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4.0 3
by Jack Falla

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Veteran Boston goaltender Jean Pierre Savard sees stardom and the money it brings as fate’s make-up call for a life in which he lost his father, his wife, and most of his self confidence for anything not involving saves or sex.

Now late in his career, Savard and his teammate and best friend, Cam Carter, are trying to fulfill their boyhood dreams of winning


Veteran Boston goaltender Jean Pierre Savard sees stardom and the money it brings as fate’s make-up call for a life in which he lost his father, his wife, and most of his self confidence for anything not involving saves or sex.

Now late in his career, Savard and his teammate and best friend, Cam Carter, are trying to fulfill their boyhood dreams of winning a Stanley Cup before they retire. A surprise late-season trade pits the friends against each other in a playoff series both could lose but only one can win.

Saved takes the reader into the rinks, dressing rooms, planes, buses, and hotels that are the backdrop to the long grind of an NHL season. That grind is made bearable by the likes of players such as Bruno Govoni, whose cell phone ring tone is the orgasmic moaning of a porn star Loretta (Lash) LaRue; of Phil “Flipside” Palmer, the only person besides the Kingsmen who knows all the words to “Louie Louie” or that “Child of the Moon” was the flipside of the Rolling Stones’ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”; and team enforcer Kevin Quigley, who claims all his fights are retaliations, “but sometimes I retaliate first.”

Most sports novels bring the game to the reader. Saved brings the reader to the game.

Praise for Jack Falla

“Falla’s graphic portrayal of a violent sport (and its colorful players) and his insider’s view of how hockey is played, coached, and officiated is exciting, surefire entertainment.”

Publishers Weekly on Saved

“Literary hot chocolate that will warm your heart.”

—-Robert Lipsyte, The New York Times, on Home Ice

“The best hockey book ever.”

—-John Buccigross, ESPN sportscaster, on Home Ice

“Possibly the best hockey book since Ken Dryden’s The Game.”

—-Toronto Globe and Mail, on Home Ice

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Sportswriter Falla knows a lot about hockey, and this novel is a hilarious look at how players, coaches and owners get through a grueling season in their quest for the trophy. Boston Bruins goaltender Jean Pierre Savard has no illusions about the hockey profession, and at age 31, Savard knows this year may be his best (and last) chance to win the Stanley Cup. He must deal with age, injuries and the grief of losing his young wife to cancer as he and best friend/teammate Cam Carter swagger across locker rooms and rink ice, avoiding hip checks and rocket slap shots. Savard and Carter have been tight for years and always thought they would win the Stanley Cup together, but when Savard is unexpectedly traded to the Montreal Canadiens, the two friends must play against each other in a rivalry neither likes. Savard's life gets more complicated when he suffers two concussions, his hated and estranged father reappears and his girlfriend cross-checks their romance with an unexpected career move. Falla's graphic portrayal of a violent sport (and its colorful players) and his insider's view of how hockey is played, coached and officiated is exciting, surefire entertainment. (Jan.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
Edition description:
First Edition
Product dimensions:
6.17(w) x 8.13(h) x 1.09(d)

Read an Excerpt


By Falla, Jack Thomas Dunne Books
Copyright © 2008
Falla, Jack
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780312368265

I remember the day I became a goalie.
I was playing pond hockey with the twins, Paul and Andre LeBlanc, on a little thumb-shaped cove on what we called the Skating Pond in Lewiston, Maine. The LeBlancs and I were second-graders at St. Ursula’s, “the Sisters’ School” we called it. We were playing against a couple of other second-graders from the public school and Russell White, a third-grader from a private school. Russell was the only kid on the pond wearing a complete hockey uniform and a knit hat that said Parkhurst Country Day. Russell White was a preppy twit but he was also the best skater in our game. We were playing five goals wins, and Russell and his friends had beaten us three or four straight. Not that Russell needed teammates, seeing as how he passed the puck about as often as I passed arithmetic.
“Next goal wins!” yelled Russell, who somehow got to decide everything.
“Your turn in goal, Jean Pierre,” Paul LeBlanc said to me. I knew it was Paul’s turn not mine and I was only being put in goal because I didn’t skate or play as well as the other kids. My mother bought my skates at a secondhand sporting-goods store called On the Rebound. She deliberately bought them one size too large so I could “grow into them” and they’d last two years. But even my thick woolen socks didn’t make the skates fit, and instead of gliding across the ice Iclip-clopped along with a stride that more closely resembled running than skating.
I took my place between the two boots that marked our goal. I held my hockey stick in my right hand, tapped it against my shin pads, which were really Andre LeBlanc’s old pads tied to my legs with frayed skate laces. I put my stick on the ice and bent into a deep crouch as I’d seen goalies do on TV. Off to my left on the best ice in the middle of the pond there was a bigger game played by high school kids. Their skates tore the ice with a scrunch . . . scrunch . . . scrunch . . . as they crosscut on turns, their bodies extended at what looked like impossible angles, their heads up and the puck seemingly stuck to their stick blades. God I wished I could skate like that. On the edge of that game three girls wearing white figure skates glided backward in unison. “What are they doing?” I asked Andre LeBlanc.
“They call it sympathized skating,” Andre said. Andre knew everything.
It was our turn to bring the puck up ice. Paul LeBlanc started up the right side, drew Russell White toward him, then passed left to Andre. But the pass was in Andre’s skates, giving Russell time to recover. Andre shot just as Russell hooked him. The puck bounced off the boot marking the left goal post and skittered back toward White, who corralled it with his stick, whirled, and started up ice, leaving his teammates and the LeBlancs behind. Russell had scored a bunch of goals on me that day and always by doing the same thing—faking to his forehand, then drawing the puck to his backhand and tapping it into the goal, after which he lifted his stick in the air like he’d just won the Stanley Cup. This time, instead of waiting in my goal for trouble to arrive, I moved out toward the streaking White. When White dropped his head to see where the puck was I hit the ice and slid directly at him, my body in the shape of a V, a box canyon from which Russell White had no escape.
“Ah, shit!” he yelled as he crashed into my shin pads and flew—headfirst and puckless—toward our goal.
I hopped to my feet and passed the puck up to Paul, who passed to Andre, who scored with a long shot that slid between the boots and into the frozen marsh grass beyond. Paul and Andre, their sticks in the air, skated back toward me, where we pounded one another and fell to the ice in a pig pile, our gray hooded sweatshirts reeking of sweat and melted pond water. At least we’d won one game.
“That was trippin’,” Russell White said as he hauled himself to his feet, his game shirt covered with ice chips, his knit hat askew.
Andre looked up from the pig pile. “Hey, Russell, quit whinin’ like a bitch,” he said. I didn’t know exactly what that meant but it sounded funny so I laughed. The LeBlancs and I skated over to a fallen tree we used as a bench to take off our skates. Russell White picked up his boots and headed for the far side of the pond, where his father had just arrived and was flashing the lights on his Jeep.
“Great save, JP,” Andre said to me. “I’m gonna use that move tomorrow.”
“That’s right. It’s your turn to play goal,” Paul said.
“Shit. I hate playing goal,” Andre said.
“Don’t you guys have a goalie?” I asked.
“Had one but he quit. Now the coaches make us take turns. Sucks,” Andre said.
“I’d play if I had the pads and stuff,” I said, still flushed with the feeling of having stopped Russell White.
“The coach gives you all the stuff. You wanna play?” Andre said.
“I’ll ask my mother,” I said.
We ran the shafts of our hockey sticks between the boots and blades of our skates, put the sticks over our shoulders, and headed through the trees toward the streetlights, which had just blinked on. When we got to the street the LeBlancs turned right toward their house and I continued across the street and down a side street toward my grandmother’s house, which is where my mother and I had lived in the two years since my father did his Barry Bonds and took a walk.
I was cold, wet, tired, and content. I liked playing hockey. It made me feel like I belonged. And I had liked playing goal. It made me feel important.
I climbed the stairs to my grandmother’s house. It was Saturday night and I could smell the homemade baked beans we’d be having with franks and brown bread. As I opened the door I glanced back up the street and saw one of the older boys from the game in the middle of the pond. He was walking with one of the figure skaters. He carried her white skates on his hockey stick. I wondered why any boy would walk with a sympathized skater. Or a girl. But this was a long time ago and there were a lot of things I had to learn. Copyright © 2007 by Jack Falla. All rights reserved.


Excerpted from Saved by Falla, Jack Copyright © 2008 by Falla, Jack. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Meet the Author

Jack Falla is the author of five books, most notably Home Ice, an essay collection. He covered the NHL for Sports Illustrated for many years, and during that time wrote two cover stories on Wayne Gretzky. His work has also been published in USA Today, Boston Magazine, and USA Hockey.

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Saved 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you are a hockey fan, this book is for you. If you played, you really should read this book. It is a funny, poignant, funny look at hockey by someone who obviously knows and loves the game. All aspects of it ring true. A really good read.