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Quick Strikes: The language of goalies is not voodoo!

Also: Pride Month festivities kick off.

Tampa Bay Lightning v Columbus Blue Jackets - Game Four Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

The news drought of the NHL’s No Man’s Land - that period between the eventual end of the playoffs and the start of free agency - is in full swing, but here’s the tidbits we managed to find from yesterday.

-First up is an intriguing question about goaltending: Do you like to stop pucks or prevent goals? That was the question a team asked goalies during the annual NHL Scouting Combine this week in Buffalo. Although it seemed to stump the prospects, sports psychologist John Stevenson knew exactly how he’d answer the question.

“Language is everything to me. Because it’s not the words that we say, but it’s the picture that we put in our mind. For example, if I say ‘don’t back in so soon,’ or ‘don’t go down so early,’ as opposed to ‘hold your ground, be patient, outwait the shooter,’ it sounds like the same thing but it’s not because your subconscious can’t tell the difference between what is real and what is imagined. So, for me personally, I love to stop pucks because that to me means I am in control, I love it, it’s my job, it’s my passion. For me, ‘I like to prevent goals’ sounds like you are panicking. Like, why are we talking about goals? We don’t talk about goals. We talk about stopping pucks. That’s our job, just stop the puck.”

-The You Can Play organization was at the Buffalo Pride Parade Sunday, as was the Buffalo Sabres organization.

Speaking of the parade -

-The Pittsburgh Penguins signed undrafted 22-year-old Finnish goaltender Emil Larmi to a two-year, entry-level contract yesterday.

“Emil is coming off of a fantastic playoff run with HPK, and has proved himself to be one of the best goaltenders in Liiga,” said Penguins goaltending development coach Andy Chiodo, who has extensively scouted Larmi in Finland. “He’s an athletic and mobile goaltender that reads the game well and is highly competitive. We are excited for Emil to join our organization as he transitions to life and hockey in North America.”

The signing was viewed by a Wilkes-Barre/Scranton blogger as a nice piece of insurance for the organization.

-As with all rumors, a grain-of-salt warning is required here, but still: Sources have claimed that Patrik Laine is willing to explore different options should contract negotiations with the Winnipeg Jets not get off on the right foot.

While the threat of pursuing a contract with another team is premature, Laine does not appear to be interested in a lengthy contract battle with the Jets; and if Laine’s camp and Jets management hit a wall during negotiations, it could lead to an uncomfortable discussion.

-A lot is often said about making the playoffs at the AHL level and why it’s so important for prospects to experience it. Chicago Wolves general manager Wendell Young chimed in on this topic recently. Chicago is currently facing Charlotte in the Calder Cup finals.

Why would Young be able to chime in so certainly on such a thing? Well...

-Finally, Mike McKenna checked in with his analysis of game three of the Stanley Cup finals:

What really stood out to me about Game 3 was the play of Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask. In Games 1 and 2, he seemed to look somewhat uninspired at times, but Game 3 was a different story.

Rask made several big saves in the first period by telescoping out to gain depth, tracking the puck well, and shifting into shots. Each goal against involved a circus-like deflection.

Amazingly, in such a lopsided game, at least in the goal column, the Blues had far more scoring chances in my opinion.

During blowouts, we sometimes forget how good the winning goalie may have played.