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The Game

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Rt and what it means to all hockey fans He gives us vivid and affectionate portraits of the characters Guy Lafleur Larry Robinson Guy Lapointe Serge Savard and coach Scotty Bowman among them that made the Canadiens of the 1970s one of the greatest hockey teams in history But beyond that Dryden reflects on life on the road in the spotlight and on the ice of. Published in '83

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Widely acknowledged as the best hockey book ever written and lauded by Sports Illustrated as one of the Top 10 Sports Books of All Time The Game is a reflective and thought provoking look at a life in hockey Intelligent and insightful former Montreal Canadiens goalie and former President of the Toronto Maple Leafs Ken Dryden captures the essence of the spo. This book by for

Ken Dryden Ñ 2 Read

Fering up a rare inside look at the game of hockey and an incredible personal memoir This commemorative edition marks the 20th anniversary of The Game's original publication It includes black and white photography from the Hockey Hall of Fame and a new chapter from the author Take a journey to the heart and soul of the game with this timeless hockey classi. It’s hard to e The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence - Kindle edition by Josh Waitzkin. Humor & Entertainment Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com. edition marks the 20th anniversary of The Game's original publication It includes black and white photography from the Hockey Hall of Fame and a new chapter from the author Take a journey to the heart and soul of the game with this timeless hockey classi. It’s hard to The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance e


10 thoughts on “The Game

  1. says:

    “The game” in Canada is ice hockey I was reminded of that ineluctable fact of Canadian life the last time I was in uebec City when I walked through the historic downtown section of the walled uébécois capital and observed that the shopping district was home to two sports memorabilia stores – one for hockey and one for every other sport In Canada you see other games are fine and important games but hockey is the game And the reader who wants to get a strong sense of the strategic and tactical intricacies of hockey on the players’ level and of the importance of hockey in Canadian culture should make a breakaway straight toward Ken Dryden’s 1983 book The GameAuthor Dryden will need no introduction to National Hockey League fans or indeed to most Canadians During his eight years as goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens from 1971 to 1979 the team won six Stanley Cups and Dryden himself was a five time winner of the Vezina Trophy that is awarded to hockey’s best goaltender While he was at it he also won a Conn Smythe Trophy as most valuable NHL player 1971 and a Calder Memorial Trophy as best first year player 1972 His jersey number 29 is one of only 15 that have been retired by the Canadiens one of the most successful franchises of all time in any sportAnd Dryden’s achievements extend beyond the hockey rink Drawing upon the McGill University law degree that he earned during a one year break from his career with the Canadiens Dryden served in the Canadian Parliament from 2004 to 2011 including two years as a cabinet level minister in the Liberal Party government of Prime Minister Paul Martin Along with all of these other Renaissance man ualifications that helped make him an Officer of the Order of Canada he is also a brilliant writer as The Game amply demonstrates Early in The Game Dryden looks back to his growing up years in the Toronto suburb of Islington Ontario There Dryden and his friends would play pick up hockey in the Dryden family’s big asphalt paved backyard While playing all those games with his friends the young Dryden like many another Canadian boy from Halifax to Victoria would find time to indulge his own dreams of future NHL stardom I would stand alone in the middle of the yard a stick in my hands a tennis ball in front of me silent still then suddenly dash ahead stickhandling furiously dodging invisible obstacles for a shot on net It was Maple Leaf Gardens filled to wildly cheering capacity a tie game seconds remaining I was Frank Mahovlich or Gordie Howe I was anyone I wanted to be and the voice in my head was that of Leafs broadcaster Foster Hewitt “there’s ten seconds left Mahovlich winding up at his own line at center eight seconds seven over the blueline six – he winds up he shoots he scores My arms and stick flew into the air I screamed a scream inside my head and collected my ball to do it again – many times for many minutes the hero of all my own games p 56Unlike most Canadian boys Dryden would get to live out his dreams of NHL stardom – although ironically enough he would play not for his hometown Toronto Maple Leafs but rather for the Leafs’ archrivals the Montreal Canadiens And he would not be the fast shooting wing or centre on the breakaway but rather the goalie trying to stop that player on offence from scoring Nowadays when many parents of promising young prospects monitor every detail of nutrition education and most of all practice in hopes of producing a future star for the Calgary Flames or Vancouver Canucks it can be salutary to reflect that Dryden’s own rise to NHL success did not follow any such trajectory Indeed it all sounds rather like a bit of a lark “Coming to Montreal as a part time goalie with the minor league Montreal Voyageurs while completing law school I thought the Canadiens would simply take over from my parents for a time paying my tuition and books my room and board and little else until I graduated Then after giving them one year as I was obliged to do I would merely stop playing and they would stop paying But I was better than we both thought” p 154Looking back on a long career in hockey – two years with major junior teams in the Toronto neighbourhoods of Humber Valley and Etobicoke; four years as a goalie at Cornell; one year with the American Hockey League Voyageurs and then nine seasons with the Canadiens – Dryden tots up the stitches muscle pulls broken bones cartilage tears and other injuries he has endured and then gives the reader a strong sense of the price a hockey player pays for a career of being the cynosure of all eyes on Hockey Night in Canada While I am well protected and know I’m unlikely to suffer than a bruise from any shot that is taken the puck hurts constantly and cumulatively through the pillow thick leg pads I wear where straps pulled tight around their shins sueeze much of the padding away; through armor shelled skate boots; through a catching glove compromised too far for its flexibility; with a dull aching nausea from stomach to throat when my jock slams back against my testes; and most often on my arms on wrists and forearms especially where padding is light and often out of place where a shot hits and spreads its ache up an arm and through a body until both go limp and feel lifeless Through a season a puck hurts like a long slow battering from a skilled boxer almost unnoticed in the beginning but gradually wearing me down until two or three times a year I wake up in the morning sore aching laughingmoaning with each move I make and feel a hundred years old p 116One also learns to appreciate the psychological pressures facing an NHL goalie and particularly one who plays in hockey mad Montreal with its knowledgeable and demanding fan base Dryden recalls a home game at the Montreal Forum when a Detroit Red Wings player scored a goal that Dryden knew he should have stopped He leaned nonchalantly on his stick for a moment as had become his habit after either an excellent save or a bad goal that he should have stopped – “In a uietly defiant way it reminds fans and opponents ‘You’ll never get to me’” p 198 – but inside he was seething “Pacing sweeping caged in my crease I scream at myself” And after a teammate defenceman Larry Robinson offered a word of comfort and then skated away “I hear the crowd this time a loud grumbling buzz I’ve lost them” p 200With hockey stardom Dryden explains things often seem unchanged in terms of everyday life specifics like his home his car his clothes the food he eats In those aspects he could be any 30 year old Torontonian living and working in Montreal Yet Dryden has money and a team of finance professionals to help him manage it and money changes everything “When I talk to old friends who earn a thirty year old’s average wage they seem uncomfortable or I do For me money which seemed always a by product distant even unrelated to the game has taken on new importance A cause of great bitterness and division it brought me to retire for a year; a cold eyed standard against which I judge my relationship with the team and against which I am now judged It is the other side of the Faustian bargain” p 155Other pleasures of Dryden’s The Game include his tough minded analysis of fighting as a part of hockey He feels that the NHL’s laissez faire attitude toward fighting in hockey is drawn whether NHL executives realize it or not from “ Freud’s ‘drive discharge’ theory of human aggression” – in effect the belief that letting the players let off a little bit of steam through fighting keeps them from bottling up that aggression and releasing it in severe and damaging ways Yet Dryden contrasts that “let ’em fight” mentality – the kind of thing that one might hear from hockey commentators like Don Cherry – with the research based perspectives of anthropologists Desmond Morris and Richard Sipes both of whom believe that violence is likely to provoke violence – indeed to teach people that violence is a way to solve their problems I have never liked the fighting in hockey and I agree wholeheartedly with Dryden’s statement that “fighting degradesbringing into uestion hockey’s very legitimacy confining it forever to the fringes of sports respectability” pp 189 90And then there is Dryden’s sheer power of observation I liked his description of Guy Lafleur the fast skating right wing for those great Canadiens teams of the 1970’s as a Muhammad Ali like figure who used speed skill and smarts to outwit and defeat bigger heavier opponents And any resident of or visitor to Toronto will appreciate Dryden’s description of that lovely tidy relentlessly orderly city as a place where everyone crosses only with the green light and only at the crosswalk – where if the city puts up a POST NO BILLS sign on a wall people actually post no billsIt should be no surprise that The Game was named one of the 100 best English Canadian books of the 20th century Dryden played in goal rather than on offence but The Game hits every goal at which this gifted author aims


  2. says:

    This book by former Montréal Canadiens Goalie Ken Dryden is nothing short of brilliant It is certainly the best sports related biography I have ever read to this point in my life As much as I enjoy Baseball biographies of former players of years gone by; this book by far outdoes them all As a young lad growing up in Ontario Canada and prior to moving as a kid to Southern California – Ken Dryden was for me at the time a person I liked to despise – this of course due to my allegiance to the Toronto Maple Leafs I have of course grown softer with age and with life experiences that have brought a reality of “not so tough” mentality; I have over the recent decade and a half followed the Montréal Canadiens as I do occasionally the NY Yankees and Boston Red Sox even though my MLB teams are the Anaheim Angels and Washington Nationals A game of tradition history a rich past it is apparent the 1967 expansion changed the game forever Bob Dylan once said “Reality Has Many Heads” – so no wonder I came to see in print within this book the same feelings I held but didn’t want to accept that the “Maple LeafCanadiens rivalry is deadhas been since the late 1960’s” There goes my childhood LOL even though I became a Los Angeles Kings fan and later Anaheim Ducks fan in Southern California The Gretzky years in Los Angeles were both fun and invigorating – the loss of the 1993 Stanley Cup to Les Habitant de Montréal was the result of a game changer when Marty McSorley was tossed from a game by a referee for having too large a curve on his Hockey stick I was at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles the night Wayne Gretzky scored goal number “802”Mr Dryden is first and foremost not a boaster of his sports accomplishments; he prefers to draw attention in his book to those around him who played positively with a work ethic incumbent upon any profession He isn’t a “snob” either in that he references periodically through his books other great sports stars in a personal occasional comparison of the NBA MLB NFL and there is uite an interesting passage as well that reflects the personality of a goalie He uses this reference of reflection in the same manner that he considers a Soccer star from Europe – it is apparent that “good” goalies have rather introverted tendencies – the last line of defense in both Soccer and Hockey I have a personal opinion that Hockey Goalies in North America are acutely in tune with their MLB Catchers counterpart – the bending is freuent in Hockey than soccer and the position reuires a tighter space to operate within about the same space a catcher deals with only a bit higher and wider than the strike box Home plate or a Hockey net reuire control and precise ability Jonathan uick of the Los Angeles Kings was drafted by both the NHL and MLB for his abilities as a player on both the Hockey and Baseball Collegiate teams he played for while attending the University of Massachusetts Mr Dryden won 5 Stanley Cups was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1983 and took a year off of his NHL career to finish his law degree at McGill University in Toronto; but he earned a BA in History at Cornell University – he later became a Canadian Politician elected to office in the Liberal Party – the Party that currently holds the Prime Minister’s Office of Canada He won 76 of 81 collegiate starts while playing goalie for Cornell Big Red; in 1967 he helped the team win what we call today the “Frozen Four” for a Collegiate ChampionshipMr Dryden doesn’t brag about any of these personal accomplishments – he is most humble and is careful as to how he approaches his personal awards – his interest lay within the confines of his home and his family Was great to read a sports book where there was no wife beating no alcohol or steroid abuse no arrests and no need for intervention of any form at any part of his life A brilliant Sports Biography – plain and simple This is the 30th anniversary edition of the first edition printed in 1983; reprinted with an added chapter in 2013


  3. says:

    I don't get it I really don't Dryden is not THAT good of a writer and while there are some magical passages here and some great descriptions of Montreal and Canada at the time on the whole the thing is a bit of a slogMaybe it's cause I don't like the Habs On to Dave Bidini's hockey books then


  4. says:

    Boy I don’t get it I really don’t I’m sure I’ll take some criticism for saying this but I just don’t understand why Ken Dryden’s The Game is considered by most to be the best hockey book ever written and by Sports Illustrated to be one of the greatest sports books ever written Hell I hardly read anything about sports in it Geez it’s about Dryden’s family law school desire and efforts to pass his bar exams his disillusionment and boredom with hockey and intense desire to retire after a measly eight seasons when truly great players like Jaromir Jagr play through age 44 and beyond or the great Gordie Howe until age 52 Dryden is so uninspiring a player and so uninspiring and dull a person that I have no idea how he accomplished the few puny things he accomplished in his pathetically few years in the league Most of my favorite players have played 10 12 15 18 years in the league Eight years? And he’s considered one of the best ever? By whom? What the hell did he do that was so damn great??? I know he helped Montreal win five Stanley Cups in eight years While impressive that’s a team accomplishment and by his own admission he was surrounded by all stars superstars even so I don’t know how much he contributed He did win at least three Vezina Trophies for best goalie which says something but even then he levels criticisms at himself in this book that make you wonder how the hell he won the damn things He apparently split time with another goalie He got lit up repeatedly by opposing players Was he really a money player? Hard to tell from this book I don’t know I do know that he didn’t seem to have much of a passion for the game something he basically admits from the beginning Hardly cared at all for it Oh sure like every Canadian kid he said he liked to play every day growing up but unlike every other Canadian kid he didn’t even grow up playing ICE hockey He played TENNIS BALL hockey in his back yard Excuse me but WTF? Seriously? And this guy didn’t go into the juniors Instead he went to an American college which was highly unusual at the time Why? I don’t know why And this is the reason I didn’t even make it a full 100 pages into the book before I became so disgusted with this wimp of a man this pathetic excuse for an athlete and a human being that I gave up on this autobiography and am left wondering why this has a 409 rating on Goodreads and why I have read all of these five star reviews Who are these reviewers? Why are they so impressed with this book? I don’t get it I mean who plays eight years when they are allegedly at the top of their game and part of a dynasty He writes that he could see the wheels coming off the Montreal dynasty his last year so basically he bailed on the team rather than sail through rough waters Like a real champ What a winner Would definitely want him in my foxhole Like hell I would This book was boring there are hardly anything at all about his games or specific games or anything very sports specific although there was insightful analysis of his old coach Scotty Bowman that was actually good it was depressing it was cold it felt dead and I hated it with a passion perhaps as much as I’ve hated any bio I’ve ever read I can’t tell you how putrid I think this book is and how unimpressed I am with Ken Dryden the man Dryden the player was a few years before my time so I can’t say anything about him in that respect If you want to be impressed with a book’s good reputation I suppose you could invest in this but I sure wouldn’t waste my time Most definitely not recommended under any circumstances


  5. says:

    Published in '83 this book assumes that I will have been part of the 70s part of the 2 channel television world part of the hockey world That is a fine assumption at the time However as I picked this up as a book that nearly won Canada Reads that's not good enough That assumption lay thickly between me and the words of the book So many passages are just words names descriptions references I don't get I wanted to like this book I wanted to learn to like hockey better I liked Ken Dryden better instead When he was talking about hockey I was lost for the most part It just drifted past me When he talked about The Game ie about teams and sports and being an athlete and fans and owners and aging and life then I was with himpg 218 on violence in hockeyThe NHL is wrongAnger and frustration can be released within the rules by skating faster by shooting harder by doing relentless dogged violence on an opponent's mind as Bjorn Borg Pete Rose and Bob Gainey do If Freud was right and anger released is anger spent then a right hook given is a body check missed and by permitting fighting the NHL discourages determined inspired play as retaliation


  6. says:

    In one of the greatest sports memoirs across any sport culture or generation legendary goaltender Ken Dryden of the 1970s era Montreal Canadians takes the reader on a fantastic journey through the life and thinking of a hockey player especially one as educated and well versed as Dryden is in the hit 1983 book “The Game”As much as “Ball Four” transformed the world of baseball in fascinating tell all fashion following its publishing in 1970 so does “The Game” shed light on the realm of professional hockey Though some parts of the book are slow and bogged down by details rather than one entertaining story after another as well as highlighting a 1970s hockey team that few modern day readers are even vaguely familiar with the insight is to die for From featuring normal locker room banter involving bygone stars of the NHL to sharing his own feelings and motivations in playing hockey for a living Dryden holds nothing back in exposing the world of our sporting heroes Whether you were part of a team sport when you were younger or not I am sure the reader will find several eye opening narratives in this book as well as creating a new line of thinking of how to view professional athletes at least of the pre free agency era With educated and opinionated autobiographies such as Drydens' on the market society is now better able to appreciate understand and relate to the men and women who entertain us in the world of sports


  7. says:

    A time capsule buried at Maple Leaf Gardens in 1931 and revealed on Thursday January 26 2012 contains an NHL rule book a municipal code financial information on the team and a tiny carved ivory elephant of mysterious origin1Hockey in all its forms in all its lore never fails to captivate many Canadians But do we listen carefully to those voices from the distant 1931 NHL rule book and recent past?The Game by Ken Dryden first published in 1983 offers enduring contributions to sport literature non fiction and Canadian literature Considering it comes straight from one of the most accomplished players of the sport written by him not mediated through an interviewer or ghost writer the book intrigues and challenges because it's not entirely a celebration of the sport of hockey but a reverential and at times very troubled examination of it The Game is neither a light nor uick read but it's an absorbing and thoughtful reflection on the game of hockey and the experience of being part of a team The book will fascinate fans and students of the sport as well as those interested in the history psychology and national resonances and significance of this particular sportRead my complete review here


  8. says:

    In the times when former sports athletes write or have a ghost writer write their memories of faded glory on the epic field of sport with the singular possessive 'i' being used some many times that one wonders if the autobiography of said sports athlete is pumped up with hot air to match their inflated egos Along comes a shocker of a sports autobiography written in a narrative style by not only a athlete but a hockey goalie Such a drastic change from the bombastic attitude of the other athlete autobiography This one feels rreal It is written to show what being a not only a sports athlete entails but one that just happens to be on a team that is the most respected and most veried hockey francisies ever How the game ownership even stadiums have changed Ken Dryden shows how an athlete lives by the schedule and how he struggles with married life as well as his own struggles with the team and management I saw a documentary on the Esposito brothers Phil Esposito was married and divorced twice during his playing daysThis is no index to show what awards Ken Dryden won nor how many games he played or things that puff oneself up This book should be given out to young people who mistaken believe that being a sports athlete is all glamour Unfortunately the young people are pumped up like the other sports autobiography


  9. says:

    It’s hard to explain exactly why I believe this to be the greatest book on sport ever written Maybe it’s due to how it effortlessly stretches beyond the regular bounds of its genre without losing sight of its central focus Maybe it’s how Dryden’s insights and writing stand up through the decades Maybe it’s something else entirely A truly uniue book by an uniue human being


  10. says:

    There are hockey books and then there is Ken Dryden’s The GameThe Game is former NHL goaltender Ken Dryden’s memoir of his final season playing for the Montreal Canadiens in their uest for a fourth straight Stanley CupI’ve read my fair share of hockey books over my long reading career While many have been just OK few have been exceptional Ken Dryden’s The Game is one of those exceptional reads Most of the hockey books I’ve read are either of a play by play recounting of the subject’s career or filled with whacky and over the top stories I tend to lean toward the ones with unbelievable stories rather than the few that read like Arnold Schwarzenegger's abysmal Total Recall commentary track I believe that is truly what sets this apart from other sports books Dryden is concerned with who his teammates are as people first what drives them and sets them apart from any other Joe Schmoe holding a stick and flying across the rinkDryden digs into his own psyche and explains how everything happening both on and off the ice would effect him mentally He discusses his fears and insecurities and even a crisis of identity in believing that his teammates are just so good that his role in a win or loss feels largely irrelevant at times This is of course painfully modest considering he backstopped the Habs to six cups in eight years while collecting five Vezina trophies in the process This isn’t uncommon though You would be surprised to see how little faith people often have in themselves or their performanceHe discusses his controversial decision to retire at only 31 an age where most goalies are only just hitting their prime Still feeling good and on the top of his game Dryden decides to go out before everything falls apart This seems to be a sticking point for many people when discussing his legacy I don’t get that honestly Look at all he accomplished in just eight seasons What left is there to prove? Dryden is far from egotistical He speaks honestly about losing his drive to continue on as well as his fear of being traded It’s not like he didn’t have other options in terms of finding a career after hanging up his pads Dryden would go on to become a hockey executive as well as a member of parliamentIf you ever wanted to truly get into the mind of an athlete warts and all I would struggle to think of a honest and introspective read than Ken Dryden’s The Game The fact that it was shortlisted in 2012 for CBC’s Canada Reads debates should tell you something about how revered it isFYI I read the 30th Anniversary Edition There are two post scripts one written in 2003 for the 20th anniversary and one written in 2013 for the 30th Neither really offer up that much and feel tacked on to sell copies


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