As told to: Dave Bidini
MIKE PELYK: Jacques Plante was a great goalie, but as a team guy he was a piece of shit. He was always broke and borrowing money, but he’d never pay you back. One year, we had a bowling tournament and I’d just got my knee out of a cast. I was a pin boy as a kid, so I thought I’d enter the tournament anyway, having played so much growing up. Jacques was also a big bowler, being from Quebec, where everybody plays. We played three games and I shot 200 each time. Jacques would sit there scowling as I’d hobble up to the lane and shoot on practically half of a leg. Still, I beat him every game and he went home fuming. He couldn’t stand losing. He left the party so pissed off at me that I don’t think we ever spoke again.
DEAN PRENTICE: When Andy (Bathgate) popped Jacques in that famous game where he went into the dressing room and came back with his mask, he was only doing it because Jacques had tried to bodycheck him when he was out of the crease. Plante was always doing that.
FRED STANFIELD: In the Bruins’ first game of the playoffs against St. Louis, I split Jacques Plante’s mask with a slapshot and knocked him out cold. He told me later that his mask was tested for 105 mph. They showed me the mask after they’d taken him to the hospital and it was cracked right up the middle between the eyes. Later, Glenn Hall skated up to me and said, “Thanks. Now I have to play the rest of the series.”
YURI BLINOV: Jacques Plante came into our (Team Russia’s) dressing room before the first game in Montreal and sat down with Tretiak. One by one, he told him how to play each of the Canadian shooters. As you know from the score, it was all very helpful.
DAVE BIDINI is the co-creator of ‘Slapshot Diaries’ as well as a writer/musician/columnist from Toronto and the author of 12 books.
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