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Strong Goaltending Saves Blues

Posted 03-04-2008 at 02:43 PM by WalkThruFire
St. Louis Blues goaltender Manny Legace has been the Blues’ saving grace this season. With a struggling offensive line, defense and strong goaltending have become the Blues’ safety net. Legace, 35 years old, is playing in his ninth NHL season. This is Legace’s second season with the Blues, having signed him as a free agent in 2006 after a long stint with the Detroit Red Wings. Despite the Blues’ current losing streak, Legace has remained tough in goal. This season he was named to his first NHL All-Star game, an accomplishment that was long overdue.

Legace has played in 54 games for the Blues this season and is posting a 23-20-7 record. However, goaltending is not the problem for the Blues. Currently, Legace ranks eighth in the NHL with a 2.29 save percentage and is tied for fifth in the NHL with four shutouts.

Legace broke the Blues’ record for most consecutive shutout minutes on January 8 in the game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. During the 1988-1989 season, Greg Millen held the record of 184 minutes, 47 seconds. Legace smashed Millen’s time with 186 minutes, 15 seconds. In addition, he has 22 shutouts in his career. He has been named NHL’s Star of the Week twice in a little over a month. The first time was after posting two shutouts in three games for the week ending January 6. The second time was for the week ending February 17 after stopping 124 of 130 shots.

Legace holds a very impressive career record. In his 296 games played, 160 of those were wins and 78 were losses. With statistics like that, one would expect him to have a large ego. The truth is that Legace is humble and quick to bestow the praise on his teammates. His favorite hobby is riding his Harley Davidson around the neighborhood where he and his wife are renovating a house. Legace is also a spokesman for the Judson Center, a facility that meets the needs of children who are living a life of abuse and neglect.

The Blues have been missing a solid back-up goalie, so when a bad case of the flu ripped through the Blues’ locker room and hit Legace, the team was worried. But because he has such a strong dedication to his team, he braved the flu and manned the pipes. It is that strength and determination which truly makes Manny Legace the all-star that Blues fans know and love.
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