February 19, 2007

Captain Kirk Always #1 For This Canucks Fan

In less than one season Roberto Luongo has everyone agreeing that he is the greatest Canucks goaltender of all time. There is little doubt that "Bobby Lou" is truly something special, but my favorite Canucks goaltender of all time remains, for a little bit longer anyways, Kirk McLean.

Utilizing his big size, Captain Kirk was one of the last classic stand up goalies to succeed in the National Hockey League. Canucks radio colour commentator Tom Larscheid described him best: "He's like one of those bubble hockey goalies, always standing perfectly straight and just letting the puck hit him."

His stand up style was ideal for his big frame, although in some ways his style made him unappreciated. While other goalies were acrobatically turning away pucks, "Mac" made all saves look routine by just getting in the way of it and making sure the rebound was under control. To the novice fan it looked routine, even boring, but to the hardcore fan it was a pleasure to watch one of the last great stand up goalies.

Full Kirk McLean Biography . . . including YouTube footage

Also in the news today:

Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette talks about new Habs goalie Jan Halak, and his goalie mask tribute to his idol Patrick Roy. Special thanks to Eyes On The Prize for that tidbit.

And special thanks to Georgums at Kuklas' Korner for bringing about this Edmonton Journal article on how one Georges Laraque punch forever changed the life of former tough guy Brantt Myhres. Unfortunately, no YouTube video of the fight seems to exist, otherwise I'd post it at Hockey's Tough Guys.

Come back on Tuesday for my special feature on Black Hockey History. Also coming soon . . . I will profile Greg Adams, John Wensink and Harry Howell, and begin a new feature called "Hockey Books I'm Reading."

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