Ozzie pounces


Quotes By Goalies

  Why They Love It

"When I go out on the ice I am at peace.   This is my best element.   No one can talk to me.  No one can bother me. I just go play.   That is why I love it so much" - CHRIS OSGOOD, Detroit Red Wings
(That is my all-time favorite quote, and my sentiments about goaltending, exactly!)

"I always told everybody I never worked a day in my life because I couldn't wait for the next day to go to the rink, get on the ice, and practice" - GILLES MELOCHE

"The best part of playing goal was winning a game.   I'll never forget how it felt, to go out with the guys after a big win. It's almost impossible to describe. I'll never experience anything like that again" - CESARE MANIAGO, Minnesota North Stars

"I love hockey. Imagine, getting paid to play a kids' game " - GREG MILLEN, St. Louis Blues

"I think the job of being a goaltender is the biggest high you could possibly have,  with the puck coming at you at about 100 miles per hour and you trying to do something to stop it.  You're basically the quarterback of the team.  It's just a real high" - RON TUGNUTT, Ottawa Senators

"There's nothing like it when you have made a great save or played a great game.  The greatest feeling a goalie can have is to have played well and know you've really contributed to the cause when your team has won the game" - JEFF HACKETT, Chicago Blackhawks

"Every once in a while, maybe in practice, I stop and wonder why in heck I'm making my living as a goaltender.  Like, why am I here?   But then you get involved in the thrill and excitement of a game and you don't think that way anymore" - JEFF HACKETT, Chicago Blackhawks

"What I like best about goaltending is going out there knowing you have to play well . . . You can't get by playing average or mediocre.  The goaltender has to play well every night.  I like that.  I like knowing that you have to beat your best to be successful.  It's a good feeling" - SEAN BURKE, Carolina Hurricane

"When it ended there was almost a sense of loss because I was disappointed it was over.  You're so involved.  You're playing the best you can and for a period of about two months we'd been playing a game almost every other night . . . It was so much fun to go out there and work hard every day. nbsp; In a sense I didn't want the summer to come" - MIKE RICHTER, New York Rangers, on going through the playoffs

"I feel like I get up for every game.  I'm excited about being in the NHL so that helps.  You try to motivate yourself every night" - CURTIS JOSEPH, Toronto Maple Leafs

"I never really thought I was gonna make it, even when I was in college.  I was surprised the NHL scouts were looking at me because I had never been looked at before.  Then, when I first got to the Blues I was the happiest kid in the world.  I was excited, that's for sure.  I'm still excited.  This is the best job in the world" - CURTIS JOSEPH, Toronto Maple Leafs

"What I like best about being a goaltender is the good challenge.  You're on your own back there.  You work for your team and you try to give them a chance to win and you put a lot of pressure on yourself.  I always enjoy having the pressure" - FELIX POTVIN, Toronto Maple Leafs

"I've been the back-up pretty much my whole career . . . Certainly you like to play as much as you can but I've made a good living at what I do now. That's not to say I wouldn't like to play every night . . . I'm gonna keep working hard and try to come up with a big game when I do get put in" - JEFF REESE, former Whalers goalie

"I felt they could not score on me.   It was the kind of feeling you maybe get two or three times in your career.  And I had it at the right moment" - PATRICK ROY, Colorado Avalanche, on an overtime playoff performance versus the NY Rangers, Eastern Conference finals

"I'm just having fun" - MARTIN BRODEUR, NJ Devils, explaining his easy-going attitude under pressure

"That was the only game I could think about for the next three weeks, whether it was good or bad.  Now I'll just play, have fun and do my best " - MIKE DUNHAM, Nashville Predators, on backing up Martin Brodeur and only seeing action every three weeks or so


  Why They Hate It

"It's the only way I can support my family. If I could do it another way, I wouldn't be playing goal " - GLENN HALL, Chicago Blackhawks

"In Biblical times, I stoned people to death. Now they are repaying me by hurling pucks at my head" - GILES GRATTON, former netminder who firmly believed in reincarnation

"How would you like it if you were a business executive and when you made a mistake, a red light went on and 18,000 people started screaming?" - JAQUES PLANTE, (formerly) Montreal Canadiens

"Playing goal is like being shot at" - JAQUES PLANTE, (formerly) Montreal Canadiens

"Of course I could have had an easier life.   If I had to start over again I wouldn't have been a hockey player.  I'd have worked in the post office.   At my age right now I'd have a pension you couldn't believe" - GLENN HALL, Chicago Blackhawks

"It's pretty tough for a goalie when you look at it. You're always the last line of defense. If you let a goal in, you can't go to the bench and hide between the guys or anything " - KIRK McLEAN, Vancouver Canucks

"I hate every minute I play.  I'm sick to my stomach before the game, between periods, and from the start of the season to the end.  I sometimes ask myself, 'What the **** am I doing out there?'" - GLENN HALL

"I would just get hit with this feeling that I couldn't stop the puck.  I could be in the middle of a great game, and I'd have really good thoughts, and all of a sudden another thought process would take over and then someone would shoot a puck from the blue line and I wouldn't be sure that I could stop it " - GLEN HANLON

"Playing goal is not fun.  Behind a mask, there are no smiling faces, nor timely, sweaty grins of satisfaction.  It is a grim, humorless position . . . it is only when a game [ends] and the mask comes off, when the immense challenge of the job turns abruptly to immense satisfaction or despair, that the unsmiling grimness lifts and goes away" - KEN DRYDEN, Montreal Canadiens


  On The Position

"The goalie is like the guy on the minefield. He discovers the mines and destroys them. If you make a mistake, somebody gets blown up " - ARTURS IRBE, Dallas Stars

"Before the game is when I'd say most goalies, including me, weren't just one of the boys.  When it is getting near game-time, you want to be left alone.  The other guys talk, defensemen with defensemen, forwards with forwards.  But the goalie wants to be by himself " - CESARE MANIAGO, Minnesota North Stars

"It(goaltending)'s like being a pitcher or catcher in a baseball game.  You're not the fringe type.   Your personality is such that you want to be the focal point, be out there the full sixty minutes.  You have to be mentally and physically involved in the entire game.  I think that's the main personality trait of most goaltenders" - JOHN GARRETT

"I think the biggest characteristic a goaltender needs is passion for the position.   A guy has to enjoy it.  You have to enjoy being the one who the rest of the team is looking to as their man.  I hate to see a goalie who looks like he's not enjoying what he's doing.  It's so obvious to me when you see a guy who is enjoying it and then you see someone who's doing it because someone else wants him to, or because he feels pressured.  Worst of all, I hate seeing someone who looks like he's doing it just for the money" - BOB FROESE, Philadelphia Flyers

"It's the one position where there is no let-up, even in practice" - CHICO RESCH, New York Islanders

"Because the demands on a goalie are mostly mental, it means that for a goalie, the biggest enemy is himself. Not a puck, not an opponent, not a quirk of size or style. Him. The stress and anxiety he feels when he plays, the fear of failing, the fear of being embarrassed, the fear of being physically hurt, all the symptoms of his position, in constant ebb and flow, but never disappearing. The successful goalie understands these neuroses, accepts them, and puts them under control. The unsuccessful goalie is distracted by them, his mind in knots, his body quickly following" - KEN DRYDEN, (formerly) Montreal Canadiens

"There is no position in sport as noble as goaltending" - VLADISLAV TRETIAK, former great Russian goaltender

"Only a goalie can appreciate what a goalie goes through" - JAQUES PLANTE, (formerly) Montreal Canadiens

"It's not lonely in the crease, as a lot of people say it is.  I prefer to be back there even though goalies always take a beating.  People say the guys who play goal are crazy to do what we do.  But I've always had the feeling that I was the smart one because everybody else was chasing the puck and I just stood there and waited for it.   That's the way I felt when I was five years old, and I still feel that way" - RON TUGNUTT, Ottowa Senators

"At that time ('88-'89) several teams had one goalie playing the majority of games.  It can be fun, especially when you're on a winning team.  You get into a routine where you never think about not playing.  It's a mindset.  You wake up in the morning, it's game day, and you say, 'I'm playing tonight.   We're practising tomorrow and I'm gonna play the game after that.'  You never worry about ice time" - TIM CHEVELDAE, former Red Wings goalie, on starting vs. backing up

"The playoffs are so intense, especially when you've given up so many shots.  The whole atmosphere was new to me . . . You try to stay focused and not get wrapped up in all the media attention.  You try to downplay it because in this game you can get humbled pretty quick " - CURTIS JOSEPH, Toronto Maple Leafs

"It's always tough to be a back-up.   It's not something I adjusted to very well, and I admit I didn't play very well in that role" - GRANT FUHR, St. Louis Blues

"In many ways it's easier to play a lot than not very much.   When you play less I think it's a matter of survival a lot of nights.  You haven't played in a month, or you haven't played in two weeks . . . when you do start you know it might be your last one in a month so you want to seize the opportunity.  There's no question it's survival.  You don't get in the groove, you don't get focused.  Take playoff runs.  You do get in a groove, you do get focused.  You don't even notice the crowd.  Well maybe you see the people in the first few rows.  When you're in a groove, you see the puck well.  When you're the back-up there's not a whole lot you're seeing well except the backs of the other team's sweaters" - GLENN HEALY, former Islanders goalie

"I found out early that you can make an impact on the game, either positively or negatively, and sometimes quickly.   The game can be seven seconds old and you're making an impact.  You make a big save and the bench jumps up.  'Awright. Way to go.'  Let one in from center and you can't even see the guys' heads.  They're looking for the water, looking for the back-up. 'Get him in there'" - GLENN HEALY, former Islanders goalie

"The practice (as a back-up) was my game.   When I went to practice I forced myself to be mentally prepared, just as though I was going to a game.  It served two purposes.  One, it helped the guys at practice because they knew they had to work hard against you, that you just weren't out there going through the motions.  Secondly, it helped me keep sharp.  You had to picture yourself in a game, what would happen if the red light went on and 18,000 idiots were yelling at you.   I know you don't have that in practice, but that is what I feel a back-up goalie has to do because you only play in a real game once in a while.  In my case once every four weeks, if I was lucky" - BOBBY TAYLOR, former Philadelphia Flyers goalie

"The stereotype (of goalies being a little shy of a load) comes from when the guys didn't wear masks.  I mean, guys throwing up and not wearing masks--a combination that sends a certain message " - JOHN VANBIESBROUCK, Philadelphia Flyers

"Everybody thinks we're crazy, but I'm telling you, it's the safest position out there " - JOHN VANBIESBROUCK, Philadelphia Flyers

"Nobody understands the position who hasn't played it.  Hockey is a team game, but for a goalie, it's more like an individual sport " - JOHN "Cheech" GARRETT

"Goalies are different.  Whether it's because the position attracts certain personality types or only permits certain ones to succeed; whether the experience is one so intense and fundamental that it transforms its practitioners to type--I don't know the answer.  But whatever it is, the differences between 'players' and 'goalies' are manifest and real " - KEN DRYDEN, Montreal Canadiens

"Now, with goalie coaches, there's someone else to talk to.  But at one time, other than the other goalie, there was really no one " - GARY SMITH

"I'm a firm believer that the goalie doesn't steal the game.   When we play well we win as a team and we lose as a team" - RON TUGNUTT, Ottowa Senators

"Every goalie will have some sort of mental meltdown at some point.  It's going to hit you.  It's just a matter of when.  The key is learning to handle it.  That often differentiates the great goalies from the ones who have less success.  Goaltending is all mental " - GLEN HANLON

"I know some people think we're stupid, but I don't know.  What about the guy who has to go get the puck when Eric Lindros is coming in at him 100 mph.  Who's crazier, me or him?  Look, I've got a mask.  I don't have any stitches.  I've got my teeth.   So if one of my kids wants to be a goalie, great.  I think it's a little safer than forward or defense" - MARTIN BRODEUR, New Jersey Devils

"You can't be scared.  Maybe there are some goalies who are, but the better the guy, the better the challenge is for me.  If you start fearing them you'll be out of the league for sure" - MARTIN BRODEUR, New Jersey Devils, on Al MacInnis' shot

"I try not to overreact to the puck.  You are going to make mistakes, but you try to limit them. In this game, half the battle is making the puck hit you.  Actually, it could be the whole battle " - JOHN VANBIESBROUCK, Philadelphia Flyers

"As a goalie, if you try to think too much and overplay situations too much, you get yourself into trouble.  I just want to go out there and react.   I think the biggest thing for goaltenders is just to be confident and play big" - OLAF KOLZIG, Washington Capitols

"Only a goalie cannot make mistakes, because his mistakes mean goals" - VLADISLAV TRETIAK

"Yeah, to be a goalie, first you have to remove half your brain " - JOHN VANBIESBROUCK, Philadelphia Flyers, jokingly (of course!)

"I get nervous before every game.   Every game I know I have to stop the puck.  If I do we win, and if I don't we lose" - DOMINIK HASEK, Buffalo Sabers


  On Winning

"I had three shutouts in a row playing in St. Louis.  I was in a groove.  Most goalies thrive on attention.  The more attention they get, the better they play . . . Bernie Federko was my roommate and I remember him saying that I was in a different zone.  That's the word that comes up at a time like that, zone.  How you get there is a mystery " - GREG MILLEN, St. Louis Blues

" . . . In '89 we had the experience of going all the way . . . At the end we came into the dressing room all jubilant and celebrating.  I sat down and grabbed myself a pop and just sat there and looked at everybody and took it all in.  I was totally drained.   I had no more energy.  The whole series went that way, the whole playoffs had gone that way.  You had to spend every ounce of energy and I was at the end of my rope.  I had nothing left " - MIKE VERNON, Florida Panthers

"I really feel the team is going in the right direction and I'd hate to miss out on the good times after all the work I've put in to help the team get to this point.  I want to end my career here, and maybe have a Stanley Cup to go along with it" - GUY HEBERT, Anaheim Mighty Ducks

"It's always been there.  I remember being a kid and bawling my eyes out because we lost a game.  There's always been something in me that's driven me to want to win " - RON HEXTALL, Philadelphia Flyers

" . . . As for my competitiveness, I think the day when there's not much difference for me between winning and losing is the day I'll probably say goodbye to the game" - RON HEXTALL, Philadelphia Flyers

"Sometimes when we lose a game I want to retire.  When we win a game I want to play ten more years " - PATRICK ROY, Colorado Avalanche

"It's just an amazing thing.  I've experienced it once and it certainly makes you hungry to do it again " - MIKE RICHTER, New York Rangers, on winning the Cup

"I find it easier to get a shutout when the game is close. I mean when it's 1-0 or 2-0 instead of when you have a 5-0 or 6-0 lead" - FELIX POTVIN, Toronto Maple Leafs

"I think there was a feeling of satisfaction in myself knowing that I finally got to play and especially that we won.  I think I proved to myself that I could play at this level, because you never know if you can until you do it " - MIKE DUNHAM, Nashville Predators, on playing and winning his first NHL game

"This is the greatest feeling in the world.   I hope this silences all those people who said I'd never be able to do this" - EDDIE BELFOUR, Dallas Stars, on winning the '99 Stanley Cup


  On Losing

"I was envious of Gary Smith because he was always smiling.  He seemed to be having fun.  That's something I don't remember, having fun during a game" - BERNIE WOLFE, having played four years with the Capitols during their rocky start--they won 76 of 320 games they played

"I think I'm one of the few to say that I've never missed hockey for as much as a day since I retired" - BERNIE WOLFE, Washington Capitols

"One night during the warm-up before a game against Montreal, Ken Dryden said to me, 'It must be awful to play in Washington.'  I said, 'Ken, it's still in the NHL, and that's where I always wanted to be .'  Dryden said, 'You're right.'" - BERNIE WOLFE, Washington Capitols

"Roses are red, violets are blue, they got ten, we only got two " - GERRY CHEEVERS (after his team got demolished)

"They had fun when they played us, they really did.  They were drooling over the chance to fatten up their averages " - BERNIE WOLFE, on when his weak Capitols played other, better teams

"I've never had a bigger disappointment than after that seventh game.  To this day . . . When you're that close, a goal or two away, it's devastating.  It was a good summer, but at the same time it was an awful summer because I just couldn't stop thinking about it" - RON HEXTALL, about losing the '86 Stanley Cup finals 3-1 to the Edmonton Oilers in his rookie year
(Ron was voted the playoff MVP and given the Conn Smythe trophy that year for his outstanding play, becoming only the fourth member of a losing team to receive that award.)

"You know that old saying about pro sports, winning is everything.   That's what it's all about, and when you're not winning it's not a lot of fun.   The mental anguish the players go through is phenomenal . . . We try our best but the constant losing really grates on you.  You have to go out and do your best regardless of the outcome, because if you focus on the outcome all the time and what your stats are--I've got news for you--you won't be going to a game tomorrow.  Instead you'll be spending time in a psychiatric ward.  That's how crazy it gets.  About halfway through the year Brad Shaw (teammate) came up to me and he goes, 'Hey, you're gonna have to relax.  This is just the way it is.  You're doing everything you can, so relax, because otherwise you're gonna get sick.  You're gonna self-destruct.'  That had a good effect on me . . ." - CRAIG BILLINGTON, Colorado Avalanche

"you can't be all that upbeat in that (losing) environment, even though people tell you, 'It's just a game.'  Well, it's my life.   I've spent my whole life doing this and I care about it " - CRAIG BILLINGTON, Colorado Avalanche

"It's one thing to play 63 games in a winning environment and it's quite another to play that many when you're losing almost all the time.  I don't think anyone--coaches, general managers, or players--really understands unless they've been in that position.  I don't think they understand at all " - CRAIG BILLINGTON, Colorado Avalanche

"The hardest part is when you're losing.  You get down and start second-guessing yourself. It's not the physical part so much . . . it's the mental part.  You find yourself drained when you come to the rink the day after a loss.  You're not on the emotional high like you are when you're winning" - TIM CHEVELDAE, former Red Wings goalie

"When things weren't going well in Toronto I learned that I had to stop reading the newspapers.   It was tough because you'd walk into the dressing room and there'd be papers lying around and they'd always be flipped open to the sports section" - JEFF REESE, former Whalers goalie

"A goalie's mistake can cost you all the hard work of twenty players.  That's scary, so you need a lot of confidence.  You need to have the trust of the coach, the other players, the fans . . . I didn't have it.  So you start doubting yourself: Am I still good enough?  Do I still have it?" - Dominik HASEK, Buffalo Sabres, on losing at the beginning of his career

"I don't like to lose.   I'm a competitive person.  That's who I am.  I'm not going to change" - EDDIE BELFOUR, Dallas Stars


  On Other Goalies

"Great goalies all have one thing in common.  Under pressure the puck doesn't go through them.  Under pressure they continue to play up to their standards . . . the great ones don't self-destruct.  They stay focused and in control of their game and their emotions" - CHICO RESCH, New York Islanders

"Athletes are the most superstitious people in the world" - CHICO RESCH, New York Islanders

"Goalies are different, no question about it.  It takes a special kind of guy to go through what a goalie goes through practice after practice, game after game.  It's an individual position where no one really has any empathy for you, even the guy you're sharing the job with . . . When the other guy is not playing well and you're getting the starts, you might feel for him because he's struggling.  But the reality of it is you're playing great, you're playing the games, and you're going to do everything you can to stay in there as long as you can" - CHICO RESCH, New York Islanders

"Don't forget that we belong to the mythical 'goaltenders union.'   I like to say it's the oldest, and I'm convinced, the strongest anywhere in sports.  You can run into a goalie anytime, anywhere, at any level, and sit down and have a conversation that lasts longer than one you would have had with your best friend.  I get excited, charged up whenever I run into someone who has played goal, regardless of age or if they're still playing or not.  Right away you're talking about the latest equipment, or what's going on, or this guy or that guy and what happened to him, the old days, the new days, and what's happening.  It's unique " - CRAIG BILLINGTON, Colorado Avalanche
(Well put, Craig!  I feel the same way, which is why I wanted to be a goalie in the first place!)

"There's a tremendous amount of respect out there.  We may not like one guy's style compared to another, but we respect what he's doing.  If he's doing it successfully, we admire that" - CRAIG BILLINGTON, Colorado Avalanche

"We are the sort of people who make health insurance popular" - TERRY SAWCHUK, (formerly) Detroit Red Wings

"I think most goalies feel for the other goalie during a game.  If he's having a bad night, letting in soft goals, we all know how that feels.   I don't know if that carries with any other position.  I had great support playing for Ottowa, not just from former players but from other goalies in the NHL today who have stopped and talked with me, guys I've never had a chance to talk to before.  It's kind of ironic that within the industry you get that kind of support even though we're competing against each other" - CRAIG BILLINGTON, Colorado Avalanche

"I watch and appreciate what other goalies do.  I guess you'd say we have a strong union.  If the other goalie is hot and keeping his team in the game you're telling yourself you've got to do the same thing   I like to look at things objectively after a game and I give all the credit in the world to a guy who has stood on his head against us" - CURTIS JOSEPH, Toronto Maple Leafs

"The back-up can be a support for the starter.   Nobody really knows what a goalie goes through other than another goalie.  If you're there with him, patting him on the back, it makes for a much easier relationship.  It creates a better atmosphere in the room.   The players treat you better and have more respect for you because they see what you're going through and they understand to a degree.  If you have a bad rapport, if you're jealous guy and pout and complain, everybody leaves you alone.  For the number one guy it can be like Alcoholics Anonymous.  When you're A.A. and you're struggling you make a phone call and somebody comes over to talk to you.  Well, if you're struggling in goal you can go over to the back-up and talk to him and that helps " - BOBBY TAYLOR, former Philadelphia Flyers goalie

"People go to watch Hasek because he's an entertainer; he lifts them out of their seats.  He uses his glove, his blocker, his stick, his legs, his chest like other goalies.  But he's so different because he also uses his back and stomach when he scrambles around like a snow angel on the ice.  ****, I'd swear I've also seen him use his head --on purpose-- to stop a shot " - GERRY CHEEVERS, former Boston Bruins goalie, on Dominik Hasek's style

"I think at this level, everyone can play, but the guys who become great are the ones who are very strong-minded and mentally prepared for games.   The Patrick Roys and Andy Moogs, who've survived all these years and been so successful" - BYRON DAFOE, Boston Bruins


  How They Started

"I loved playing hockey.  But for some reason I don't understand to this day I really wanted to be a goalie " - RICK WAMSLEY, about starting out as a youngster

"I always wanted to be a goalie.   I strapped them on when I was probably in a diaper league when I was about four years old" - MIKE VERNON, Florida Panthers

"As a child, I watched Vladislav Tretiak, he was my hero, and because of him, I decided I wanted to play goalie" - NIKOLAI KHABIBULIN, Phoenix Coyotes

"My mom says that when I was 2 years old I wanted to be a goalie.  I remember going to my dad's practices, sitting behind the glass and watching the goalie the whole time.  I can't explain it, can't pinpoint it.   It wasn't like I watched a certain guy one time and said, 'I want to be a goalie like him.'  It was there from the start " - RON HEXTALL, Philadelphia Flyers

"The reason I started late was because my mom was always afraid I'd get hurt playing hockey. I always had a love for the game.  I finally started to play when I was ten or eleven, and because I couldn't skate I became a goalie.  I'd fall down all the time and stop all the shots because nobody could raise the puck.  All the parents would say, 'Oh, you were great out there.'  I believed them and just kept on playing goal " - CURTIS JOSEPH, Toronto Maple Leafs

"I started out on defense.  I was four years old in a league that went up to nine years old.  That first year when I was four I went the whole year without touching the puck once.  Not once.   Every time I'd get to the puck either the buzzer went to signal a change of shift, or someone would shoot it away from me.  My brother was the goaltender and he was nine.  So the next year he jumped up and we didn't have a goalie.  They said, 'We'll put Glenn in.  He can't skate so we'll let the puck come to him.  He won't have to chase it.'  So here I was, five years old, and now I'm a goaltender.  I had such a hard time playing defense and goaltending seemed to come a bit easier.  I didn't have to chase guys around and never catch them.   Everything seemed so simple.  They just came to me " - GLENN HEALY, former Islanders goalie

"When I was very young I didn't know my dad had been a goalie.  I started playing forward and I was one of the best players on my team.  It just happened that I decided to be a goalie.  It was never a case of, well, my dad was a goalie so I want to be a goalie.  Once I started playing goal I kept doing it because I loved it" - MARTIN BRODEUR, New Jersey Devils

"Ever since I can remember, I always made straight for the goal.   In hockey, in soccer, everything" - Dominik HASEK, Buffalo Sabres


  General Wisdom

" . . . I don't think I ever committed myself physically the way I should have. I think I was a good team guy, I worked hard in practice and in games, but off the ice I had too much beer and too many laughs.  To be a champion you've got to commit yourself off the ice as much as on it " - JOHN DAVIDSON

"Most fans go wild when they see a goalie make what looks like a great save, but the chances are what they are seeing is a save that was made from being out of position " - MIKE RICHTER, New York Rangers

"He farts a lot " - BERNIE PARENT (when asked what made Ed Van Impe such a good defenseman)

"I love my hockey, but if you can do that and go home and just be a dad and husband, then you have the best of both worlds" - CURTIS JOSEPH, Toronto Maple Leafs

"Things . . . (other goalies did) always made me think I was one of the sanest goaltenders.  But my wife doesn't agree with me" - BERNIE WOLFE

"Some people join the army as a career.  I'm in hockey as a career guy.  It's what I'm going to do for the rest of my life " - PHIL MYRE, Philadelphia Flyers

"If you want to be a good goalie get with a bad team " - RON HEXTALL, Philadelphia Flyers

"He (Tommy McVie) was tough but as you get older you learn that the people who are the toughest on you are those who support you the most " - CRAIG BILLINGTON, Colorado Avalanche

"I learned a lot about myself and about life from Tommy McVie.  He loves what he does for a living.  Perhaps the secret in our life is to love what you do.   So many people don't" - CRAIG BILLINGTON, Colorado Avalanche

"It (the national team program) proved to me you have to believe in yourself even when you're in the minors and you're twenty-four years old and people are telling you you're finished" - CRAIG BILLINGTON, Colorado Avalanche

"For goaltenders everything is playing between your ears.   If you can believe it, you can do it.  If you're not confident when you start, it makes a difference" - PATRICK ROY, Colorado Avalanche

"I played on a last-place team in a small town and always had a ton of shots. It was the same thing when I played junior.  But that's the way you learn.  Playing on bad teams was good for me in the long run" - CURTIS JOSEPH, Toronto Maple Leafs

"I think that you go through a lot of adversity, but I'm a firm believer that it just makes you stronger.  Although you go through tough times, it makes the good times that much better " - RON TUGNUTT, Ottawa Senators

"I never tried to understand why it happened.  The analysis came after the game.   I tried to regain my composure as quickly as possible and told myself, 'It's nothing.  I'm playing well'" - VLADISLAV TRETIAK, on soft goals

"When I prepared for a game, I didn't allow my mind to rest.   I thought about ways to play better, analyzed the strong and weak points of the opposing team and drew up plans of action" - VLADISLAV TRETIAK

"I'm not where I want to be yet, but I'm getting there " - MIKE RICHTER, NY Rangers

"You don't just, one day, cram for an exam, just like you don't, all of a sudden, just show up for the playoffs.   It's one of those things where, if you're doing your homework, applying yourself in a big way and learning from your mistakes, you will improve and play great" - MIKE RICHTER, NY Rangers, on life, school and hockey

"I learned a lot about competitiveness, how he fights for the puck and competes to see the puck.  The biggest lesson was, if you stay in the right position, you're always going to have a chance to stop the puck " - STEVE SHIELDS, San Jose Sharks, on backing up Dominik Hasek

"Well, it gave me a lot of confidence, that's for sure.  It makes a big difference for a goalie to go out and play for a good team.  You play under pressure all the time.  People want to win, win, win and do well all the time.   And with this team you knew you weren't going to face fifty shots and get hung out to dry all the time" - MARTIN BRODEUR, on starting out with the defensively-minded Devils

"I tend to look at the big picture rather than one game.  I tend not to get overwhelmed by one performance either way.  It helps me get through stretches that are better and stretches that are harder" - MARTIN BRODEUR

"In the afternoons, I just mentally run through the game, visualize myself making the saves, patting the guys on the head after a victory . . . Hey, the mind is a powerful thing.   And we don't tap into it enough" - BYRON DAFOE, Boston Bruins



"I thought about being a fireman. I was hoping a fire department might need a goaltender for its team.  But there were hang-ups--I'm color blind, partially deaf, and claustrophobic" - RON TUGNUTT, Ottowa Senators, when his NHL career was going through rocky times

"I want to play as long as possible.   Right now (during the '94-'95 NHL lockout) we can't play hockey and I'm pretty miserable about it.  I think I'm gonna be like that all my career.  I'd like to be as successful as Patrick Roy.  I want to be consistent.   That's why Patrick is so good.  You never see him really down or really up.  That's one thing I want to accomplish.  I've had a good start.  Now I want to keep on going " - MARTIN BRODEUR, New Jersey Devils

"I had to be number one on my exams.  I had to know everything.  I had to be perfect or I'd rather not say anything.  In hockey I want to be perfect in net or I don't play " - Dominik HASEK, Buffalo Sabres, on himself in school and life

"My dad helped coach me when I was starting.  He had good comments but he was never pushy.  Sometimes parents want their kid to do well and they push, push all the time.  My dad didn't do that.  He kept telling me to just have some fun.  I'm still having fun " - MARTIN BRODEUR, New Jersey Devils

"Because there wasn't enough time to play 54" - GRANT FUHR, St. Louis Blues (after being asked how could he play 36 holes of golf in the middle of the Stanley Cup Finals)

"It's all part of the game, part of sticking up for your team. It's happened before and I'm sure it'll happen again. I saw (Daniel) Lacroix charging (Larry) Murphy, I was trying to stick up for him. I happened to look down the ice and Hexxy was coming down, I just tried to get ready for him. I've heard of him before and I was just trying to stick up for my team" - FELIX POTVIN, Toronto Maple Leafs (after kicking Ron Hextall's butt)

"Anyone who wears one (a mask) is chicken.  My face is my mask " - GUMP WORSLEY, on masks

"It eliminated the fear that came with the position.  And all of a sudden goalies weren't afraid to go down anymore" - GLEN HANLON, on the introduction of the mask

"You worry about scoring the goal.  They will not score on me, I promise you" - PATRICK ROY, to teammates, exuding an immense amount of self-confidence

" I talk to my goal posts.   They're my friends.  They listen.   It's a superstition" - PATRICK ROY, Colorado Avalanche

"Drag racing is a huge adrenaline rush " - EDDIE BELFOUR, who started at age 18 and has competed in OH, MI, IN, at speeds up to 170 mph

"To have a 120-pound Schutzund German shepherd come at you is unbelievable" - BYRON DAFOE, who sometimes dons protective gear at dog shows and allows himself to be attacked by other people's dogs


Quotes About Goalies

  On Goalie-Kind In General

"A goalie must have one overriding quality-- he must want to be a goalie " - EMILE FRANCIS, legendary coach and former goalie

"Goalies are fine fellows when you meet them at center ice. They are fine fellows off the ice too. But don't think this cordiality is going to apply when you skate by the front of his cave. He'll slice you up if you come in close" - CHANDLER STERLING, writer

"Any discussion on hockey goaltenders must begin with the assumption that they are about three sandwiches shy of a picnic. I can prove this. From the moment Primitive Man first lurched erect, he and those who came after him survived on the principle that when something hard and potentially painful comes at you at great velocity, you get the hell out of its path. Goalkeepers throw themselves into its path. I rest my case " - JIM TAYLOR, columnist

"I enjoyed reading this snippet . . . but let's take exception and a goaltenders' view of what Jim Taylor thinks he can prove;  I would point out that indeed it is the primitive response to duck.   To me it shows a much higher level of neurological development and keen judgment not simply to stand and be struck but to fearlessly control whatever is hurled our way.  I'd suggest that the development of humankind and civilization as we know it today is entirely due to our Neanderthal Netminders.   Harken back to, yes friends, the ICE AGE.
    "Who but the most brave and alert cavemen would stand at the cave's mouth and block the chunks of rock spewed out from the nearest volcano?  Or stand in the path of a speeding glacier?  Glacial slowness? Not in those days.  We're talking about a real Avalanche (20,000 years B.R. <before Roy>).  Overcoming the primitive urge to duck away.  Intercepting and shielding his extended family.  Lesser forms of cavemen ducked, survived alone because their families did not.   Another subspecies falls to Darwin's theory.  Survival of the fittest . . . that's the goalie.
    "Once the caveman could control his fear of simply being struck (ha!) could mastery of dreaded fire be far behind?  Then the wheel, and the rest is . . . er . . . history.   Even to the high points of Western Civilization; compare Michaelangelo's primitive drawings of a Zamboni to what we have today. . . as Jim Taylor would say 'I rest my case'" - JAMES MURRAY
(Special thanks to James for allowing me to include his response to Taylor's article, and for showing us all the other, superior, point-of-view! :P)

"Goaltending is a suffering position. Your equipment protects you from injury, but not from pain, every time you go out there. And if you allow a goal, the red lights go on for everyone to see. But you get to be a hero too " - KEVIN CONSTANTINE, hockey coach

"How many people in life spend eighteen years getting shot at? " - KEVIN CONSTANTINE, hockey coach

"There is no such thing as painless goaltending.  If they could get enough padding to assure against every type of bruise, you'd have to be swung into position with a small derrick " - DON CHERRY

"A good goaltender gives you the opportunity to win every hockey game" - JIM SCHOENFELD, former coach of Phoenix Coyotes

"I don't care if a football team has the worst quarterback, it can still win.  You can have the worst pitcher in baseball, but the other guys can get enough hits and you'll win.  But if you don't have a good goaltender in hockey, you're dead " - DON CHERRY, commentator

"There are unique pressures on goaltenders.  It boils down to this: nobody can cover for them.  A forward or a defenseman can make a mistake and get away with it, because somebody can cover for them.  A goalie doesn't have that luxury" - JOEL FISH, director of the Center for Sports Psychology

"There's a different kind of mental toughness required of a goalie" - JOEL FISH, director of the Center for Sports Psychology


  On Individual Goalies

"Patrick Roy.  If there's anybody worth a million bucks it's Patrick" - DON CHERRY (about the '89 playoffs)

"Little Alan Bester, I've often said, has seen more rubber than a dead skunk on the Trans-Canada highway" - DON CHERRY, commentator

"He doesn't look like the paperboy. He looks like the paperboy's little brother " - BRYAN MURRAY (about Chris Osgood)

"Only God saves more than Parent" - Philadelphia bumpersticker

"A reporter from Edmonton once called me asking for dirt on Curtis [Joseph].  I just laughed " - MARTIN HARDING, Joseph's long-time friend

"I think people underestimate how competitive he is.  When you talk to him, he's very laid-back and he's got a good sense of humor.  But I've noticed, when he pulls that mask over him, there is a competitive edge that comes over him as well.  In a game, he fights and battles and does everything he can to stop the puck" - CRAIG HARTSBURG, coach of Anaheim Mighty Ducks, on Guy Hebert

"Good game.  Now you know how Custer felt " - TOMMY McVIE, coach of the Washington Capitols, to Bernie Wolfe after a 3-1 loss, and a 55-14 outshooting

"Most teams put their goalies in an ambulance after the game.  Ours come to the game in an ambulance " - TOMMY McVIE, during the Capitols' rough early seasons

"He flops around on the ice like a fish " - DARRYL SUTTER, assistant coach of the Blackhawks, on Dominik Hasek

"The guy can play . . . you just have to have a strong stomach to watch him" - MITCH KORN, goalie coach of the Sabres, in a memo to management, on Dominik Hasek

"He doesn't have a weakness, and you don't know what he's going to do" - WAYNE GRETZKY, former New York Ranger, on Dominik Hasek

"All I know is, I wish I was pampered as much as Eddie (Belfour) is pampered.  Boy, what Eddie wants, Eddie gets.   It must be nice, I'll tell you" - BRETT HULL, Dallas Stars

"He really covers a lot of the net" - ERIC LINDROS, Philadelphia Flyers, on Steve Shields

"He has given us a chance to win every game he's played" - WAYNE THOMAS, Sharks' assistant general manager, on Steve Shields

"Even when he was just a baby, he was very, very stubborn. We absolutely could never get him to eat.  He'd look right at us and dump it on the floor.  You could never coax him into anything" - JOHN OSGOOD, on his son, Chris Osgood

"The two toughest jobs in this city are Lions quarterback and Red Wings goalie--and not in that order" - KRIS DRAPER, Red Wings center

"He made a lot of big saves.  Often, they don't look like big saves.  He's in the right position all the time " - ROGER NEILSON, Philadelphia Flyers' coach, on John Vanbiesbrouck

"It can be very frustrating to play against him and see he's always calm and making it look easy.   It makes everyone else play a little more relaxed, with more confidence, because you know he's back there to cover for you.  It's great to have him on our side" - ERIC DESJARDINS, Flyers defenseman, on John Vanbiesbrouck

"That's how he got where he is--with people telling him he couldn't do things and then proving them wrong " - JEFF FRIESEN on Eddie Belfour

"I knew goalies are different, but if I had to do everything he (Belfour) has to do to get ready for one game, I would have quit ten years ago " - GUY CARBONNEAU, Dallas Stars, on Eddie Belfour's pre-game routine