Sunday, November 30, 2008

Bill Ranford

Let's take a moment to appreciate the greatest goalie in Edmonton Oilers history - Bill Ranford. Billy Boy, as I like to call him, had some amazing moves in his arsenal of netminding magic. These were: 1. Stack the pads and 2. Fastest glove hand in the NHL.

Billy Boy is what you call a "Hollywood" goalie. When he made a save, he put on a show. Lots of goaltender magic. He'd flash the leather on the glove hand, stack those pads across the net, throw a leg in the air while he was standing up, whatever looked hot on a highlight reel. The kids loved it, because they could play goalie in street hockey and pull off all the fancy tricks that Billy Boy used to do.

Just one problem - you need a defence to be a successful goalie. Ask Martin Brodeur. Billy Boy got run out of town because his Hollywood magic didn't last, not because he wasn't a great goalie, but because we had no defence after 1992. He was still a great goaltender, and was an excellent back up in both Detroit and Washington, even winning another Stanley Cup with the Wings.

I love you Billy Boy. I'll never forget the day you got pulled for Bob Essensa and got booed at Northlands. I was at that game. I was booing too. But I still love you.

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