A year ago, says Fuhr, "I get shipped to L.A. for a three-month vacation. I didn't play much, but I really improved my golf swing." Fuhr's arrival sparked a sudden, drastic improvement in the play of incumbent goalie Kelly Hrudey, who these days is known as the Kings' backup goalie.
Fuhr could handle four years of professional frustration because his personal life had been rock solid. "My home life is very quiet," he says. "Compared to the past, it's a huge difference." Monday is the big blowout night in the Fuhr household: Candice's sister, Jackie Lock, comes over, and they sit on the couch and watch Melrose Place. Grant watches too, partly because he has played some celebrity golf tournaments with Jack Wagner, who portrays a doctor on the show, and partly because he'll watch whatever's on.
This is one of the world's most easygoing humans. Fuhr's legendary equanimity was sorely tested, however, during St. Louis's recent 0-3-1 homestand. Of the 19 goals scored on him, Fuhr had a fighting chance to prevent maybe two. In their increasing desperation to score, his teammates neglected their defensive responsibilities, leaving Fuhr horribly exposed. "We abandoned him," said Twist after the Blues' 5-2 loss to the Dallas Stars on Feb. 6.
Fuhr was never more alone, or more heroic, than during a Dallas power play early in the second period of that game. Lunging to his left, he scissored his legs and kicked out a point-blank shot. "Did you see how fast he got there?" said Stars coach Ken Hitchcock afterward. "That was beautiful."
That save alone validated a vote of confidence delivered on Fuhr's behalf last summer. Of course he can still play.