Manitoba Moose goaltender Alex Auld has established himself as one of the top goaltenders in the American Hockey League
over the past several seasons. He ranks 11th in the league with a 2.20 goals-against average and eighth in wins with a career-high
18. Last season he was thrust into the spotlight having to sub for an injured Dan Cloutier in games five, six and seven of
the Conference Quarterfinals against the Calgary Flames. Auld also carried Team Canada to a third-place finish at the Spengler
Cup in late December against teams littered with star NHLers.
On Saturday, he took the time to answer some fan questions
posted right here on moosehockey.com
Marc M. from Winnipeg:How come you decided to have Moose related things painted on your goalie mask? Most goalies
tend to get stuff relating to their respective NHL on their masks.
I just figured it was about time that I started
looking like I actually played for this team.
Paul from Orillia:Hi Alex. Was curious about something. You seem so calm in net that I often wondered if anything
bothered you manning the nets for the Canucks in the playoffs last year. Was it nerve racking at all in those overtimes, or
having Jarome Iginla bearing down on you? p.s. Keep up the good work, you have a great ability for making us Canuck and Moose
fans feel confident when you're between the pipes.
I was a little nervous before the first game I played but once
the game started you feel so excited about playing in the playoffs that the nerves disappear and your instincts take over.
Carly from Winnipeg:Hey Alex... i was just wondering do you think that playing in the spengler cup for Canada
helped you become a stronger player or person and when you got back to the Moose did you feel you could relax and not be so
pressured or did you feel that you had to play harder?
I think the Spengler Cup was a great opportunity and experience.
When I came back, I just felt really comfortable and things really went well after that. When you’re feeling really
good you don’t really think about pressure or how hard you have to play, you just go out and do it.
Yogi from Winnipeg:You have the coolest Vaughn gear,you must have the best rep taking care of you. Who picks
the colors they look so cool?????
I have a great rep but I picked the colours and come up with most of the ideas.
Vaughn’s been great to me and I love working with them.
John Ngai from Calgary:I am a Canuck fan how worried were you the first playoff game you played? What aspects
of the game do you think you have strengths in?
I wasn’t really worried, I was more excited and anxious before
the game. I think I use my size well and have really worked hard at improving my mobility.
Kate from New York:I'm a huge hockey fan but without the NHL, i've been supporting the Moose. What do you like
to do on your days off?
Usually I just spend time relaxing with my wife and dogs. We travel so much that it’s
nice to just have time to yourself.
Cory Lehmann from Edmonton:Good Afternoon Alex, I have been following the Canucks for a long time. I have also
followed the Moose closely. My question for you is this : Do you think that playing in those games last year in the playoffs
with the canucks has helped propell your game to a new level this year? Thank you!!
I think that it was a great
opportunity and I like to draw on past experiences. It was great coming into this year with the confidence I gained in the
playoffs and I feel I’ve carried that through to this point in the season.
Dougie Holmgren from Winnipeg:My name is dougie , and I am ten years old. My question is "who was your favorite
goalie when you were little. Mine is "you".I hope you keep up the great work that you are doing.
I was lucky enough to have so many great goalies playing when I was young. I really followed the Leafs a lot so I liked Felix
Potvin and later, Curtis Joseph. I have tremendous respect for what Patrick Roy has accomplished and the way he revolutionized
Josee from Ontario:umm well iv watched you since i was 6 when you played for noth bay centennials and im probably
your biggest fan i have your jersey and everything .. but anyways my question is how long have you been playing and who is
your big insperation? and what do you do before a game to get ready? buy the way you wher great at the spengler Cup awsum
in the shootout
I’ve been playing hockey since I was seven. Goalie full-time since I was nine. Before the
game I like to get to the rink about three hours before to tape my sticks and stretch. I don’t really do anything that
unusual. I don’t like to get caught up in superstitions or anything like that. I just like to play. Most of my preparation
is done in practice and thank you for your comments.
James Lloyd from Columbia, SC:Do you think The Echl Is A Good league for develepent of future Ahl and NHL players
?and what did you take from your time in the Leauge
I think it’s a great development league. A lot of players
have spent time there and moved on to the next levels. The biggest thing about my time there was I was able to play a lot
of the games I was there for. It gave me the confidence so when I came to the AHL I felt ready.
Jeremy Gritten from West Vancouver:Alex, I'm a fourteen year old goalie and would like to work on my skating,
as I feel that's my weakest area. Do you have any tips or drills? Thanks, Jeremy
You’re right, skating is
very important to a goaltender. There are lots of great drills to help your movement on the website hockeygoaltender.com
under the drills section.
Matthew from Auckland, NZ:What is your favorite city in the AHL to visit ?
Chicago and Houston. Chicago
because it’s a great city with lots to do and see and I like going to Houston because the weather’s usually 100
degrees warmer than here.
Matt from North Vancouver:What kind of transitions do you have to make going from playing in the NHL to playing
in the AHL?
The biggest thing is to try not to do too much. You can’t go down thinking you’ll be amazing
every night just because you played in the NHL. It’s a very hard league to play in and you have to just be sharp every
Pam from Coquitlam:If you could choose any other position to play in hockey, which one would it be?
think I’d play forward so I could score. Some nights it looks pretty easy to score from where I am. But I know I probably
wouldn’t be very good.
James from Van City:Hey Alex, did anything from last years playoffs help you become and better all around goaltender
this year? And if so what were those things?
It really helped my mental game being put under all that pressure
and thrust into the spotlight. When you experience that, even though we didn’t win you feel like you can accomplish
Jesse Allarie from Winnipeg:In your entire profressional career, which player do you think is the hardest to
beat when he comes at you?
Jarome Iginla seemed to have my number in last year’s playoffs. He has such a
quick release and accurate shot it’s easy to see how he scores so many goals.
Anita from Winnipeg:What, if anything, have you changed or started to do to better prepare yourself this season
as compared to last season?
I haven’t changed too much as far as game day preparation but I think my overall
approach mentally has improved.
Trevor from Victoria:Who's the best 'locker room guy' that you've been on a team with?
guy I’ve ever played with would have to be Marc Bergevin. But leadership wise, Mike Keane is incredibly strong and vocal
and maybe underappreciated for what he brings.
Tom from Winnipeg:What is the deal with ritual that you and Flaherty have before the game where Flaherty is
tapping your pads and chest in the crease at warmup?
He just tells me to have fun and that’s about it. We
get along so well, we just both want to see each other succeed. And that’s all part of it.
Sandy Sutherland from River John:What is the significance of the griffin on the sides of your mask?
griffin is from my family’s crest. I wanted to have a little bit of my personal heritage as well as the team on my mask.
Colin Bandstra from Vancouver:Hey there Alex, what were you feeling before you started the Game 6 overtime in
last years playoffs? And waht then did you do right when Morrison scored in the third overtime?
started I just thought I couldn’t let in another goal. It was a crazy game to that point and I just didn’t want
to let my teammates down. When Mo scored I jumped about ten feet in the air and raced down the ice as fast as I could. I actually
beat a lot of the guys from the bench.
Kevin McCavour from Coquitlam:When playing at the Spengler Cup, did the European fans and their singing have
any effect on your game compared to the Canadian fans?
The great thing about it was you could just pretend they
were always cheering for you because you couldn’t understand what they were saying. Fans there are amazing and they
support their team so well.
Mike Bernstein from Winnipeg:do you find that spending this extra time here with the moose is more benificial
or less benificial for your ultimate development into the Canucks next goaltender? Were you ready this year to go and become
the real deal? thanks
I think this year has been important for me to be able to play consistently. I play a lot
and that has really helped me feel what it’s like to play almost nightly as a pro.
John from Winnipeg:i know many goalies wear numbers in the 30's but why do you wear jersey #35
was the number the Canucks gave me when I first went there. My first year on the Moose I wore #30 but wanted to have the same
number on both teams so in my second year I changed to 35 here as well.