Tokarski thrives on pressure (which is a very good thing)

What you need to know about the goalie tasked with carrying the playoff hopes of the Montreal Canadiens

New York Rangers' Carl Hagelin, left, scores past Montreal Canadiens goalie Dustin Tokarski during the first period of Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference finals, Sunday, May 25, 2014, in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

New York Rangers’ Carl Hagelin, left, scores past Montreal Canadiens goalie Dustin Tokarski during the first period of Game 4 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup playoffs Eastern Conference finals on Sunday, May 25, 2014, in New York. (Seth Wenig/AP)

Chris Johnston writes for Sportsnet where this first appeared. For more of his work, click here. 

MONTREAL — First, an anecdote about Dustin Tokarski and playing under duress: It was a game day in October 2012 and the goaltender had just been carjacked at knifepoint. He was sitting in a Syracuse Crunch track suit, in a Syracuse police station, just hours before his team was scheduled to play a road game against the Binghamton Senators.

There was a police lineup to identify the perpetrator, some paperwork to complete and even a few autographs to sign for officers. Then, there was a frantic one-hour drive and an arrival at the Broome Veteran County Memorial Arena at roughly the same time the national anthem was being performed.

Under those difficult conditions, Tokarski would obviously not be starting that game for Syracuse.

However, he would be forced to play. The Crunch fell behind 5-0 early in the second period and a line brawl broke out as counterpart Riku Helenius skated down the ice to trade punches with Binghamton’s Robin Lehner. The two starting goalies were ejected.

That left only one man for Syracuse coach Jon Cooper to turn to. And, given the events of the day, there was every reason to believe that the game was about to get even uglier.

Except it didn’t.

“Tokarski comes in and, sure enough, 5-1, 5-2, 5-3, 5-4, 5-5, overtime and we win 6-5,” Cooper, now the coach of the Tampa Bay Lightning, told Sportsnet recently. “That was one of the biggest comebacks I’ve ever been a part of. That’s just Ticker — he somehow finds a way.”

Read the full article here.

 




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Tokarski thrives on pressure (which is a very good thing)

  1. Let’s just say the kid goes on one helluva roll and wins the Ranger series.
    What do you do with him next year?
    Say Price can’t come back for the final against LA and, miracle of absolute miracles, the Habs actually beat LA for the cup?
    Now you’ve really got a goaltending “situation”
    Yes, I know, the Leafs should have such problems

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