Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Canucks Goalie Leaves No `Stone' Unturned vs. Blues

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Canucks Goalie Leaves No `Stone' Unturned vs. Blues

Article excerpt

The Vancouver Canucks are back among the playoff living. Their life saver is Kirk McLean, an expert in goal-mouth to goal-mouth resuscitation.

The Blues scored twice in two regular-season games, both losses, against McLean. In the first two installments of their best-of-seven-game playoff series, the Blues have a 72-52 edge in shots - 36-26 each game.

They have five goals and one victory to show for it.

Down 2-0 in Game 2 by no fault of his own, McLean stood his ice long enough for his teammates to pull out a 5-3 victory.

"Early in the game, Mac gave us a chance to get back into it," said Vancouver coach Rick Ley. Then, in a model display of polite leadership, Ley said, "Their goalie saved their bacon a few times, too."

Not often enough to keep Blues coach Mike Keenan from yanking his goalie, Curtis "Cujo" Joseph, in the third period. Vancouver was able to KO Cujo with five goals on 25 shots.

Before the series began, Keenan had said, "I think it's going to be great to watch these two goaltenders compete."

It got less great in a hurry. Joseph has a goals-against average of 3.27 and a soft save percentage of .882, thanks to his .800 leakage in Game 2. McLean has a 2.52 GAA, with only two even-strength goals allowed, and a rock-solid save percentage of .931.

"He's not nervous at all," alternate captain Sergio Momesso said. "He's really cool back there. We know he'll be steady for us.

"He's an old-time type goalie. He stands up and plays the angles. He's not out of position. In the second period, he made the saves to keep them at 2-2. It could have been three or four."

McLean, 29, was the backstopper last year in Vancouver's run to the Stanley Cup finals, where the Canucks lost by a goal in Game 7 to Keenan's New York Rangers.

Vancouver winger Russ Courtnall, who arrived from Dallas last month, said, "He's a great goalie. He stoned me last year in the playoffs. …

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