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Author: Kevin Woodley

Thomas the Technician? More structure than most realize

There’s little question what sets Boston goaltender Tim Thomas apart from his puck-stopping peers is his intense compete level and metal toughness. Teammate Patrice Bergeron even labeled his goalie’s style the “battle-fly,” an aggressive, outside-the-blue, take-no-prisoners approach that, in the words of Thomas himself stems from a combination of being 5-foot-11 – and therefore unable to rely solely on size and blocking – and never having anything given to him. That includes being a third string walk-on in junior, and accepting his career would end in Finland without a real shot at the NHL before reluctantly taking a final...

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Ask a Pro: Predators prospect Mark Dekanich

Nashville puck-stopping prospect Mark Dekanich is poised to become the next in a long list of really good to great goaltenders produced by the Predators. Drafted in the fifth round, 146th overall, after winning the Ken Dryden award as the top goaltender in the ECAC during his sophomore season at Colgate University, the North Vancouver native completed four seasons of NCAA hockey before moving up to the American Hockey League in 2008-09 and quickly ripping off a .930 save percentage in 30 games as a first-year pro. After a slight statistical dip – and two games in the ECHL – last season, the 24-year-old is back at the top of the league this season with a .931 save percentage and 2.02 goals-against average, pulling the Milwaukee Admirals up near the top with him. The 6-foot-2 stopper has already surpassed higher draft picks Jeremy Smith and Chet Pickard on the Predators depth chart, and if not for an impressive early showing by 6-foot-6 Swede Anders “The Giant” Lindback would likely be backing up Vezina Trophy candidate Pekka Rinne in the NHL already. Instead he’s settled for a couple of call ups to sit on the bench, and one brief relief appearance that will count as his NHL debut. Talk to most observers, however, and it it probably won’t be long before Dekanich is there full time. In the meantime Dekanich...

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Interview with a Monster: Jonas Gustavsson Ask A Pro

As most InGoal Magazine readers already know, Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Jonas Gustavsson underwent a heart ablation late last week, a minor operation to steady an irregular heart rhythm that was discovered when his heart began racing during pre-training camp workouts before his last season, his first in the NHL. It’s the third time Gustavsson has needed the heart procedure, which involves guiding, via x-ray, a thin catheter tube to the heart muscle and using bursts of radio-frequency energy to destroy small areas of tissue that are causing the abnormal electrical signals that set his heart racing in the first place. Amazingly, it should only keep him off the ice for a week. Unfortunately, it kept him from an American Hockey League road trip with the Toronto Marlies, and away from a scheduled chat with InGoal readers. The good news is InGoal had an earlier opportunity to sit down with the Swedish stopper during a recent visit with the Maple Leafs, and while it doesn’t allow us to pose the many excellent questions from subscribers to our FREE weekly newsletter as planned, it does provide a great deal of insight into the massive changes he is making in his game, and perhaps explain why it hasn’t always been a smooth transition from dominating in his native Elite League to playing in the National Hockey League. For the most part...

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