December 01, 2012

Andy Bathgate: Ahead Of The Curve

From Matt Dennis of the Windsor Star in 1962:

Andy Bathgate can stickhandle and pass, but his shot has been his greatest stock in trade. To us it has always appeared "different" and when Rangers were at Detroit Tuesday, we asked him whether we were right or was it just an optical illusion. At times, we had thought his shot actually "curved". Sounds unbelievable although hockey observers from another area had told us all was possible and that Cy Denneny was able to do that little thing while playing with Ottawa and Boston in the 1920's.
When queried re "curving" a puck, Andy said:

"It's no secret, at times there is a spin on my shots. I picked it up from curling. Talking to curlers in Winnipeg, I was told that a curling rock delivered straight doesn't go true because of the irregularities of the ice. So by twisting the rock, it goes true and is under control.

When I can, I cradle the puck on the heel of the stick, not in the middle as so many other players. I think the puck spins. Others have remarked about it but I do believe it gives me better control once I take aim."

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