Rbk Trivia Challenge Answers – June 22-28

June 29, 2008

Question One

In the history of the NHL, two goalies have posted three shutouts in the Stanley Cup Finals.  They are:

         a. Martin Brodeur                    b. Frank McCool

         c. Glenn Hall                           d. Patrick Roy



         A Martin Brodeur and B. Frank McCool

         Brodeur shut out the Anahiem Mighty Ducks in 2003 Stanley Cup Finals three times (Games 1, 2 and 7 – all by 3-0 scores). Frank McCool recorded three shutouts in the 1945 Finals versus the Red Wings. It was McCool’s only trip to the NHL playoffs.


Question Two

         True or False – When making a save with the chest, the goalie should roll his shoulders forward slightly while sucking in his stomach?




         As instructed on the ice, in order to better control the puck off the chest, goalies should roll their shoulders while sucking their gut in to create “pillow effect” between their chest protector and chest. This will allow, in most cases, the puck to simply fall straight down to the stomach area where the catch glove should be waiting.


Question Three

         Coach Whalen explained several components of character essential to hockey. Which of the following was not listed in the blog post?

         a. Work Ethic                           b. Self Control/Responsibility

         c. Perseverance                       d. None. All of the above were listed.



         D. None. All of the above were listed.

         Work ethic, self/control/responsibility, and perseverance were some of the  important character traits listed in the blog entry “A Crater is Filled with Character” https://elitegoaltending.wordpress.com/2008/06/21/the-crater-is-filled-with-character


Question Four

Who was the NHL goaltender who had the most career playoff victories before Patrick Roy became #1.

            a. Billy Smith                          

            b. Bernie Parent                                              

            c. Terry Shawchuk 

            d. Grant Fuhr  



A.     Billy Smith

When Patrick Roy became the all-time winner in NHL play-off history, he surpassed Billy Smith (88 wins) in the spring of 1997.

Note – most goalies missed this question by selecting Grant Fuhr who has 92 career playoff wins, third all-time. Grant Fuhr did not surpass Smith until his last playoff in 1999 when he won 6 games while with St. Louis.


Question Five

         When the goalie is in his butterfly position and the puck is close to his body, he should?

             a.       Bring the arms down to above his leg pads.

             b.      Raise the arms slightly higher than normal to take away top corners of the ne

             c.       Get back to his feet

             d.      Yell at the defense to do their job and get the puck out of the zone!!



         A. Bring the arms down to above his leg pads.

    When the puck is close to the goalie’s body while in a butterfly position, a “wall” must be made by the goalie. So, arms must be brought down to above the pads to prevent any holes in coverage.


Question Six

         In the blog entry “How Things Can Change Quickly for Goalies – Lesson From the NHL for Younger Goalies” there are three things listed every goalie must do once they become the starter. Which of the following was not listed?

         a.       Understand the other goalie will be working very hard to become the starter himself

         b.      Playing time cannot be taken for granted

         c.       Hard work is the only road to success

d.           All of the above were listed



      D. All of the above were listed.

Once a goalie is named a starter, they better get a grip on the following-

·         Back-up goalie is there to take his job

·         Playing time is earned so nothing can be taken for granted

·         Hard work is essential to team and personal success.


Anytime a goalie forgets these, his position within the team will begin to slip.


Question Seven

         True or False. Goalies should sharpen their skates every once-in-a-while since they don’t have to skate all over the rink like the forwards and defense?




         Goalies need to sharpen their skates routinely – for frequency please visit https://elitegoaltending.wordpress.com/2008/06/23/goalie-camp-week-four-recap/


Question Eight

         True or False. The goalie should keep his eyes on the puck from release of shot all the way into the part of the body making the save?




         Goalies must keep eyes on puck from release until save is made for a few reasons, most importantly it helps the mind make the correct save movement decision and, if puck is not controlled, he does not need to search for loose puck.


Question Nine

Which NHL goalie (1960’s-1970’s) painted stitch marks everywhere on his mask where he was hit by a puck?

                                    a. Gary Simmons                     b. Cesare Maniago

                                    c. Gerry Cheevers                   d. Eddie Johnson



C.     Gerry Cheevers 

Cheevers was a real piece of work. Below is Cheevers explaining how the practice of painting stitch marks began (note to young goalies, ignore his “daily practice!!!”)


“Well, when the mask first became a reality in the game of hockey, the first ones were all plain white and I hated wearing anything white. It was to me a sign of purity and I wasn’t in a pure business as far as I was concerned, playing goal and hacking away and all that stuff. And I also had a daily practice of trying to get out of practices. Going to practice, all I could think about was getting out of it. And one day this puck flipped up and hit me in this new white mask I had. It wouldn’t have cut me if I didn’t have the mask on but I acted like I was seriously hurt, went to the dressing room, and Harry Sinden, who was coaching, came in and told me to get the heck out of there. And so I was about to go out onto the ice and our trainer, John Forestall, said to wait a minute and he went and painted a big 12-stitch cut on my mask and I got a chuckle out of that and we went from there. A very, very simple thing happened there but maybe, just maybe I was the pioneer in the art of decorations of masks. That’s what I’d like to think about it.”


Question Ten

                Which NHL goalie did not wear Rbk gear in the 2007-08 season?

                                    a. Ryan Miller                          b. Mikka Kiprusoff

                                    c. Tomas Vokun                      d. Marty Turco



B.     Mikka Kiprusoff

Just about every goalie in the NHL is either wearing Rbk or Vaughn pads. Of the four listed, Kipper is the only non-Rbk and he is now the NHL spokesman for Vaughn.


Worth the Risk?

June 28, 2008


Emery would be worth it IF he realizes his behavior was the problem in Ottawa last year and his attitude was humbled by the buy-out. If not, he’s not worth an old puck bag.

Great talent… but, regardless, nothing kills a team more than selfish players. Nothing.

Best of luck to Emery this summer, but, more importantly, the team that takes the risk.

Summary of NHL Free Agent Goalies

June 28, 2008


Many people think this year’s free agents are a poor lot but there are some real gems here. Huet is one of the best in the league, Theo has been and possibly still can be, Conklin could make a real nice addition to a team, Emery can be good if he gets his priorities set, and Lalime/Kolzig are towards the end of their career but would help any team needing a back-up.

A Snag in the Road for Avalanche and Theodore

June 26, 2008



Same day as reports of talks were on-going, it appears Theo will hit to open market…

Theo and Avalanche Still Talking….

June 26, 2008


Can it get done before July 1 and the start of free agency?

Old Av Denis Released from Tampa – Opportunity?

June 25, 2008


After a tough stay in Tampa, previous Avs goalie Marc Denis was released from the Lightening today and is free to sign with any NHL club as an unrestritcted free agent on July 1.

He joins Andrew Raycroft (Rookie of the Year in 2004), Ray Emery (Stanley Cup starting goalie in 2007 whose troubles have been well-documented in this blog) and veteran Dan Cloutier as goalies released just this week.

I recall an article in Goalies World magazine earlier this year about the head coach-goalie relationship between Denis and Coach Torterella and wonder if this was really why Denis, once considered a very good NHL goalie, had such problems in Tampa. Apparently Torterella is known for treating his goalies very poorly and can make their life miserable and Denis could not play under such conditions.

Now, as a goalie who was just released, Denis can be signed by any club and for very little money. He may be a great pick-up for any team looking for a good back-up at a great price. He is the latest in decent goalies who were bought out this past week from their previous clubs.

Of course, the coach would need to be someone who treats people as fellow human beings…

Avs and Granato, are you paying attention??

A Brief History of the Goalie Mask

June 24, 2008

Below is a great article about a major reason for why many, including myself, first wanted to be a goalie: to wear the mask.


Copyright © Gary Smith 2005


It’s been roughly forty five years since Jacques Plante introduced the first fully functional goalie mask to the world of hockey.  This mask was formed from an exact mould of Plante’s face and fit the contours of Plante’s face like a second skin. The eye holes conformed to Plante’s cheekbones and eye brow ridge, the mouth openings was a long rectangle that ran from underneath the nose, the nostril area, to the bottom lip. The mask was constructed of fiberglass cloth and polyester resin, 1/ 8th of an inch thick.


The mask was designed mainly to minimize facial cuts from pucks, sticks and skate blades; essentially to give the goalie the confidence to dive into a scramble face first, eyes open. There were two major design drawbacks. One; the eye was still exposed and two it was considered hot and many goalies disliked the claustrophobic feeling of the face mask.


In 1960 Plante experimented with the next design innovation, a style mask now known as the “pretzel mask”.  This style mask was constructed using a type of fiberglass yarn material that actually formed fiberglass bars that contoured the face. The pretzel mask offered a little more air circulation and was cooler on the goalies face.


The decade of the1960’s started with the hockey world being skeptical of the goalie mask however by the end of the decade it (the mask) was an entrenched piece of equipment for goalies. Different styles of masks that were easily mass produced were available to amateurs and minor hockey associations. These were either clear shields that often fogged up and wire cages the impeded vision. The custom moulded fiberglass mask was the best option at the time and interestingly it was  often the trainers of teams that were called upon to start making the masks form the goalies.  Lefty Wilson, the trainer for the Detroit Red Wings set the standard for making light weight masks that were immediately recognizable. 


Lefty Wilson made his first mask in 1963 for the legend Terry Sawchuk. It was crude and simple in terms of design but it served it’s purpose as Sawchuk credited the mask for extending his career. What Wilson’s masks lacked in protection they made up for in style. His masks had large eye openings and the slits he cut for the mouth and ventilation gave the goalie a stolid android like look. In the 60’s, goalies were mostly concerned about blind spots. Wilson’s masks accommodated them with oversized circular eye openings and the mask was rather thin and only covered the immediate face area.

 In the mid 1960’s Ernie Higgins, a plumber from the Boston area started making masks for his son. Word spread, and it wasn’t long before Bruins goalies Eddie Johnston and Gerry Cheevers were wearing Higgins masks. Higgins also had a unique “look” to his masks, two triangle shaped slits in the cheeks and “T” formation of holes on the forehead, but his early work was fairly similar to Lefty Wilsons in that it simply covered the immediate facial area, with large eye openings. Higgins was an innovator and constantly thought of design improvements to increase safety. He was the first mask maker to extend the mask past the ears and past the forehead after Eddie Johnston suffered a concussion. He also started to pad his masks in the crucial impact areas (forehead, and cheek bones). Ernie Higgins eventually made a “full head” mask that offered complete protection from under the chin to the top of the head.


Jacques Plante was also instrumental in improving the design of the fiberglass face mask. In the 1970 NHL playoffs Plante was facing Boston Bruins when a deflected slap shot struck him in the head. While recovering in the hospital Plante thought of how he could improve the impact resistance of the mask without compromising weight and visibility.  He consulted with engineers and after some experimentation came up with a mask that was truly unique. The mask design incorporated ridges so the puck would glance off the head and disperse the energy of the impact. One complete ridge ran from the top of the forehead down the bridge of the nose down past the chin. The forehead had a ridge that ran along the eye brow and another that angled up at about 45 degrees. The eye openings were small and rather than cut large ventilation openings and mouth slits, this new mask only had 3/8th inch holes. The mask was much lighter than any other as it was made with lightweight epoxy resins which were cutting edge technology in 1970.


Aside from the improved design the mask had a “look” like no other. Plante’s Fibrosport Company was soon mass producing this mask design for all goalies though professionals were still getting their “Plante” masks custom fit. Jim Homuth of Ottawa, Canada also started to experiment with mask design in 1970 after seeing Plante get hit in the face. Homuth also consulted with engineers at the National Research Centre in Canada and he came up with a similar design as Plante’s. 


By the early 70’s a few goalies like Gerry Cheevers and Doug Favell were painting or decorating their masks. And this new trend set the stage for Greg Harrison. In 1974 Greg Harrison made his first NHL mask for Jim Rutherford of the Penguins; painted powder Blue. Harrison went on to become the most innovative and influential mask designer of all time. Harrison combined his skills as an artist and designer with his knowledge of goaltending to define the decade of the 70’s for goaltenders. Harrison borrowed and improved upon the previous design innovations of Plante, Higgins and Roy Weatherbee a master mask maker (pretzel design) who taught Harrison the tensile strength properties of fiberglass. Harrison often combined the design concepts of many different styles of mask, for example the Bannerman style mask. Harrison’s mask making abilities were second to none but it was his art work that set him apart from other mask makers. By the late 70’s Harrison designs were worn by 80% of NHL goalies.


It was by the late 70’s that fiberglass facemasks were being banned by minor hockey associations across Canada and The United States as they were deemed less safe than a helmet and cage. The Helmet and cage had been gaining wider acceptance in North America since the 1972 Summit Series saw the brilliant Soviet goaltender Vladislav Tretiak wearing this style of mask. Helmet and cage masks were accepted in Europe but in the 70’s they were considered “amateurish” and less stylish by North American goalies. The biggest flaw of the Helmet and cage was that it was bulky, often helmets shifted in the goalies head and the helmet was not well designed to absorb a direct impact of the puck. And in terms of style, goalies found that there was very individuality expressed with the mass produced, standard helmet and cage. Tony Esposito attached a wire cage on his mask and wore this prototype to the modern combination mask towards the end of his career.


Greg Harrison then worked with Dave Dryden to design the first “combo” mask. A combination of the safety elements of the helmet and cage with fit and impact resistance of the fiberglass mask. This is the style of mask worn by most goalies today and of course these masks allow for the incredible art work featured on the masks of the 21stcentury. The materials used as well have become more advanced; most combination masks are made with a Kevlar and carbon fibre composite, which makes for and extremely light weight, impact resistant mask.