Pick Your Position

If asked, I admit without reservation that my favorite Flyer is Claude Giroux. The admiration comes from  a huge appreciation for his on-ice ability, “Oh my gosh, did he just pass without looking?” And some seriously amazing stick-handling skills.

So I definitely enjoy forwards. Defensemen too. Mez’s shots from the blue line, Pronger’s elbows, and Kimmo’s just awesomeness.

But if you asked me what kind of girl I was, I’d say simply, “I’m a goalie girl.”

It comes from a couple of things. When I played soccer as a kid in AYSO, I was more often than not, a goalie. My dribbling and shooting ability left something to be desired. And when I think what position I would play if I could skate, I realize I’d probably be a goalie. I have no aim and I’m much better at just getting hit by flying things. Finally, I just love watching goalies do their thing.

I have a friend (he was aforementioned: Blackhawks fan and Original Six elitist) who plays in men’s league. He’s a goalie and when we hang out and he moves on from mocking my Flyers’ love, we talk goalies. He gave (or lent…I’m actually not sure.  I should find out) me a book that he swiped from the ship he was on when he was in the Navy. He justifies it that no one else on board gave a hoot about hockey, so he just took it. I won’t mention his name here because wouldn’t it suck if he got court-martialed after being out for years and for a book?

Puck-Stoppin’ Trivia by Don Weekes was published in 1999, so it’s dated, but that doesn’t matter. It’s not exactly a ‘sit down and read for a few hours’ type of book. It’s a bathroom book. You throw it in the magazine basket or behind on the back of toilet and pick it up when you decide to spend some quality time with the porcelain.

It’s a trivia book and if you’re anything like me, being full of useless knowledge is a matter of pride. And if you want to impress anyone with non-team-centric knowledge that’s from a different decade, this is truly a good book. The set-up is nine sections of questions (multiple choice, true or false) and the answers at the end of each section. What I like about it is that it’s not just the single answer, but also an explanation for why/how/where and so on.

For example:

3.13 Which goalie is best known for vigorously whacking his stick on both posts in a swinging motion, alternately hitting one post with the blade and the other with the butt end?

  1. A. Garth Snow
  2. B. Curtis Joseph
  3. C. Ron Hextall
  4. D. Bill Ranford

(from pg. 33)

Answer: C. Ron Hextall (I know my audience, right?)

Much like Ken Dryden’s ‘the thinker’ stance during stoppages in play, Hextall has his own particular mannerisms, including one that obviously suits his “take-no-quarter” temperament. In preparation for a face-off Hextall often clangs his stick on both posts in a unique back and forth action, hitting the blade off one post and the butt end off the other. (from pg. 40)

See, I didn’t know he was one of the first or the first to do this. We all learned something!

As I said, it was published in 1999, and as far as ordering it on Amazon; you’d have to get it used. It is however, my first hockey book and there are more to come, but you have to give the goalie his due. It’s a tough position and as we know in Philly, he can make or break a game.

Here’s to Bryzgalov and Bobrovsky being so awesome this coming season that they’re put into a goalie trivia book in the future years.

Puck-Stoppin’ Trivia by Don Weekes  *** (out of five stars)

It loses one star for the fact I noticed at least one grammar error in what I’ve read. And it loses another due to the fact that it’s not the tenth version with up-to-date stats and trivia.

P.S. Tomorrow teachers get to wear jeans to school and whatever sports-related top they want. I will be rocking orange converse and my Giroux jersey. It barely makes up for the fact that I missed the rookie game last night.