Billington gets top
Billington gets the top billing
Kevin Paul Dupont, Globe Staff
WINNIPEG, Manitoba -- Billington, Billington and more Billington.
Until further notice, that appears to be the Bruins' one-man-for-one-net
strategy for the rest of '95 -- also known as today's game here
vs. the Jets -- and probably a good chunk of '96.
"I don't want to keep rehashing our goaltending situation,"
said coach Steve Kasper, his club on a 4-0-1 roll, "but your
goaltender should give you the opportunity to win -- and Craig
Billington has been doing that for us."
It doesn't take much reading between the lines to figure out that
Blaine Lacher will remain Billington's understudy for as long
as Billington keeps bricking up the net. Utilized as a backup
for much of his career, Billington has emerged as the designated
workhorse on a team desperately in need of finding a cork for
its 24-square-foot black hole.
"It's not unprecedented in today's hockey to keep going with
one guy -- look at Grant Fuhr in St. Louis," said Kasper.
"And over the years, there have been guys who've played tons
of games -- Bernie Parent in Philadelphia, Ken Dryden in Montreal,
Eddie Johnston in Boston. A lot of goalies like that kind of work.
And when you think about it, why should a goalie be any more tired
after a game than, say, a defenseman who's played hard a whole
"If I get to a point where it looks like Craig is tired,
and he's not able to do the job, then I wouldn't have any trouble
putting Blaine in there. But, right now, I don't see any reason
to mess with what we've got."
For his part, Billington is enjoying the heavy workload.
"The most important thing, though, is believing in yourself,"
he said. "Take all your work and all your practice and all
your technique, and then attach the belief you have in yourself,
and then you've got something. Conversely, without the belief,
you've got nothing."
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