Sunday, August 29, 2010

Crazy Good Save by José When With Montreal

I'm not sure at this time what the date was of this game. Still looking into that. But it's a crazy cool save. The puck crawls over José's back and he gets a glove on it. Then he has the presence of mind to fall forward so the puck doesn't break the plane of the goal. So cool!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Video of an Awesome Save by José as a Canadien

I can't say with 100% certainty, but I'm pretty sure this save occurred in this game:

November 22, 2005 - defeated Atlanta, 1-0 (Ilya Kovalchuk save, Peter Bondra save, Marian Hossa SUPER save) (Ok, I added the "super" part, but it was super! Check it out!)

I'd seen a still photo from the save quite a while ago, and here it is.
And here's the video...I have no idea what the announcers are saying, but they are pretty stoked.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Holy Crap!!! It was like Christmas today with José photos!

I was so excited when I got home from work and checked lovely friend had reposted some José photos she saw on a hockey tumblr. And there were lots that I'd never seen!! And some really, really, really awesome ones!!! I was seriously in a puddle on the floor after looking at them...thanks so much, H!!!

I can't decide which is my favorite. I really love this one because he looks so happy. I mean, what a smile!!

Sexy much?...the tongue!

This one is just delicious in a way I can't even explain...shower comes to mind.

And a few others that are also awesome!

And then here's one with his wife, Stephanie, at the NHL Awards.
And here's a quick link to a previous post where I showed lots more NHL Awards night photos. So handsome...

Monday, August 23, 2010

Old Article About José's First Playoff Game

I found this article on the Soixante site yesterday. It was written after José's first playoff game when he was with the Montreal Candadiens. It was April 24, 1997 and he was 20 years old. In the game against the Devils, he played 107:37 and stopped 56 shots in a 4-3 triple OT win. He lost 7 pounds over the course of that game!

Here's the article:

"A Star Is Born"
by Jack Todd
Secaucus, N.J

Thursday night slid into Friday morning, a dark-haired, handsome boy from Sainte-Julie, a wrist shot away from the far side of the Lafontaine Tunnel, made the short walk through midnight into manhood.

While the New Jersey Devils came at him in red-and-black waves and a legend-in-the-making named Martin Brodeur barred the gate at the far end of the ice, Jose Theodore took the best the Devils could throw at him and flung it back in their faces.

Theodore faced 59 shots and lost seven pounds Thursday night and Friday morning. His back hurt. His legs ached. One mistake and the game was over. One mistake and the season was over.

"Until a guy plays a game like that," coach Mario Tremblay said yesterday, "you never know how he's going to react."

Tremblay and the Canadiens know now. From the time Lyle Odelein scored for the Devils to tie it at 3-3 with 1:36 left in regulation until Patrice Brisebois won it at 7:37 of the third overtime period, Theodore kept the Devils from scoring.
He faced 28 shots in overtime alone. Only one shot got through after a fashion. It was a blast from Brian Rolston that hit Theodore in the side and trickled across the crease.

"It was going wide," Theodore said yesterday, unwilling to concede that the Devils had beaten him in any way. "It wasn't going into the net but it could have been a rebound. But Vlad (Malakhov) knocked it away. I've still got a bruise from that shot."

For nearly the span of two complete hockey games, Theodore lived the dream of many a Montreal-born boy: playing goal for the Canadiens in a playoff game and going head-to head with Brodeur, who is merely the second-most legendary Quebec goalie in captivity.
"I always wanted to play against him," Theodore said. "I work with him at the (Vladislav) Tretiak hockey school, but I've never played against him before. By the time I got into junior at 16, he was already out of junior."

To win a duel with Brodeur is like fencing with Zorro and carving your initials in his silk shirt. But Theodore did more than beat Brodeur. By the time his night's work was over, this 20-year-old goaltender had:

- Saved his team from an embarrassing four-game sweep in the first round of the playoffs;

- Become the first Canadiens goalie to win a playoff game at the Molson Centre;

- Broken a seven-game playoff losing streak for the Canadiens;

- Extended to 13 the number of consecutive overtime games won by the Canadiens in the playoffs. That streak includes a league-record 10 straight overtime wins during the 1993 Stanley Cup run. Theodore extended the Canadiens shutout string in playoff overtimes to 166 minutes and 38 seconds nearly three complete games of shutout hockey in the pressure cooker of playoff overtime;

- Played the second-longest game of any goaltender making his playoff debut, threatening the record set by Boston's Frank Brimsek on March 21, 1939, when Brimsek and the Bruins defeated the Rangers 2-1 on a goal at 19:25 of the third overtime period.

Along the way, incidentally, the kid from Sainte-Julie just might have saved the jobs of his coach and general manager. Not bad for a night's work.

His reward? "I had about five minutes to talk to my mom and my girlfriend," Theodore said, "and then I had to get to the bus."

It was 4 a.m. by the time Theodore got to sleep at the team hotel in New Jersey. And when he got up yesterday, there was an endless stream of reporters waiting for interviews.

"After the fifth period, I said to myself, `when is this going to stop?' "

But Theodore never lost his cool. Maybe it has something to do with having four older brothers. As one observer said yesterday, "you have to be cocky to be a good goaltender. He's too young to be cocky off the ice but on the ice he's a very confident guy."

"I felt nervous for him when he was sitting there between periods," said Tremblay, who made the enormously difficult decision to start Theodore in place of a shaky Jocelyn Thibault at 4 a.m. Thursday.

"I kept asking him if he was alright. He just said, `Yeah coach, I'm OK.' That's him."

"I'll never forget it, that's for sure," Theodore said. "Thirty years from now, I'll remember that game."

Theodore said it was the biggest game of his life, bigger even than the championship game when he led Canada to the world junior championship.

"In the world junior, after the second period I knew we were going to win," he said. "This time I didn't know until we scored. I'll remember it all my life."

Yesterday, there were the inevitable comparisons. When you are 20 and you have just won an astounding playoff game for the Canadiens, someone is going to mention Patrick Roy:

"I didn't pattern my style after him," Theodore said. "My style is different from anyone. But I watched a lot of Canadiens games when I was younger. And I remember that he was 20 the first time he won the Cup. When you see someone who did that at 20, that is something to inspire you."

When Theodore was still a teenager, the immortal Tretiak himself pointed to Theodore and told TSN's Michael Whelan: "That one will be in the NHL very young."

Now Theodore is in the NHL, and in the minds of many people he should be anointed the starting goaltender for next season right now, especially in view of Jocelyn Thibault's history of playoff failures.

Former goaltender Jim Corsi, now a commentator on CJAD's hockey broadcasts, is much more cautious.

"Thibault is still the better technical goalie," Corsi said. "Over the long run, he has that technique to fall back on.

"And Thibault is very strong-minded. You have to be strong-minded to be a goalie at this level. Jocelyn is strong enough to come back from this."

Then Corsi began talking about Theodore, and you could sense his excitement.

"I like his aggression," Corsi said. "I like the way he goes at the puck. He's challenging the shot in all instances.

"He will make mistakes but I always say they're nothing wrong with an aggressive mistake, as long as you learn from that mistake."

Theodore's style appears to affect more than just the goaltending. Thursday night, the Canadiens' team defence was as aggressive as it has been all season.

"Of course it has an effect," Corsi said. "He's still not skilled at handling the puck, but he's not afraid to handle the puck. When you think about the great goalies who can handle the puck, people like Brodeur and Ron Hextall, they think like a hockey player and react like a goalie.
"You can tell a kid all the time to do this or do that, but at a certain point his instinct takes over. And Theodore's first instinct is to go at that puck. That's why I say he'll think like a player but react like a goalie."

By challenging the shooter in every instance, Theodore has the same effect on them that a shot-blocker like Dikembe Mutombo has on the jump-shooters of the National Basketball Association: he can't always block the shot, but he can alter the shot enough to make the shooter miss.

A goalie, however, still has to make the saves and when it comes to stopping the puck, Corsi believes Theodore's biggest asset is his legs:

"He has very strong legs. A lot of goalies have good heads, but he has the legs. He'll make a save, but if he has to go down he'll get back to his feet and if there's a rebound he'll make them miss."

Before you get too excited, remember Patrick Lalime. Spectacular as it was, Thursday's victory was just one game. The Canadiens are still down 3-1 and there is every possibility that the Devils will pick him apart tonight at the Continental Airlines Arena in Game 5.

But watching the way he helped lift this team Thursday night, you got the feeling there might be something special about the young man his teammates call "Theo" or, sometimes, "San Jose."

Funny. If you slide that about one saint and one language to the left, you've got "St. Patrick."

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I Found an Awesome José Theodore Fan Site Today!

My poring over the internet looking for other José sites has finally paid off. I found a great site today called Soixante, José Theodore The Approved Fanlisting. (FYI, soixante is sixty in French, José's number.) It's not active any more, but I still found some really good stuff.

Here's a link to the site:

I actually found quite a few photos that I'd never seen before, so that's cool. And I found out that José was in the October 2002 issue of GQ...I need to see if we have that issue in the library.

And there is a great section on the site of quotes by and about José. I thoroughly enjoyed those. Here are a few of my favorites:

"If you look at me with no shirt, if I'm taking steroids then I should change the guy that's selling them to me because it's not working."
- on being accused of taking steroids after testing positive for a WADA banned substance found in his hair tonic, 2006 (This one really made me giggle.)

"Outside of the game, he reminds me of Bobby Orr. (Orr) was nice to everybody. (Theodore) is patient with everybody. It comes naturally to him. He stays humble, too."
- Andre Savard, 2002

"Jose is a very talented goalie. He's just a guy you really trust back behind you. If there is a mistake, he's going to bail you out for sure."
-John-Michael Liles on Theodore holding Minnesota scoreless in the first 2 periods of Game 1 and 2 of the playoffs, 2008

"Even with the tough times, he had a great attitude. He's a terrific guy to have in net."
- John-Michael Liles on having Theodore as a teammate, 2008

"His emotions, his maturity . . . maybe he was always in control of his emotions, but I see him as being very level-headed. He's very calm, focused on his own job. Patrick was different. Patrick was very vocal and Jose is quiet. He gives off a controlled vibe, which is good for the rest of us. He's not rattled, which is a good way to lead. If he doesn't like something the 'D' did, we just talk about it."
- Adam Foote comparing Theodore to Patrick Roy, 2008

"Theo's more laid back and just relaxes out there."
- Joe Sakic comparing Theodore to Patrick Roy, 2008

"When he had his struggles, and I think this is important, he really endeared himself with his hard work. He didn't ever pout, and he was a really great teammate."
- Kelly Hrudey on Theodore's positive attitude after being benched, 2007

So great job to Jello over at Soixante!! You have a great site!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Washington Post Article from March 2010--Washington Capitals goalie Jose Theodore copes with the pain of his infant son's death

Written March 2, 2010 by Tarik El-Bashir.

I thought after posting the video of José after the NHL Awards, maybe I should post this article that I'd read when he publicly spoke about Chace's death for the first time.

José Théodore had managed to keep his personal tragedy as far from the ice as possible. The Washington Capitals goalie didn't want to make his teammates uncomfortable, and the rink was a place where, for three hours a day, he could go to escape.

But last week, Théodore sat on the bench at Kettler Capitals Iceplex, took a deep breath and, through tears, gave the first interview about his 2-month-old son Chace, who died in August from respiratory complications related to a premature birth.

"Obviously, it's a tough story for anybody," he said. "It's not something people are comfortable talking about. People say to me, 'I can't imagine.' To be honest, they can't imagine. They can try to imagine. But until you are there, you can't put yourself in those people's shoes."

Théodore is an intensely private man, having become wary of the media from his years playing in Montreal, where a hockey player's every move on and off the ice is possible tabloid fodder. But he agreed to discuss his son's death in an effort to publicize the charity, Saves for Kids, that he founded in November. Proceeds benefit the neonatal intensive care unit at Children's National Medical Center, the place Theodore and his wife, Stephanie Cloutier, spent so much time during their son's 54-day life.

"There's not a day" he doesn't think about it, Théodore said. "I can remember sometimes, it could be a 2-2 game, and you start thinking about your son, or you start thinking about different stuff. Or you could be getting dressed [in pads] and trying to get focused and you get carried away thinking."

"Christmas was much tougher," he added, his quivering voice trailing off. "It's as simple as seeing kids around. You could be in the game and you see a dad in the stands with his son and you think about it. It's about being strong enough to get focused right away so you don't . . ."

As he's so often done during times of tumult in his life, Theodore has persevered on the ice, pushing aside the pain.

"You don't accept it," he said. "But you have to find a way to live with those thoughts."

A mysterious condition

Chace, the couple's second child, was born on June 22, about five weeks early. They knew there was a chance that their son would arrive prematurely. What they did not know was that he would born with a mysterious neuromuscular condition, which to this day has not been diagnosed.
"It's . . . I don't know how to say it in English. But it affected all his body," said Theodore, who grew up in a suburb of Montreal. "The lungs weren't strong enough for him to breathe on his own. So he was on a ventilator."

Summer had been when Théodore planned to work himself into the best shape of his career in an effort to win back his starting job with the Capitals, a job he lost when he was replaced by rookie Semyon Varlamov one game into the playoffs last spring. Instead, he and Stephanie spent almost every waking hour at Children's in Northwest D.C., a 20-minute drive from their Arlington home.

The Théodores would spend hours, sometimes days, in the state-of-the-art neonatal intensive care unit, where premature babies, some small enough to be cradled in an adult's hand, lie in miniature cribs. The rooms are dimly lit, the nurses speak in hushed tones, the melodic pulsation of a ventilator can sometimes be the only sound.

Some days, Chace would show signs of improvement. It was on those days that Theodore would perk up, allow himself to smile and, perhaps, start to believe his son had turned a corner.

"Every time he was doing something better, you started looking forward," he said. "For me and Stephanie, we always thought he would.

"He tried the best he could, but . . ." Theodore said, his eyes welling up again. "Every day, I thought he was going to be fine."

Appointments with specialists have continued during the season. On a trip in November, Théodore left the team for a day so that he could be with Stephanie for an appointment with a noted geneticist in Arlington. The couple's daughter, Romy, who turns 4 in March, also suffered from complications due to a premature birth.

"We love kids and we want a big family," he said. "But what we went through was really hard. So we want to put the odds on our side. Right now, we're trying to find answers."

In a setting as tight as an NHL dressing room, where teammates often know one another's deepest secrets, Théodore has kept his emotions to himself.

"I can understand the peaks and valleys he's had in the season," Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Goaltending is a mental game. But he's so private and he's refused to make any excuses. It's something he's battling through on a daily basis."

Continuing the fight

Within days of Chace's death, Théodore knew he wanted to set up a foundation to honor his son's short life and do something for the hospital, which had become a second home over the summer.

"You almost become a family over there because we're all fighting for the same thing," he said. "Parents are going through such a tough time . . . and the nurses and doctors, it's not easy for them, either, when things aren't going well."

With the help of the Capitals, Théodore created Saves for Kids. At the end of the season, he will make a donation based on the number of his saves, wins and shutouts.
Elizabeth Wodatch, the Capitals' director of community relations, said the Théodores considered naming the charity after their son. But after much consternation, they decided against it.

"I didn't only want to focus on the name of my son," Théodore said. "That was a little too hard."

Even though the charity is being handled by the Capitals, Wodatch said Théodore wants to present the check, in person, to the hospital at season's end.

"We were there every day for two months, all day," Théodore said. "The nurses start to get attached to the babies. And just to see [that] they were doing the best they could . . . they were trying to support us the best they could."

A safe haven on the ice

Chace died on Aug. 14. The Capitals opened training camp on Sept. 13. That didn't leave Théodore much time to prepare for what figured to be a critical season for a goalie who was about to turn 33.

After grieving privately, he began working out in the gym and taking part in informal practices with his teammates. His release, he said, took the form of pouring himself into his work.

"I was so angry and frustrated and sad and everything you can imagine," Théodore said. "I was just going on the ice, wanting to practice so hard to make up for lost time."

Boudreau named Théodore his No. 1 goalie entering training camp, and the veteran solidified his status by holding off a challenge from Varlamov.

"Pro athletes have to be wired in such a way that they have the highest level of concentration and focus and are better able to deal with distractions," said Joel Fish, a sports psychologist who has worked with professional athletes. "Oftentimes, they have a unique personality, in addition to a unique skill set, to be able to deal with stress and pressure.

"The ice often becomes a sanctuary for the player," Fish added. "A safe haven, if you will."

But after starting 11 of the Capitals' first 17 games, "reality," as Théodore called it, caught up to him. He allowed three goals on five shots before being pulled in a 5-4 win over the Islanders. One game later, he yielded five goals in a loss in New Jersey.

After that defeat, a downcast Théodore told reporters that he needed to regain his focus. He took a brief leave of absence to accompany Stephanie to a doctor's appointment three days later. He did not play for the next six games.

Théodore returned to the net Nov. 30 and beat Carolina, 3-2. Since that game, Théodore has won 15 contests, including matching a franchise record for consecutive wins with 10 straight.

Despite his success on the ice, Théodore's struggle to come to terms with his son's death hasn't gotten any easier.

"I don't like the word 'easier,' " he said. "It's more like you deal with it."

And I found the first comment to the article very interesting:
"Normally I take joy in shredding trolls and other teams fans to pieces on these articles...with varied results, but this story tore me to pieces. I have a 10 month old daughter, and I cannot BEGIN to imagine what this must have been like for Theodore. To go through that, and still play the way this guy has for most of the season??? José, you are a friggin' man. You can lose every game you play for the rest of the year and i won't say a word. Go Caps."

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Video of José talking to the Media after 2010 NHL Awards

This is just a screen is at bottom of post.

I really didn't think my admiration for José could grow anymore than it already had. But after seeing this video when he talked to the media after being awarded the Masterton Trophy at this year's NHL Awards, my admiration went all the way to 11 (Spinal Tap reference there.)

This interview shows what a class act José is. Whatever personal problems he's had in the past, he's risen above them and persevered. I admire him greatly for that. The end of this interview is so emotional, his pain is palpable. And yet for him to be so gracious with the media here, it really shows what kind of guy he is. I really hope a team picks him up this season. The NHL would miss him on and off the ice.

For anyone unfamiliar with the situation, José was awarded the Masterton Trophy, which is given to the National Hockey League player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey. He lost his infant son, Chace, in the Summer of 2009  from complications after he was born prematurely. The NHL Awards were held the day after what would've been Chace's first birthday.

José had his best season on the ice since his outstanding 2002 season. But it's what he did off the ice that revealed his true character. "He turned his personal grief into a way to help others by establishing Saves for Kids - a foundation created in his son's honor that benefits the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Children's National Medical Center. Theodore donates money for every save, every win and every shutout and has inspired others to give what they can, as well; his way of giving back to the people who helped his family through a tough time.

Through it all he was the utmost professional and, over the last few months of the season, a big reason for the Caps' success. He took personal tragedy and used it to fuel his performance while helping others, finding strength and comfort in the sport of hockey to help him through this tough time.

In short he was everything the Masterton Trophy stands for... and more."

José and Stephanie presented a check for $35,000 to the hospital after the season was over.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Article about José's Continuing Free Agency

I found this article on today, Five Reasons Jose Theodore Can Win the Stanley Cup, by Bobby Brooks (from August 10, 2010.)

Jose Theodore is still an unrestricted free agent on August 10. Most teams have solidified their goaltending position and there just aren't enough seats for all the kids at the party.

On the surface, it appears like his career could be winding down as he faces another crossroads. The NHL landscape has taken a sudden turn and it has players like Theodore asking himself—what now?

Personal tragedy, new economic and philosophical realities, and negative stigmas stand between him and another shot at the Stanley Cup.

Theodore has many challenges ahead of him, but I will outline five reasons why this former league MVP can go from unemployed to a Cup parade.

The veteran netminder has had to overcome significant challenges in both his personal and professional life during the last couple years.

For perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey, Theodore was awarded the Bill Masterton Trophy in 2010. This coming after his infant son Chace tragically died last summer due to premature birth complications.

He was also signed by Washington to be the number one goalie, but he lost the starting job and won it back, only to lose it again in last year’s playoffs. Throughout the entire process, Theodore worked hard, put the team before himself, and handled it with class.

At the moment the prospects of him finding a good situation don't appear to be good, but if anyone can overcome another challenge—it's Theodore.

Due to the monumental upset of the Capitals by the Canadiens in Round One, the Theodore versus Varlamov debate did not have much vigor to it despite the fact that coach Bruce Boudreau switched goalies in two consecutive postseasons.

Many think the switch was justified and Varlamov’s play did not prove otherwise. In contrast, the other side of the debate is adamant that Boudreau had an itchy trigger finger.

Regardless of whether it was the right move or not, Boudreau did not give Theodore a chance to play out an entire series. The perception around the league is that Theodore cannot get it done when it counts the most. In the eyes of most, he is a fading starting goalie.

However, he is not a stranger to adversity or competition. Theodore battled against these factors and won the starting job in two consecutive regular seasons—and he can do it again.

The new economic reality of the NHL has been a primary reason why goaltenders such as Theodore are looking for work. It appears the days of Roberto Luongo-like contracts are well behind us.

More than ever before, organizations are cutting costs wherever they can and goaltending has been the main casualty. Whoever signs Theodore will be getting a bargain basement price for someone more than capable of backstopping a team.

This might be bad for Theodore financially, but it also opens up opportunities to play for a lot more teams that would not have been able to afford him otherwise.

He just might find himself on a Stanley Cup contender who can now afford to sign him.

The other primary reason goalies are currently playing a game of musical chairs is the new fad of giving anybody a shot. During the 2010 post-season, three of the final four teams were using starting goalies that started the year as a backup—Anyti Niemi, Michael Leighton, and Jaroslav Halak.

As we all know, the current trend is to go cheap at goalie and take your chances by investing more in the rest of the lineup. While this buyer’s market has led to Theodore sitting by the telephone well into August, it also promises him an opportunity to win back the confidence of a coach with his play and eventually become a starter again.

At some point along the ride, he will get his chance to start in the playoffs again. Except this time, he will likely be playing for a coach who doesn't rely on the panic button every time his team surrenders a questionable goal.

The Laval, Quebec native had his best season since 2002. In the last three months, he backstopped the Capitals with a 20-0-3 run. The 33-year-old netminder has sound fundamentals, great lateral movement, and superb agility.

Everything else becomes irrelevant if he cannot play at a high level, but last season he clearly demonstrated that he still has the ability to be a difference maker in this league.

It is uncertain who is going to take a chance on him at this point, but someone will. What they don't know, is that they may have unwittingly added the final piece of the puzzle en route to Lord Stanley.

This is the new NHL where anything can happen.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

José Photo of the Week

I am especially partial to photos of José when he was with the Avs. I think it's the mask for's an awesome mask. And I like the Avs' uniforms the best. I love José's's a great profile. His nose is really nice. And it shows off his sideburns nicely. And I love the mask-on-top-of-the-head look for goalies. I just really love this photo...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

José Photo of the Week

I like this photo so much, because he looks happy in it. He's had too much sadness in his life, and I like to see him smiling.