|TONY BOCK/TORONTO STAR|
|Is it Leafs goalie Mikael Tellqvist, or Chris Young and his old-school road hockey pads?|
One of the open spots on this mostly closed Leafs roster concerns who’s going to be Eddie Belfour’s standby.
I’m not one to root openly, except to say this: If Mikael Tellqvist doesn’t make the team, I’m really, really hoping they keep his pads around.
This has nothing to do with the new rules (aw – there I go again), especially as they apply to goalie equipment (for a quickie history, check this out).
The inestimable Rosie DiManno has a talk with Belfour about the new gear restrictions in her column today – Belfour bellyaches about his trapper, which is a switch from some of these guys talking as if they're being sent out in nothing more than a jockstrap and a covering loin cloth. (btw, did you know that in women’s hockey, the goalies wear a covering pelvic protector called a jill? I didn’t know that before I read this).
No, Telly has only one issue and it is purely aesthetic. The pads he’s wearing, they look kinda old-school or (EUPHEMISM ALERT) retro if you’re being charitable – and if you’re not, well, they’re homely, the kinds of pads only a mother could love. In fact, they bear a passing resemblance to the road hockey pads my mom picked out for me from Canadian Tire’s 1972 Fall and Winter catalogue. I won’t say any more for fear of dating myself, but the blocker looks like something Captain Kirk would wear for a beam-down to Triskelion (sort of like a road game against the Islanders, that).
The pads also look, well, puny – certainly much smaller than the hovercrafts these fellas were wearing a year ago, and even smaller than the white pads the other three goalies here are wearing. Probably an optical illusion, that, with the boards and the ice also white.
Jennifer Quinn, sports feature writer extraordinaire at the Star, handled the blog's quote-running duties, catching up with Telly on the subject of the pads:
"They kind of looked small at the beginning. After a while you get used to it. They are smaller, so they're going to make you quicker. And I'm a reflex goalie, so they'll be good for me."
Yup, they're old school, he said -- but old school in taking the game back to the '80s, firewagon, Breakfast Club days. Hope he's right there.
But enough of this mumbling. We’ll be back with a posting from today’s scrimmage. You’ll be able to spot me easy enough. I’m the guy in the press box with the Go Pads Go! Go Pads Go! sign.
And oh, a mea culpa from yesterday's late post: Jan Steber got credit for a goal I thought went to scoring machine Jeff O'Neill, and it was on Todd Ford, not Belfour. Must have missed the replay.