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Conference-leading Toronto Raptors are back in the great

 
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MessagePosté le: Ven 17 Aoû - 08:44 (2018)    Sujet du message: Conference-leading Toronto Raptors are back in the great Répondre en citant

BUFFALO, N. James Daniels Jersey .Y. -- Dominik Hasek is not a goaltender anymore. He hasnt taken his customary place between the posts since his last game on Feb. 27, 2011 for Spartak Moscow of the KHL. He has thought and talked about playing since, but never followed through. "My equipment is still in the same bag," he said. Even when the 49-year-old plays with friends once or twice a week, Hasek plays as a defenceman. Forty years as a goalie was enough. And its unlikely the man nicknamed "The Dominator" can capture the kind of performances that made him one of the best goaltenders in his era, alongside Patrick Roy and Martin Brodeur. Hasek played his final NHL game five years ago, and then officially retired in 2012. Its taken time since he left the league for his true place in NHL history to come into focus. Six Vezina Trophies as the leagues best goaltender, two Hart Trophies as MVP, one Olympic gold medal, six first-team all-star selections and two Stanley Cups -- one as a starter -- dont even tell the whole story. Few goalies during the 1990s and 2000s could do what Hasek did to opponents. "He mentally and physically intimidated you," said St. Louis Blues coach Ken Hitchcock, who beat Hasek in the 1999 Cup final with the Stars. "I think there were games that you knew you were never going to score on him, and I think it was very discouraging at times. I think thats a great quality. Id never seen the guy quit on a puck, Id never seen the guy give up on anything. And thats hard to play against." Haseks .922 save percentage is the best of any goalie since the league started keeping track in 1982-83. His 2.02 goals-against average is the best in the modern era, slightly lower than Ken Dryden and Brodeur. Brodeur has many more shutouts, but when Hasek was on his game, he had the ability to almost will teams to win. "He makes a team believe," ex-Sabres and current Stars coach Lindy Ruff said in a phone interview. "You just start believing that with him in goal you can win any given night." Ruff recalled times when Hasek was so locked in that "we really only had to score one. And if we got two, it was almost guaranteed-win night." Hasek, who is being inducted into the Sabres hall of fame Saturday night and will be the first NHL player to have the number 39 retired next season, wanted victories more than trophies or honours. "I want to be remembered as a competitor who gave the teams always (the chance) to win the game," Hasek said Friday at First Niagara Center. "As a great goalie, as the person or goalie who gave the team (a chance) to always win the game. Thats what was hockey for me. I enjoyed my time, I enjoyed when I played here and any time I step on the ice my goal is to win the game and try to help my teammates win the game." Hasek will forever trail Brodeur (three Cups with the New Jersey Devils) and Roy (four, two each with the Montreal Canadiens and Colorado Avalanche), and one of his two in Detroit came as Chris Osgoods backup. But Hasek could potentially have won another title in 1999, had it not been for Brett Hulls controversial skate-in-the-crease overtime series winner in Game 6. A Cup there would have burnished Haseks legacy even more, but its not something that he laments 15 years later. "Its part of the life," he said. "Sometimes you win, sometimes you come close and you dont win it the whole way. It was an unfortunate night for us, it was something disappointing, but for me it wasnt end of my life." Far from it. In fact, Hasek teamed up with Hull to win the Cup in 2002 with the Red Wings, posting six shutouts along the way. "Winning a Stanley Cup anywhere, its hard," said Sabres coach Ted Nolan, who spoke with Hasek Friday for the first time since Nolan was fired in Buffalo in 1997. "Its hard and all the stars have to line up. They didnt quite line up here but he went and lined it up in Detroit pretty well." In 1999, Hasek had two shutouts and a playoff-best .939 save percentage in almost getting the Sabres their first championship in franchise history. Stars centre Joe Nieuwendyk won the Conn Smythe Trophy, but it easily couldve gone to Hasek even in a losing effort. "We were a huge underdog, obviously, going through the playoffs," Ruff said. "I thought that our team really fed off of Doms performance for the most part. He wouldve been able to take a team that wasnt supposed to get there and win it." Haseks dominant prime lasted six seasons, from 1993-94 through 1998-99, when he led the league in save percentage every single time and came away with five of his six career Vezinas. Asked about those years, Hasek smiled and brushed off the notion that it mightve been the best stretch any goalie has ever played. "I dont think about this that way," Hasek said. "I got a chance to prove, to become starting goalie and after that I had, I dont know, six, seven years, which we had great teams, we made it every year to the playoffs except one of nine years." Hasek proved much more than that, something that will more than likely be validated with induction to the Hockey Hall of Fame in November. "For me its a no-brainer," Ruff said. "I think he definitely stands as one of the best. He was on the cutting edge of the way a lot of goaltenders play. Always looking for a way to be better. He could take a team a long ways with the way he played." Hasek isnt carrying teams anymore, instead living back home in the Czech Republic and working "a little bit" in hockey and also in business. As much as hed appreciate it, making the Hall of Fame was never his goal, and thats not his focus even now. "There are new goals in life and always something new to prove. The hockey career is something what is behind me," Hasek said. "What great years, what fantastic things to do something what you enjoy, what you love to do, and be very well paid and be around the people who you love and spend great time with them. However its part of the life that every professional player has to retire some day, and you wake up and you enjoy your life different ways." Cheap Bears Jerseys . The Union looked to have grabbed a big win in the 88th minute when Amobi Okugo finally put the hosts in front. But a terrible giveaway by Union goalkeeper Rais Mbolhi handed Earnshaw the equalizer in the second minute of stoppage time, keeping the Union two points back of fifth-place Red Bull New York for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Roquan Smith Jersey . He scored two highlight-reel goals in a three-minute span -- the second on a sideways bicycle kick in the 78th minute -- to give the Whitecaps a 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers before a crowd of 20,303 at B. http://www.cheapbearsjerseyschina.com/ .com) - The Eastern Conference-leading Toronto Raptors are back in the great white north for a brief moment and will host the Dallas Mavericks Friday night from Air Canada Centre.BASTAD, Sweden -- Germanys Mona Barthel beat Chanelle Scheepers of South Africa 6-3, 7-6 (3) in the final to win the Swedish Open on Sunday. It was the third WTA career title for the 24-year-old Barthel, who is currently ranked 61st. Barthel had also won their last meeting in Hobart, Australia, iin January 2013. Bilal Nichols Jersey. "I was so tired in the second set, and I just told myself I need this one because I didnt know if Id have enough energy for a third set," Barthel said. Barthel saved two of the three break points she faced against the 91st-ranked Scheepers. Cheap Canadiens Jerseys Cheap Predators Jerseys Cheap Devils Jerseys Cheap Islanders Jerseys Cheap Rangers Jerseys Cheap Senators Jerseys Cheap Flyers Jerseys Cheap Penguins Jerseys Cheap Sharks Jerseys Cheap Blues Jerseys Cheap Lightning Jerseys Cheap Maple Leafs Jerseys Cheap Canucks Jerseys Cheap Golden Knights Jerseys Cheap Capitals Jerseys Cheap Winnipeg Jets Jerseys ' ' '

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