Marcoux does his homework

SCOTT FISHER -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 1:04 PM ET

 David Marcoux has a book on every netminder in the league.

 The Calgary Flames goaltending coach also has a book on the backups.

  And, luckily for the Flames, Marcoux even has the scoop on the backup's backup.

 Marcoux's wealth of knowledge on opposition goaltenders has been put to the test in this series as the Vancouver Canucks have employed a trio of puckstoppers.

 "David has a book on all the goalies in the league," says assistant coach Rich Preston. "Our players know right away what a goaltender's tendencies are.

 "He tells them how good a goaltender is at playing the puck and what side he favours when he plays it. Does he come out of the crease to cut down the angle or does he stay back in his net? Where the holes are to shoot. All that stuff. It's important and you never had that in the old days. You had a mental picture but you never had it broken down like it is now."

 Marcoux's primary job is identifying technical deficiencies in his own goaltenders' play. He and 'tender Miikka Kiprusoff will spend hours going over film after every game.

 But he also makes a few notes on who's between the opposition's pipes.

 So when Canucks head coach Marc Crawford shocked the hockey world by throwing unproven rookie Alex Auld into the post-season fire, Marcoux was prepared.

 "We played him on January 3," Marcoux says of the Canucks 3-1 win in which Auld was named the second star after foiling Jarome Iginla on a penalty shot.

 "For many years, I've been really focusing during games on goaltenders. So everytime I see something, I write it down in my book.

 "It's a habit of mine to pay attention to two guys. I'll watch our goaltender but I'll also take time to watch the other guy to help our shooters out, too."

 Like everyone else, the Flames goaltending guru expected Johan Hedberg to get the call in Game 5.

 "I was a little surprised. I thought they were trying to pressure Hedberg in the media and give him a chance to prove what he could do.

 "But I guess there's a history with Hedberg and Crawford. They tried something new and we were fortunate to win the game even though they made that switch."

 There's no mystery behind Auld's game, Marcoux says. The 6-ft. 4-in. butterfly 'tender covers the bottom of the net well and relies on quick reflexes for high shots.

 "Generally speaking, he's a bigger picture for our shooters," he says, comparing Auld to the 6-ft. Hedberg. "He's a big guy who uses his body and plays a very good butterfly style.

 "He's like 70 percent of goaltenders in the NHL. They have size and they go down on their knees. He's no different."

 Kiprusoff is the epitome of cool. He won't let a bad goal, or even a bad game, get to him.

 And Marcoux sees a bit of that confidence in the Canucks youngster.

 "I thought he was calm and composed. To be put in that type of situation, he seemed to enjoy that challenge," Marcoux says.

 "He made some big saves early in the first period which may have calmed him down even more.

 "He wants to prove to his hockey club and his teammates he can do the job."


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