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ONE-ON-ONE WITH FELIX POTVIN AND ANDREW RAYCROFT

They make quite a team

In a recent interview, Bruins goaltenders Felix Potvin and Andrew Raycroft discussed their early-season success and the evolution of their position:

Q to Potvin: It's going great for the both of you guys. Beyond the obvious, why do you think it works so well for the two of you?

A: Andrew from Day One in training camp had a very good camp. As for myself, I used that training camp to get ready for game No. 1. It has been a while since our last year . . . since my last game was. And obviously, the team's playing great in front of us. And that always helps the goalie when you have good guys playing in front of you.

Q to Raycroft: You and Felix . . . I'm just curious of what your thoughts are on why it has worked so well for the two of you to be in this partnership.

A: I think the main thing is we are pretty similar personality-wise off the ice. We're both pretty low key. We don't get to high or too low at any point at all. We like coming to the rink and having fun. It's easy to come in and talk to him and see what's going on. He talks about kids. He tells me what's going on. It's just a real easy relationship.

Q to Potvin: You've had some huge years in terms of games, 68 games, 70, in [Los Angeles] you had 71. Is that type of workload when you're at your best?

A: I've been used to [it], throughout my career ever since junior . . . that's what I like. I like playing a lot. But this is a situation where Andrew is playing tremendously well and I just look at it as a bonus. It's early in the season. We both play well. We get wins and that's all that matters. We'll see what happens in the future, but right now it's working.

Q to Potvin: This stereotype which has existed forever with goalies . . . that they're crazy. Do you agree? Are you nuts?

A: Well, there's a lot of forwards who are crazy. I don't think so. Everybody's different. I think you have to have a certain different frame of mind. But as soon as I leave the rink, I'd like to think I'm pretty normal.

Q to Raycroft: The age-old stereotype that goalies are nuts. Are you?

A: No. You're going to have to get someone else in here to prove it, I think. I consider myself pretty normal. I don't do anything crazy. I don't mind talking to you guys any time. It doesn't really matter to me. I like getting along with the guys. I don't like being on my own. I like having dinner with the guys. I like being part of the team.

Q to Raycroft: Do you wonder where that comes from?

A: I think back in the older days, guys like Terry Sawchuk. You hear stories about him. He was a little nuts. Glenn Hall, some of those older guys, they started it. It's hard to shake when legends like that have eccentric tendencies. Then all of a sudden every one gets kind of bundled in. Obviously, there's crazy goalies, but there's crazy defensemen, crazy forwards, as well. They just don't get noticed as much.

Q to Potvin: We've listened for years: Not enough scoring in the league, not enough scoring, not enough scoring.

A: I think the goalies have gotten a lot better. I've looked at the years I came into the league. If you had a 2.906 percentage you were among the top. Now you're last in the league if you have a 2.906. Everybody talks about the equipment. Every year they take stuff away and the goals keep going down. Unless you do like minor hockey and have new guys in goal every game, then maybe there might be more scoring. The guys are playing good.

Q to Raycroft: We sit in the press box. The fans sit in the stands. "We want more scoring. We want more scoring." Everything a goaltender doesn't want. How do you react to that?

A: I react that there would be a lot more scoring if it was not for the goalies. I think, in general, goalies are 15, 20, 30 times better than they were even in the '80s. The goalie position has evolved that much and become that important. You can watch tape of Wayne Gretzky scoring goals, taking slap shots at the blue line, guys getting out of the way. Guys didn't have helmets. You can't blame them. With our equipment, the innovations . . . guys just play the position extremely well. There's a lot of scoring chances. Just look at the game Saturday night. It could have easily been a 5-4, 6-4 game if not for the guy on the other end making great saves. That happened every once in a while in the '80s and '90s. Now that happens every night on a consistent basis.

Q to Potvin: Did you start as a goaltender?

A: Nope. When I was 10 or 11 I started as a forward. I kept bugging my dad to be a goalie, but he wouldn't let me until I learned how to skate and how to play out, but he let me try it finally. He was worried I wouldn't like it and that I would waste my time doing it.

Q to Raycroft: (On Grant Fuhr) You've only seen him on ESPN Classic. So growing up in Ontario, who did you like? Did you style yourself after anyone?

A: I never really, hockey-wise, styled myself over anyone. I just went out and played. I was a big Patrick Roy fan, obviously. Cat's [Potvin's] going to kill me, but I watched him a lot, too. I won't even say how old I was when he came to Toronto. I never idolized anyone. I never really took it that far. I just enjoyed watching hockey and enjoyed watching those guys play.

The Potvin and Raycroft interview, edited for TV, will be broadcast on the Globe's "SportsPlus" on NESN tonight after the Bruins game. To view the interview in its entirety, log on to Boston.com after tonight's broadcast.

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