. Bower's backup goalie was Don Simmons, who hadn't played a single minute in these playoffs. Howe, the toughest guy around, could've plastered Bower's head against the glass, perhaps deciding the Cup at this one moment. Instead, he yelled, "Look out, John, I'm behind you."


[On the playoffs generally] I love the first round of the playoffs. Everything is fresh; everything is possible. First-seeded teams play eighth-seeded teams that are just as able to win as the no. 1s. Upsets happen; many more almost do. By the last two rounds especially, when even the unworldly energy of the underdog seems to flag, talent tends to win out (goalies notwithstanding) and the outcomes become more predictable. In the first round there are also games everywhere on the digital box time zone after time zone, with cut-ins from other games and overtimes. If the games don't quite blend into each other, their emotions do. Every next game in a night seems more exciting because of the last one. Every next game seems more out of control because the last one was.

posted by holden at 02:34 PM on April 27, 2012

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