Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Blueland Guest Goalie: Peter Budaj

On February 24th the Colorado Avalanche rumbled in to town to face the Atlanta Thrashers. Last year they gave us a good beating 5-2 and my beloved Moose got pulled.

This year was a little different. Joe "Snow Blower" Sakic wasn't there. In fact several players were missing. The Thrashers beat the Avs 4-3. In net that night was Peter Budaj and he is this week's "Blueland Guest Goalie."

I was front and center at the glass to take pictures of Ian LaPerriere for Candace and was only too happy to snap some shots of Boods.

Peter was born on September 18, 1982 in Banska Bystrica, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia).

Budaj was drafted by the Avalanche in the 20001 draft as the first pick for the Avalanche and 63rd overall.

Budaj played 3 seasons with the AHL Hershey Bears (2002-2005) before getting his chance with the Avs when he was resigned as a restricted free agent.

In his first NHL season (2005–06), he appeared in 34 games while backing up Aebischer and then Théodore. He recorded a combined 47 wins in the next two seasons while splitting duties with Théodore.

Boods got his first starting goalie gig in the 2008-09 season. He and his back up, Andrew Raycroft struggled a bit this season, as the entire Avalanche team did. This season, Peter appeared in 56 games (55 starts), posting a 20-29-5 record with a 2.86 goals-against average and two shutouts. He had a save percentage of .899

Many fans/critics/experts/iceholes think that Budaj shouldn't have gotten the starting job. He's been criticized as too frequently being out of position and being prone to soft goals. He has come through at crunch time in some key games previously for the Avs, so maybe they were giving him the benefit of the doubt. Whatever the case, I hope Boods has a great summer and can get himself ready for next season whether that be in a back up or starting role.

Okay enough data....fun stuff.

Bood's mask. Previously he has worn a blue mask with Altaïr from "The Assassin's Creed" video game on it. You can see it in one of my favorite pictures from last season, Kari and Budaj chatting.
This season, although he still wore his Altaïr mask, he mostly wore a mask with a red version of The Incredible Hulk on it.

But as always, on the back of the mask, one Ned Flanders from "The Simpsons." I've read several discussions of why Ned is back there. It seems the most common one is that Ned is the big Christian on the show and Boods is down with JC (Jesus Christ) too. A good guy that is committed to his faith but not pushy about it? I'm cool with that, go on with your bad self, Boods. And of course it's the buff Ned Flanders and there is also a Slovakian flag. Jesus, the homeland and The Simpsons. Hands down in my Top 5 for the back of a mask.

Poor little pumpkin, I didn't get one single picture of Budaj with his mask off or up. I was too busy stalking Laperriere for Candace. So, I had to use this picture from last season. He is sitting on the bench while then starting goalie Theodore schooled us.

Speaking of Candace....she's nutty as a fruitcake over hockey and more specifically, Ian LaPerriere. She went to Colorado last season to see them and was lucky enough to go to practice. Knowing what a goalie nut I am, she got Budaj's autograph for me and even got a picture of him giving it to her.
As well as being a hottie and driving a sweet car, Candace said he was amazingly nice. He left his car running and ran back into the practice rink to get this kid a stick to sign. Hockey guys (especially my goalies) ROCK!

Good luck next season Boods!


mean mom productions May 20, 2009 at 3:49 PM  

AWh,, how sweet! My kiddo is going to miss Shane doan when they pull the hell out of phoenix greater area. Maybe next year we can get her an photo session.

Aaron May 20, 2009 at 6:54 PM  

Sweet. Pictars I took on the interwebs!
Thanks Ms Shine!!!

Candace May 21, 2009 at 8:04 AM  

Sweet. Pics with me in them on the interwebs! :-D

Pete really is a sweetheart. And yes, the car is HOT. :-)

Thanks for allowing me (and Aaron) to be Guest Blueland Photo Contributors...LOL.


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