Link is to a great story out of Miami with the Florida Panthers and their “back-up” goalie, Craig Anderson. He got his chance and may have unseated Tomas Vokoun, one of the best netminders in the NHL, as the team’s #1.
How? Because he was ready when called upon to take the net for the team when Vokoun began to struggle. As of today, he leads the NHL with the best save percentage and is third in lowest goals-against average. Last night he was in net against the Buffalo. His team was outshot 46-25 yet won the game 2-1 with Anderson saving 45 of 46.
Quoted in the article is the mentality every goalie must have to succeed. “I thought he’d go back to Vokoun, but you have to be ready at all times. I want the ball and I want to be playing. I enjoy playing and I enjoy playing for these guys. They stick with the program and I’ll be ready whenever I’m called upon and hopefully it’s as many games as possible.”
Hopefully, for Florida, Anderson continues his ways…
If a goalie is riding the bench, he owes it to himself and his teammates to be prepared for any opportunity to play. Being prepared is only acheived through hard work in practice and a positive attitude.
Of course that is easier said than done for a goalie who gets to play every few games. But, it has to be done otherwise the chance will come and the goalie will not seize the moment costing his teammates a victory and his own playing time.