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Plante was scheduled to play against the Red Wings on Saturday night, with Hall looking on from the press box. For 59 minutes and 38 seconds Jacques repelled everything that Gordie Howe and Frank Mahovlich and the rest of the Wings shot at him. Then Alex Delvecchio wound up all alone with the puck, just to Plante's right. Jacques made his move. Delvecchio waited. Jacques was sprawled now—and Delvecchio backhanded the puck over him and into the net. Up to that moment Plante had compiled a total of 142 consecutive shutout minutes against Montreal, New York and the Wings.
The beautiful thing for goalie connoisseurs is that the styles of Hall and Plante are totally different. Hall depends upon his reflexes. He moves back into his net, defying the shooter to beat him, and does a partial split, with his feet working toward the goalposts. He thinks the day of the reflex goalie is near an end, however, because of the curved sticks that most players now use. "Reflex goalies won't be able to survive against the curved stick," he said. "The puck comes twice as fast at times, and it rises or dips. It's brutal."
Plante works in the classic stand-up style. He rarely goes to the ice; instead, he moves out toward the shooter and tries to narrow the angles.
Both Plante and Hall have sons who play hockey. Would they want them to play the goal?
"Definitely," says Plante. "There's no other place."
"I'd discourage him," says Hall. "There are better spots to be in."
But where could he have more fun than in St. Louis, sticking it to the biggies of the East?