To start this off, I know most of you who actually read my articles have realized that I’m a goalie, and you must be DYING to know which NHL goalie is my favourite (probably not, but please let me write my article in peace). To answer your question, I officially am torn between two, and let me explain, because my one of my favourites is justifiable just by naming him, but the other I must convince you.
Living in Montreal, I guess you could say it’s obvious that I love Carey Price. That man is as swift as a coursing river, with all the force of a great typhoon, has all the strength of a raging fire, and is truly as mysterious as the dark side of the moon (if you caught that Mulan reference, thank you). Everyone knows that Pricey is amazing and is probably one of the best goalies on the planet. Along with a lot of other goalies, Price plays with the butterfly style, which is the most common goaltending technique we see nowadays. I believe Price brings it up a notch, as he is close to being a brick wall. I’m not saying he should be getting shutouts every game and that he is nothing short of a god, because he’s not. He’s just a regular guy who has happens to be one of the best at the art of goaltending. Surely haters will say he’s not, but between you and me, we know that deep down they think he’s amazing too.
My other favourite is none other than Jonathan Quick of the good old Los Angeles Kings. This is why I have to explain myself. Quick being one of my favourites is not a super popular opinion to have whilst living where I do, but I stand by it. Johnny Quick is amazing, he’s flexible and knows how to move in the net. I would love to have a style of play like he does. I admit, he used to have better numbers but you can’t blame a goalie for getting a little older. Quick knows how to move in the net laterally on his knees, or in his stance perfectly, which is an amazing skill to have. Not only is Quick his last name, but it’s also what he is. I frequently watch his highlight saves and I have to say when this guy makes a good save, it’s a REALLY good save. I know how to appreciate goaltending, while a lot of people rely on the numbers to define them. As a goalie I know that it’s insanely annoying when someone judges you based on your numbers, and don’t even start to appreciate the skill you have. Quick receives quite a bit of criticism for his play, that I don’t think he deserves, but that’s up for debate. He was out for a while this season and only just recently came back from his injury and has been playing okay but has a GAA of 2.21 and a SV% of .922 after only 10 games played, and he even got a shutout against Buffalo on March 16th. I wouldn’t call that too bad after being out for a pretty long time.
Even after giving my opinions on my favourite NHL goalies, I may as well give a special mention to my favourite CWHL goalie who you may or may not know of, the Montreal Canadiennes goaltender Charline Labonte who is one hell of a woman. She has played several times for Team Canada and won many gold medals for the country, and is a hot CWHL goalie. She has a GAA of 1.53 (AWESOME) and a SV% of .934, which are pretty good numbers. On top of playing for Canada and her team over here in Montreal, she is the McGill University goalie coach, and has been since the 2014-2015 season when she left McGill where she played for 6 seasons. She even played for the Acadie-Bathurst Titans in the QMJHL for the two seasons between ‘99 and 2001. She is my personal inspiration and will continue to be for a very long time. Oh, and I also have to mention Emerance Maschmeyer who was drafted into the CWHL’s Calgary Inferno in 2016. She is also participating in the 2017 Women’s Worlds after being named Best Goaltender in the tournament in 2016. She played for Harvard University from 2014 all the way to the end of the 2015-2016 season when she was drafted to Calgary.
I don’t care whether a goalie is male or female, they all deserve recognition. All goalies need love, even me. We work so hard and play the most noble of positions… I mean who else voluntarily stands in front of a speeding puck? We’re insane people, but we love the game. Even though people sometimes don’t understand the stress of what we do, and actually make a point of saying “but you’re a goalie, you don’t work that hard,” we accept it, because we know that if they get in our equipment and try to stop a puck, they’re likely not going to be that great. So if you’re one of those people, I will gladly let you use my equipment and get in that net for a while just so you can see how tough it is.