You LOVE them when they show up and are willing to: carry in all their gear, put it all on, and then stand in front of a net so that players can shoot rubber pucks at them at speeds up to 105 miles per hour!
NOTE: At the time of the writing, the current NHL speed record belongs to Zdeno Chára of the Boston Bruins, whose slapshot clocked 108.8 miles per hour in the 2012 NHL All Star Game SuperSkills competition, breaking his own earlier record.
Oftentimes the pucks will bounce off their facemasks or other sensitive areas of their bodies.
And then, at the end of the game, they pack up and carry all their heavy, wet gear all by themselves to the vehicle and are willing to do it again next week.
For this we love them and often don’t charge them to play in a league (if they show up each week and let us takes shots at their heads).
When they play great we LOVE them. A great goalie can make the difference between winning and losing.
When they don’t win, we don’t love them so much…unless they happen to be playing for the other team, then we LOVE them!
Some of this love-hate relationship has to do with how hard it can be to score on goalies; especially in the five basic scoring zones: The five-hole (which right between the goalie’s legs). Stick side low. Glove side low. Glove side high. Stick side high
To work on being able to score at any of these five spots, coaches will attach some sort of hockey goal shooting trainer to the outside of a net.
In practice, hockey players will take shots at the net attempting to make it into one of the five areas. Ideally, the lessons will include shooting at all five of the areas.
The goal is to be able to dial in and control where the puck goes and ultimately score more goals.
Simple, right? I have seen elementary school age children working on this skill and succeed in making goals.
And yet, I have seen grown men freeze up when using this tool in place of a goalie and not be able to score any goals.
This happened during a recent game in which only our goalie showed up to play. To make up for the opposing team missing goalie, a plywood hockey goal shooting trainer with five holes was attached to one of the nets.
Instead of a real, live goalie, they had a plywood goalie.
Simple, right? And yet the same teammates who scored multiple goals in multiple games froze up and couldn’t score on a hockey net covered with a piece of plywood.
Many of my teammates complained (when on the bench between shifts) at how hard it now was to score a goal. We didn’t like the fact that the other team’s goalie didn’t show up and it was hard to score a goal.
My only complaint was that the “goalie” was way too stiff. (pun intended)
Another reason players HATE goalies is because of an NHL Rule that pertains to goalies.
Rule 27.1, 27.2, and 27.3 to be exact.
This rule states that if a goalie incurs a penalty (minor, major, or misconduct), they don’t serve it themselves.
INSTEAD, another player on their own team SERVES the penalty for the goalie! Another teammate takes the goalie’s place.
In other words, no matter what penalty the goalie gets, they don’t serve any time in the penalty box-a teammate serves it instead.
How is this fair; it isn’t! Especially since ALL other players must serve their OWN penalties.
For this, along with other reasons, some players don’t like goalies.
And yet, this rule is a good segue into explaining what Jesus did for each one who will receive His saving grace; His free gift.
Each and every one one of us have sinned and deserve a to serve time in the penalty box; which theologians would say is eternal separation from God…Eternity in hell.
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23)
The Bible tells us that someone had to serve the penalty for OUR sin!
“For the wages of sin is death…” (Romans 6:23a)
Jesus WILLINGLY went to the penalty box (the cross) on behalf of us.
“…but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23b)
We have a LOVING Heavenly Father who made a way for His son Jesus to serve our penalty for us. Jesus served OUR time in the penalty box.
“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
So how does your life look at this moment? Are you still trying to serve your own time in the penalty box for your sins?
God wants you to stop, turn to Him and to let Him make things new.
God says in His Word (the Bible) that He will make us new when we come to Jesus.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
Jesus simply wants you to acknowledge that you have committed an act worthy of a penalty (penalties). God promises:
“That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For “whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)
Special thanks to Reverend Bill Butters of hockeyministries.org for this insightful illustration of the Goalie’s Penalty
All Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.