Man in the Thermoset Composite Mask: What Your Tendy Wishes You Understood

It’s pretty easy to blame a tendy. You hear fans grumbling after a loss, “Merf merf Quick, if only…” I know there have been times this season when I’ve said, “if only Bernier had been in net!” There have also been times when Quick has been that spectacularly brilliant guy, recalling the name of every pope and constellation, standing at the chalkboard in AP Calculus doing mental math, just to sit down to a corndog lunch, ketchup and mustard dribbling down his Dragon Ball Z t-shirt. And by corndog lunch, I obviously mean stick handling.

There was a man beside me at a game that had plans to install an electric dog collar to lightly shock Quick every time he went outside a King’s fan’s comfortable net radius. In our last game versus Anaheim, Quick fell yards away from the crease during an uber-aggressive poke check and the Ducks scored on an empty net. My mother noted this was an interesting combination of the Smells like Teen Spirit angst of Mike Smith and the blubbery Porpoise Sedin dive.

In all the Playoff breakdowns, team versus team, Jonathan Quick is commonly noted as our greatest strength, even before our star scorers Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar. Yeah, this season we’ve seen a little Amanda Bynes action out of him. But no one can disagree that he is what science refers to as, “the best goddamn fucking goaltender in the league.” Your part time male model Henrik Lundqvist and his Centre for Kids who Can’t Read Good be damned.

Lots of us grew up playing hockey, but very few of us grew up playing goalie. We would sprint from the bus stop to the ODR (outdoor rink) knowing that someone would have to be the tendy… and FUCK THAT NOT IT NO CALL BACKS (finger to nose). Because by the tender age of 7, I was already 5’8 and faster than most kids, I never really had to play the net, except when expressly forced by a coach. And even then, it was clear I was better used in any position that would involve taking someone out.

At the beginning of every season, I set an intention to learn something new about the game of hockey. My personal goal for this season was to better understand Quick’s choices: to continue to improve my knowledge of the game beyond memorizing stats. I knew I would need a mentor to answer all the questions I had for the man behind the mask, so I interviewed a professional goaltender (who asked to remain anonymous) to shed some light on Jonathan Quick.

On the playoff Game One Quick behind the net faux pas:

“If we are on the PP I will want to be getting the dump ins quickly out to control the puck, either helping set up for a quick breakout or make a pass to my Dmen or a stretch pass to the forwards further up the ice to catch the other team on a change… I want to trap a forechecker behind the play creating another man advantage…Unfortunately Quick didn’t expect that forechecker to continue behind the net… they usually just peel away after a little fake. Quick tried to rim it off the glass, but I think the puck was too close to his feet… he misplayed it. He could have gotten the pass away much faster. It was the right choice to leave the net though.”

On Quick’s coming out… of the net or why he shouldn’t just sit there like a lame duck:

“The advantages of being aggressive with your depth are big. We fill a lot more net when we come out to challenge. If the shooter crosses the blue line and I am still in my crease, the chances of a goal are pretty big… there’s a lot of net to shoot at. But if I am 4 or 5 feet outside the paint then the scoring chances drop. And Quick is a big, athletic goaltender….

If the tendy butterflies on the shot [that far out], his shoulders will be above the crossbar in relation to the puck… Also, I think it’s more intimidating to see a tendy prepared to challenge aggressively, it puts doubts in the shooter’s mind… the players will attempt to deke and the chances of the puck being mishandled skyrocket” [except you Kaner, you slippery bastard].

“The key to being aggressive with depth and successful is matching the attacker’s speed… it makes it easier to slide to either post on the deke. Most of the time when people are yelling, ‘QUICK GET IN THE NET’, the mistake could be reading the speed of the attacker or the appropriate depth.”

I also wanted to ask him what it was like being a tendy.

On what player habits bother a tendy most:

“Don’t deke and light the lamp during warm up. Don’t say, “How are you tired, you just stand there” after a game or practice. “

(Typical Girl Question): What are you thinking about?

“How fast are the players coming? Are we outnumbered? Who is following up the play? Do we need a change? Is the blade open or closed on a shot? Is he looking to pass? What leg is his weight positioned over? Where is he looking?”

What is the biggest problem shot?

“A problem shot is over the shoulder and past the head. We have to roll to the side, and bring the catcher or blocker up to that area to fill the space. Usually if you have enough depth, as I think I said before, it will hit the shoulder.”

On screens and deflection shots…

“If the opposing team is smart, they will put a big guy [Pennercakes?... haha, yeah exactly] in front of the me to screen a shot. I will try to look around him and position myself square to where the puck is… The blocking butterfly save is made when I see, feel, or hear, [or divinely foresees] that puck has been released. And get ready to control that rebound! [like a pretty teenage daughter]

How does it feel when the crowd wants to pull you, example Quick for Bernier:

“It is important not to let any external thoughts start to enter your mind during a practice or game… the less things bother you, the more focused you can be… You have to be someone that enjoys that pressure… Thrives on it… and uses it to fuel a great performance. I usually find the higher the stakes, the better I play. It’s how I’m wired, but I believe most of us [goaltenders] are like that. It can be a very lonely position at times… But I like the fact that a big save can swing the momentum of a game… give my team a boost.”

So I raise a glass to you awkward tendy in the corner of the locker room who doesn’t speak. I will no longer judge you while I get pumped up dancing around to Britney and you sit there counting floor tiles. And I’m sorry about that one time I shot a puck at your mask before a game, because I was showing off for a dude. You know how it goes.

So cheers to you, tendy! May you finally be heard.



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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9 replies

  1. 7 hole is one of the hardest shots to stop. You have seen Quick have problems with keeping these shots from getting into the net.
    That area of the body, is not well protected which can also really hurt if you get hit in the right area where the padding isn’t all that much.
    Quick has been getting better at keeping his arms closer to his body when he is about to make a save, however if he tries to make himself big when challenging a shooter, that’s when you are exposed more than most areas on your body.
    A goalie cut sweater, has more material in the arm/underarm area, which is there so the body armor which includes the chest/arm/clavicle/shoulders/elbow/forearm/spine. The one area where there usually isn’t much padding is on the sides of torso where ribs and the armpit area are not heavily padded.
    When you get hit with a puck in the 7 hole area, you feel it! It hurts, it hurts a lot if the shot is hard enough. Ribs can be bruised/cracked even broken.
    If your arms are not close enough to your body when a puck is shot,its difficult to seal it off. This is why Quick or any goalie for that matter will allow what is considered a soft goal.
    One other situation that causes problems for a goalie is a 2 on 1. In this situation, the goalies sole focus should be on the shooter or the guy who has the puck, while the person who is back usually a defenseman, should have their sole responsibility on taking away or preventing the pass from the shooter.
    Too often, even though this is taught early on playing hockey, along with stick down head up, is how to play a 2 on 1 when you are on the defensive, for some reason the defender doesn’t focus on preventing the pass.
    As a goalie you communicate with whoever it is that is coming back, telling them “I’ve got the shooter, you take the pass.” However regardless of communicating the defender might try to get too aggressive and goes after the shooter and ignores their check or the player who would be receiving the pass.
    The most common defense is for the defender to get down low, placing their stick on the ice, or themselves and their stick on the ice, making the shooter have to make a good saucer pass if the 2nd man on the attack wants to have a chance to have a shot on net.
    Larry Robinson who knows his stuff always coaches the defender to stay upright, not to get down because it takes the defender out of the play and unable to react quick enough to make a defensive play.

    • If I see someone winding up and I’m in his lane I’m fucking moving out of the way so the goalie has a very clear view. Fuck that I’ve been nailed too many times and I’m not getting paid to block shots.

      I’ve never played goalie so I have no idea what it’s like. I don’t get how you guys move around in all that gear.

      Gotta love the 7 hole goals but nothing as satisfying as the roof sniper shot beating the goalie glove side. Just a pure shot. Then the ole deke to open the goalie up and slide it right in 5 hole. I’m sure that’s gotta drive goalies crazy just seeing that puck float right by them into the net.

  2. It looks like no one was interested in discussing my long comment on the last blog or my shortened version with a list of concerns I had.

    One that was in the long post, but that I forgot to put in the shortened version, was the top line being injured.

    Anze Kopitar is injured. It’s obvious. His speed is gone. Then we have Justin Williams suspiciously being “benched” and missing time pretty much every game, playing lower ice time than usual, and when he does play he’s not having any impact. And then we have Matt Barry reporting after game one that Doughty’s back is fine after the hit he took, but Dustin Brown’s back is not so fine.

    So what it sounds like is we have an injured top line. The whole top line.

    What are we going to do about that? And why is Sutter keeping all three together then? If they’re at less than their best physically, give Kopitar some bigger, healthier bodies to work the cycle with, like Jordan Nolan or Dustin Penner, and give Brown and Williams some easier competition farther down the lineup. Maybe put Penner on line one and Williams with Richards and Carter.

    Or why not try Toffoli on the top line since he’s actually healthy and playing like Justin Williams normally plays? I just don’t understand benching Toffoli most the game and keeping the top line together all game while they do nothing and get dominated because they’re all injured. Sutter needs to move people around and find combinations of healthy bodies that are going with speed and/or size who will actually get us some possession and time on the cycle and keep the puck out of our zone.

    Also WHY IS FRASER IN THE LINEUP AGAIN? HE NEEDS TO SIT! PLAYING HIM AND BENCHING NOLAN IS WASTING ONE OF OUR BIGGEST CYCLE PLAYERS! Nolan also has speed too!

    Pisses me off. Could cost us the series playing Fraser.

    Speaking of center, why not split up Richards and Carter? They’ve produced well but they’re getting killed in possession, and with Stoll out, it just makes more sense, plus it gives more ice time to wingers that deserve it. You put Carter back to center on the 2nd line, move Toffoli up to replace him on the wing, and now your third line is much stronger with Richards in the middle, plus you’re getting Toffoli much more ice time and he can work off Carter and get even more scoring chances. Win win.

    Why isn’t Sutter trying these things?

    • Terry Murray, I thought we fired you? Trying to break up all of our lines and reshuffle everyone around. An injured Kopi/Brown/Williams is still much better than a healthy Nolan! Also, if Fraser or Nolan are why we lose a series, or much less a game then we were never going to win anything worth a shit in the first place. I trust Sutter, he knows all the crap that we can only speculate about, and he has his name on the fucking Cup.

    • You want Toffoli checking Thornton? Me neither.

      I don’t think Williams is injured. Kopitar and Brown probably are but this is the playoffs and if you aren’t too injured to have to sit then buck up and contribute. Splitting them up doesn’t make them less injured. You might drag down multiple lines. And Sutter did start splitting them up last game for a bit.

      Nolan in for Fraser? Maybe. Fraser hasn’t been great, but Nolan has been nearly useless. He isn’t playing physical and is taking needless penalties regularly. But we can discuss this in the upcoming game thread. This is an article about goalies.

      • I am confused about the timing of this article. Goalie talk made sense in the first half the season, heck even somewhat in the second. But we all know that Quick has returned to form and is the best in the fucking world. Other than making me curous who are these supposed people who are questioning his authority as the unquestioned #1 for the Kings, what is the point of this article? It really should be this simple: Quick is to Goaltending as Ra is to the sun, not only does he rule the crease but all other as well. Anyone who questions his dominance shall be smitted…smotted…smotten…smitten? Fucked up, yeah that’s it!

    • Probably because our top line isn’t injured :)

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