Tabby's Touchdown Plunge
Mark Miller - Calgary Sun
January 13, 1996
He'd been run over, punched, taken shots in the face and finally he'd had enough.
Doing his best World Wrestling Federation impression, goalie Rick Tabaracci leaped onto the pile of players in front of his crease to allegedly cover a loose puck.
"I'd taken enough licks all night so it was my time to give some shots back," smiled Tabaracci, who is fortunate there is no piling-on rule in hockey.
"I knew going into the game they liked to take runs at the goalie but that's fine - they got me pissed off early and they got me into the game."
The last minute dive in the Flames' 3-1 win over Buffalo punctuated another aggressive performance by the Flames goalie who's becoming a fan favorite with his play, both in and out of the net.
His pile jumping antics even had his teammates smiling.
"Hey, what was that move at the end Tabby," laughed Fleury in the dressing room.
"That's my football move - it was my fourth and goal dive - touchdown!" shot back Tabaracci.
Tabaracci and Trevor Kidd have excelled since Christmas, producing a 7-2 record and giving up 12 goals in the nine games.
"This is the best I've felt in the net in a long time," said Tabaracci who officially stopped 25 of 26 shots but faced many more than what the scorers registered.
His performance has enabled coach Pierre Page to turn to either goalie as his starter.
"I've never accepted any tag as a back-up," said Tabaracci.
"I don't want a tag or title until I'm retired and sitting in an office.
"I offer something different from Trevor - I like to play out of the net and handle the puck - skating is one of my strengths and there is no reason I shouldn't be using that skill - it helps in the transition game.
"For me to play well it's a matter of playing some games and they've allowed me to do that here this year."
In winning his last three starts, Tabaracci has given up three goals and had one shutout.
And now he's scored once on a fourth and goal.
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