Ottawa optometrist assists Pens' Fleury
Every once in a while, Ottawa Senators fan and longtime Ottawa optometrist Janet Leduc would look at her television and cringe.
It would happen when the Penguins were on. Dr. Leduc could not understand why their goaltender, Marc-Andre Fleury, was dressed so loudly.
"For three or four years, every time I walked past and saw those yellow pads, I'd say, 'What is that boy thinking?' " Dr. Leduc recalled Tuesday in a phone interview. "I'd wonder, 'Why doesn't someone tell him?' because it's not a secret."
By that, Dr. Leduc meant the notion that yellow is the most sensitive color to the human eye - in this case, shooters' eyes in a hockey game.
"When they're moving that fast and can see the goal pads, the goalie, the net, it makes it a little bit easier to shoot on net," Dr. Leduc said.
Dr. Leduc, 50, explained as much in a letter sent to Penguins executives this past winter, in which she suggested Fleury switch to white pads. Fleury, recuperating from an ankle injury, got a hold of the letter.
"I thought about (the suggestion)," Fleury said then, "and I thought, 'Maybe it's time.' "
Upon his return, Fleury looked like a different man, having replaced his yellow pads and blocker with white ones. He played like a different man, too, ripping off 10 wins in 12 starts going into tonight's Game 1 matchup against the Senators.
Fleury isn't sold that pad color is the reason for his hot streak, but he does say, "I think I'll keep them."
Yellow pads had become Fleury's trademark, one copied by many a youth league goaltender.
"That was the tough part," Fleury said. "At first, I didn't want to do it. I'd see so many kids in hockey schools with yellow pads."
He laughed and added, "You know, I'm sorry to the moms and dads. It was a tough choice."
The toughest part for Dr. Leduc was the realization that her beloved Senators would meet the Penguins in the first round. A story in yesterday's Ottawa Citizen should make her a celebrity of sorts.
But if she's worried about becoming Ottawa's answer to Steve Bartman (the Chicago Cubs fan whose foul ball catch might have robbed the Cubs of a trip to the World Series), she isn't letting on.
"Well, I have been called a traitor already," she said, laughing. "But mostly, people still like me. My neighbor phoned and said she'll help me with a disguise for Game 3 (in Ottawa)."
Dr. Leduc said she hasn't heard from Fleury or the Penguins but welcomes the possibility.
"I expect at least an autographed jersey," she said.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins’ Letang leaves hospital, out with concussion
- Penguins notebook: Five defensemen dress against San Jose
- Penguins slip past Sharks, 3-2, in shootout
- Hit sends Penguins’ Letang to hospital
- Penguins minor league notebook: WBS players eager for possible NHL playoff call-up
- Downie’s goal, fight spark Penguins to win over Coyotes
- Penguins notebook: Johnston stays with team despite mother’s death
- Players respect coach, refuse to blame Johnston
- Penguins’ protracted slump continues with 5-2 loss at Carolina