I actually had the chance to meet and visit with Wings goalies Chris Osgood, Dominik Hasek, and Jamie Howard (3rd string on depth chart) yesterday while they were at Big Bear practicing (my real job’s office is in the rink) for tonight’s game against the Avalanche.
During my conversation with Osgood, one of the Thunderbird Midget AAA goalies asked Ozzy for advice in getting to the pros. After serious reflection, Ozzy said the best thing young goalies can do to improve and give themselves a shot in reaching high levels of hockey is to study other goalies and take little things from each to incorporate in their own game. I asked him if he still, as an NHL veteran, did and he replied “of course.”
When I asked him who he primarily watched, he said “several” but he mostly watches Hasek and Brodeur (“the two best” he claimed).
I must mention Osgood was a real humble and welcoming professional. Unlike the other two, he was very genuine and took a real interest in our questions. He appears to be what all professional athletes should be like.
No matter how much you think you know, there is always more to learn and work on. As a goalie, whenever you attend any game that is a higher level than you play, study the goalie. As soon as the puck is at the center line, start to watch their every move. From movement to body positioning and from save selection to recovery, study all goalies and then work to incorporate their tendencies into your game. Your game will improve and you may reach levels you never thought were possible.