Good morning, everyone, and welcome to my world!
As you (should) know by now, I’m an ice hockey goalie. This shocks a lot of people. “You’re a goalie?! Why would you want to have people shoot pucks at you at 100 mph?!” True, shots over 80 mph suck. 90 mph hurts. 100 mph please miss the net!
But there’s something about making saves that is just so exhilarating. A team of five skaters is working together to do everything they can to put the puck in the net, and the goalie is doing everything he cans to thwart their efforts. And there’s nothing like robbing someone with a great save. Nice try NoGoalov!
Goaltending is a unique blend of team play and individual effort. The goalie still interacts with his teammates. He can set up plays, start breakouts, and direct the team in front of him. But at the same time, the goalie is in his own world, focusing only on keeping the puck out of the net. Yes, he is still working with his teammates to know who is covering who, but when the shot is taken, the goalie is the last line of defense.
In a way, it’s like the goalie against the world. And there’s no better way of seeing that than in this first-person video shot with a GoPro camera.
Not only is it fun to see the action that a goalie goes through, but it’s also fun to get in his head and hear his thoughts. He might be playing it up a little bit for the camera, but a lot of those are thoughts that regularly go through a goalie’s head. ”He’s probably going to go blocker side,” or “He’s a hard shot to read.” Or when his roommate Zach Boychuk kept scoring on him, “I gotta start stopping him or we’re gunna hear about it all day.” So much of goaltending is a mental game. If a shooter is in a goalie’s head, that’s bad news.
But on the flip side, if a goalie builds confidence his play will improve. Once Murphy made a save on “Chucky” at the end of the video, he got a confidence boost and made a nice save with an old-school double-pad stack on the next shot. Also, when facing Chris Durno for the second time, he knew he had already stopped him the first time and was confident in his ability to do it again… ”I got him the first time, one-for one… two-for-twoooooooooo…”
Other than that, goaltending (and hockey in general… it’s just game) is all about having a good time. You know, like singing “The Final Countdown.” Or chirping your buddies (“Second best hair on the team”).
They say we goalies are a different breed. That we’re crazy. Probably. But to me, this is life, and to experience a bit of practice with a pro goalie was awesome. Thanks Mike Murphy. What a beauty.