Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Goalies: Net Assets Fuhr Stands Ready, Credits `the Stretch'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Goalies: Net Assets Fuhr Stands Ready, Credits `the Stretch'

Article excerpt

Jon Casey calls it "painful." Craig MacTavish says "it looks dangerous." Geoff Courtnall describes it as "the most pain you'll ever go through."

Chris Pronger wants absolutely nothing to do with it.

"I wouldn't let him do that to me," he said. What in the world are they talking about? What is so painful and looks so dangerous that it strikes fear into the hearts of these hockey players, who would think nothing of returning to a game after losing teeth or getting a face full of stitches. It's "The Stretch." We're not talking about the simple muscle stretches that you see diagrammed and posted at your local YMCA. We're talking about the 30 grueling minutes of sheer torture that Blues goalie Grant Fuhr endures from fitness guru Bob Kersee before every game. The Stretch enables Fuhr to play almost every game in goal for the Blues. It has enabled him to come back from a severe knee injury that knocked him out of the playoffs last spring and threatened to end his career. And the Blues hope that it will enable him to be flexible and quick enough to help upset Detroit in the first round of the playoffs, beginning tonight at Joe Louis Arena. "I've got an old body that needs to be twisted, bent and stretched," Fuhr said. "He stretches everything - arms, legs and back. He gets the whole body rolling." It's painful to watch. There's Fuhr laying on his back on the floor, with Kersee grabbing Fuhr's legs, then twisting and turning them in seemingly joint-popping rotations. "It looks almost dangerous," said MacTavish, age 38. "He gets his knee going, bending it out here . . ." MacTavish motions left. "He grabs it and pushes it and . . . quickly flings it over here." MacTavish motions right. "Looks dangerous to me," he said. Sometimes, Fuhr's legs will be contorted at nearly impossible angles, seemingly tied up like a pretzel, with Kersee literally lying on top of him, exerting every ounce of pressure his 175-pound body can muster. "He's got all his weight going into it," Pronger said. "And he's got him in awkward positions." Then there's the groin-ripper: Fuhr will have his right foot planted firmly on the ground with the heel of his left foot up against a wall by his left ear and Kersee leaning on him, literally pushing him into the wall. Ouch. Then they switch legs. "It's painful, so I don't do it quite as much," Casey said with a laugh. "He stretches your legs and your hips - all different types of stretch to work on your flexibility. He stretches every part of your leg. . . . "He uses his weight. He knows how to push you to the maximum so he doesn't push it too far. He loosens up your muscles to the point where it hurts a lot of times. You'd never get to that point stretching by yourself." Players watch this spectacle in awe. "When you're sweating like Grant is, it's a pretty good stretch," Pronger said. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.