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People like goalies

September 27th, 2011

I’ve now played in 27 spots on this trip, and a universal truth is emerging: people like goalies.

Several people have used the exact phrase, “We love goalies!”

Empty nets are no fun

Even when I don’t play very well, I often get asked if I’m going to make it to the next drop-in game scheduled on some coming night.  I don’t think they’re asking that so as to avoid the game themselves.  On the contrary, if an ice session starts to have a reputation of being devoid of goalies, its popularity will drop.

I was talking to a guy named Eric when I played in Springfield, Illinois.  He mentioned that I was the first goalie to show up to the rink’s Monday-evening drop-in game in about six weeks.  More than a month with two empty nets?  No wonder not many skaters showed up.

Over the course of the trip so far, I have been the sole goalie at six skates, and a bunch of other times, there would have been only one goalie had I not been there.

Players at a drop-in skate will never tell a goalie that he was a sieve.    The skaters will tell you if you did a great job, but if nobody talks to you after the game, that’s the sign you didn’t do so well.  Yes, a lousy goalie is better than no goalie, and goalies tend to be in such short supply that there’s no need to risk alienating them.

Funny how skaters like the challenge of shooting on a goalie.  It would be trivial to bury shots in the net without a goalie being in the way, but that isn’t nearly as satisfying as beating a goalie in the process.

Yes, people like goalies, and I like being one.


  1. September 27th, 2011 at 22:56 | #1

    I think that’s true in many goal-centric sports. I play soccer, and yes, the goalie is important, but the ball had to get through many more players before the shot was taken. The best parts of a game are dramatic goals and dramatic saves!

  2. Jeff
    September 27th, 2011 at 23:03 | #2

    @Stacy (Little Blue Hen) Indeed. The best way to improve a goalie is to put better D in front of him/her. 🙂

  3. Alik Kadyrov
    September 29th, 2011 at 14:40 | #3

    Good luck body! You are very welcome to Oakland CA. Originally I’m from Russia and we say “goalie is 50% of the team”.

  4. Jeff
    September 29th, 2011 at 21:58 | #4

    @Alik Kadyrov I’ll have to remember that saying. Thanks!

  5. Eric in Springfield IL
    October 1st, 2011 at 02:25 | #5

    hitting posts is fun when the whole rink reverberates that ping when the puck hits the post just right, but one can get too good at hitting posts and when a tender is in net the shooter is still hitting the post. Having a goalie around is much better!

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