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Goaltender Quotations: A Small Collection to Enjoy

Goaltender Quotations:  A Small Collection to Enjoy

I enjoy inspirational and reflective quotations. They don’t solely have to come from athletes but from any accomplished individual and any historical era. Collectively, my favorite quotations come not from hockey but from arguably the greatest motivating coach in sport history – Vince Lombardi. It is with this in mind that I collect goalie quotations. I am certain some of these are familiar to you. For those of you who are not familiar with them, I hope you enjoy them and have a laugh. Share others with us in the comments section and tell us a story about what it means to you, how you came across it and when you cite it most often when talking hockey. Here’s a small collection to enjoy!

“There is no position in sport as noble as goaltending.” – Valdislav Tretiak

“Only a goalie can appreciate what a goalie goes through.” – Jacques Plante

“Goaltender is a normal job. Sure ! How would you like it if at your job, every time you made the slightest mistake a little red light went on over your head and 18,000 people stood up and screamed at you?” -Jacques Plante

“Most fans go wild when they see a goalie make what looks like a great save, but the chances are what they are seeing is a save that was made from being out of position.” – Mike Richter

“It is pretty tough for a goalie when you look at it. You’re always the last line of defense. If you let a goal in, you can’t go to the bench and hide between the guys or anything” – Kirk McLean

“Playing goal is like being shot at.” – Jacques Plante

“Goaltending is a suffering position. Your equipment protects you from injury, but not from pain, every time you go out there. And if you allow a goal, the red lights go on for everyone to see. But you get to be a hero too!” – Kevin Constantine

“It’s the only way I can support my family. If I could do it another way, I wouldn’t be playing goal.” – Glenn Hall

“The goalie is like the guy on the minefield. He discovers the mines and destroys them. If you make a mistake, somebody gets blown up.” – Arturs Irbe

“Because there wasn’t enough time to play 54” – Grant Fuhr , after being asked how he could play 36 holes of golf in the middle of the Stanley Cup Finals

“Sixty minutes of hell” – Glenn Hall

“Only Dunlop has seen more rubber than I have” – Dominik Hasek

“Quit while there is still time – at about 12 or 13 years of age!” – Gilles Gratton

“The pressure is unreal. Most of the goalkeepers they feel the pressure. The only ones that don’t worry are the ones too dumb to know what’s happening to them.” – Tony Esposito

“The quintessential bad-luck position. Pucks can go off bodies, skates, bounce into the net.” – Mike Liut

“The only job worse is a javelin catcher at a track- and- field meet.” – Lorne Worsley

“I’d like to hear them be a bit more creative, though. I’ve heard ‘you’re a sieve, you stink’ my whole life and you can tell it’s obviously affected me.” – Ryan Miller

“Little Alan Bester, I’ve often said, has seen more rubber than a dead skunk on the Trans-Canada highway.” – Don Cherry

“In biblical times, I stoned people to death. Now they are repaying me by hurling pucks at my head.” – Gilles Gratton

“Roses are red, violets are blue, they got ten, we only got two.” – Gerry Cheevers

“I can’t hear what Jeremy says because my ears are blocked with my two Stanley Cup Rings.” – Patrick Roy

“There’s an old saying that when it gets tough the tough get going. You have to work your way through these things.” – Ed Belfour

“I don’t fear stopping a 100 mph slap shot. I fear not stopping it!” – Roberto Luongo

“If you focus on your technique and your technique is perfect, you will have success.” – Benoit Allaire

“Sometimes you can press a little bit and you’re trying to do too much and you’re trying too hard. You want to win so bad and you want to help the team so badly that you end up trying too much instead of letting the play come to you.” – Ed Belfour

“I play a position where you make mistakes. The only people that don’t make them at a hockey game are the people watching.” – Patrick Roy

“The day they put me in net I had a good game. I’ve stayed there ever since.” – Terry Sawchuk

“I’d like to thank my teammates. Without them , I can’t win the Vezina Trophy. Goaltending is the most team dependant position that there is in hockey.” – Tim Thomas

“Because the demands on the goalie are mostly mental, it means that for a goalie the biggest enemy is himself. Not a puck, not a opponent, not a quirk of size or style. The stress and anxiety he feels when he plays, the fear of failing, the fear of being embarrassed, the fear of being physically hurt, all symptoms of his position, in constant ebb and flow, but never disappearing. The successful goalie understands these neuroses, accept them, and put them under control. The unsuccessful goalie is distracted by them, his mind in knots. His body quickly follows.” – Ken Dryden

“I would always ask myself, ‘do you like to practice? ‘ And I always enjoy going to practice, and that’s why I never quit.” – Tim Thomas

“You don’t have to be crazy to play goal, but it helps.” – Bernie Parent

“Nobody wanted to win more than I did. Nobody !” – Ed Giacomin

“The Rangers!” – Lorne Worsley , then New York Ranger Goaltender, when asked which team gave him the most problems.

“Goaltending beats top notch scoring anytime!” – Eddie Giacomin

“We are the short of people that make health insurance popular.” – Terry Sawchuk

“My focus was always first and foremost to stop the puck. I never let the other players on the other team get to me.” – Andy Moog

“I just made up my mind I was going to lose teeth and have my face cut to pieces. It was easy.” – Johnny Bower , on deciding to become a goalie

“Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit.” –Vince Lombardi

“The difference between a successful person and others is not a lack of strength, not a lack of knowledge but rather a lack of will.” –Vince Lombardi

About The Author

Tomas Hertz, MD BA

Tomas Hertz has been a contributing author to InGoal Magazine since 2010. He operated  "No Holes, No Goals Goaltending" in Kingston, Ontario for a decade and worked with developing goalies in the G.K.M.H.A. and K.A.M.H.A. He remains active as a timekeeper in the O.M.H.A. - O.W.H.A., the O.J.H.L. (Kingston Voyageurs), and the O.U.A.A. (R.M.C. Palladins). 


  1. Kevin

    This is awesome because i was looking these up for a good qoute to use for a school project thanks!

  2. Paul

    As a goalie coach, I explained to the parents and young kids I coached how to judge their performance. It is never the score…

    “Stop all the ones you should and stop a few that you shouldn’t have.”

    • Andrew

      I am 24 and started to be goalie 3 months ago and that is exactly my attitude. Do something more than I should and then I feel OK with the output even though we lose. I only train right now, but it’s most fun I have ever had.

  3. Clint Letch

    As a goalie coach I like the quote “a good goalie can only give their team a chance to win the game” and my own, “it is not the talent of your team mates that matters, it is the talent of the player shooting at you and your talent level that matters”.

    I love the above listed quotes and have used several of them when tlaking with my goalies and coaches. Thanks for taking the time to put them together…………..Cheers!

  4. Joe Boughner

    It’s hardly inspirational but my favourite is from Tom Barrasso. He was being interviewed after a game in which the other team had rung the post quite a few times and I guess the reporter made some comment about how bad the score could’ve been (forget the setup exactly).

    Barrasso responds “what, you want me to stop the ones that aren’t going in too?”

    • deirdrebeth

      I know this comment is ~3 years old, but I love that quote so I had to comment.

      The question was about pucks that were going wide. Barrasso just let them go instead of blocking/catching them. I would *love* to have as good of a sense of the net/angle as that man did! 😀

  5. Chris

    I like the Bernie Parent one “You don’t HAVE to be crazy to play goal, but it sure helps” my own personal philosophy on goal tending is also pretty good as well “A quarterback who completes 65% of his passes, a batter who gets a hit 33% of the time are rewarded with millions of dollars. A goalie who doesn’t stop 90% of the shots he faces doesn’t get asked back!”

  6. BeninLondon

    Loved seeing the quote about my all-time favourite goalie….Allan Bester, brought a smile to my face almost instantly 🙂 Thanks

  7. Pat Ridgely

    I used to jokingly tell my non-goalie teammates that they had it easy: if they are off by a quarter-inch on a shot and clang one off the pipe, the fams all say “oh, what a great shot, he/she was SO close, they’ll get it next time”. If I make a quarter-inch mistake and the puck goes in, then people start screaming for you to be pulled…

  8. Mike

    One of my favourites is by Tony Esposito and its something I tell the little goalies,

    “Some times you do everything right and the puck still goes in.”

  9. Tomas Hertz,MD,BA

    I like that one Mike. I will add it to my list !!

  10. Matthew Schnoes

    They forgot Marty Turco!!! “Statistics are like bikinis, they show a lot but they don’t show everything”

  11. chris

    i’m a goalie and i’ve been coaching my daughter for 5 years and now she’s going to play in college. the 2 quotes i always tell her: sometimes it looks like a pea and you get them all, and sometimes it’s the size of a beach ball and you don’t get any.

  12. Goalie2659

    This was a very helpful website cuz I’m a girl goalie n I play with boys n I always get pressured if I make a mistake n my dad is the head coach so that’s hell also!

  13. Raymond

    I think playing in net is a position were you have to lern how to skate as a player before you actually jump into the position and that is what I did and im now in 8th grade and made the high school team

  14. Steve Tourigny

    For over 40 years I have heard how lucky I was when a shot hit the post. I have yet to hear of a score off the same post being called a lucky goal! Go figure…

  15. Sam

    When someone’s says ” your lucky I hit the post..” I like to reply with, ” hey man, that’s all the net I gave you”