Goalies Always Have to Answer for Team Mistakes

http://www.denverpost.com/avalanche/ci_9068391

Why is goaltending the most demanding position in all of sports? The perfect example is Jose Theodore.

Against Minnesota, Theo played his best hockey in many years and had people thinking he could be depended on for a trip to the Stanley Cup. A few days off, a bout of the stomach flu and the next thing he knows his play is 180 degrees in the opposite direction and the critics (who mind you were thinking he was the next Roy 72-hours earlier) are questioning his ability and whether he should play.

Are these questions warranted? Theo has not been very good this series and I think there should be some concern. But, the team as a whole has been just as bad. It would be charitable to call the Avs “competitive” in this series. Aside from approximately 30 minutes of play (120 total so far), they have been brutal. No intensity (which leads to losing battles for loose pucks) combined with undisciplined (Cody McLeod and Jeff Finger’s penalties) and individual/selfish play has lead to a 0-2 series record. Add a few key injuries and the receipe is a disaster.

I have read a few opinions about the series and no one is calling the team out for the lack of intensity. Like many things in life, critics are finding it easier to call attention to someone (Theo) that is only part of the problem instead of the entire story (team play).

That, my dear goalies, is part of the reason playing in goal is so demanding. When goals are scored, everyone knows the goalie missed it. All scoring chances and goals against have at least two mistakes leading to the opportunity. What fans do not see are most of the mistakes the forwards and defense make (many of them are several seconds before the scoring chance).

Net Lesson

As they say, hockey is a game of mistakes and, unfortunately, goalies are held responsible for their entire team. There will always be critics and someone blaming the goalie. It’s part of the job description each goalie should have seen before signing-up. Don’t let it distract you because there is nothing you can do aside from working hard to better your chances to making those key saves when your teammates make their mistakes.

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