Now I know Ive been a little lax in my hockey reporting. Truthfully, HTTA management recently declined my request for a pay raise. So I had to get a second job to cover the bills. Some of you may say that being a emergency backup to an Uber driver isn’t sexy, but I say screw you!!!
Anyway. Lets quickly talk Bruins (as is my job). Bruins now sit in sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Division and the entire Eastern Conference by defeating the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-2 last night. Huge win!! Tampa plays tonight so that may all go away by tomorrow. However, after tonight the B’s will still have 2 games in hand.
Now back to the bigger story of Scott Foster and the HTTA lack of respect for the game of hockey. It’s nothing new, been this way for over 20 years. So lets first talk about Mr. Foster and what happened last night. The practice of having emergency goalies in the stadium is nothing new. Its been around for decades. Actually, back in the day teams would only carry 1 goalie. The emergency backup was on hand, ready to suit up if needed for either team.
Once teams started carrying 2 goalies the emergency backup was designated for just the home team. After many years they changed the rule to accommodate both teams. So as it stands now every NHL team must have an emergency goalie on hand that is ready to suit up for either team id needed. They are also available for either teams practice. It is not unheard of, but also not everyday to have the Emergency goalie sit on the bench for an actual game. Last season the Canucks used a local college player in Vancouver. This season, that I know, Ottawa and Florida used an emergency goalie as backup. The NYR did as well….then felt the need to publicly humiliate the guy (as is expected by classy New Yorkers).
Which brings us to last night in Chicago and our new American Hero, Scott Foster. Its actually a great story of a guy who, after a lifetime of playing, gets his chance on the big stage!. He knows its a one time deal and used his beginners luck to not only play 14 minutes, but shut out one of the top teams in the NHL in Winnipeg. Awesome story!
Then there are the guys here at HTTA. I’d like to ask why anytime someone writes or talks about hockey they have to mention that they don’t like it, or that its not a “top 4 sport”. ESPN does it ALL THE TIME. Why add the extra punch? I don’t write about basketball and how I would rather watch Korean pop music videos on repeat than watch an NBA game. But thats me.
So why is it that a 36 year accountant can play 14 Minutes in the NHL and not have that experience in any other sport? Lets take a closer look.
First, the NHL does not expect their emergency backups to ever play. If a goalie goes down the first option is to bring someone up from the minors ASAP. They do not do this for any other position either. You also can’t have a full time pro level emergency backup. Would really be a waste of money. These guys get free season tickets. They occasionally get to practice with the big club (happens a lot actually) and they get some free merchandise if they suit up in a practice for either team. Plus the position of goaltending is unique to sports. Even if you play hockey, goaltending is different. The skates are different, the equipment (obviously) is different, body movement is different, reaction time is different. You cannot just throw someone who has never played the position in and have them be successful. What Scott Foster did last night was awesome. He not only got a chance to live the dream, but he did it with ice in his veins. I know for a fact that Le Capt can’t even tee off with his foursome watching him. This guys jumps in on national TV and in front of 18,000 people and pitches a shut out.
One final note. Id like to challenge my associates here at HTTA to a competition. Lets have a sport challenge. We will shoot some free throws or 3 pointers, have a home run derby (wiffle or stick ball of course) and then strap on the skates and have a shooting or goalie contest. If anyone says hockey was the easiest then I will watch an NBA game, FROM START TO FINISH, without complaining! If I win you have to appreciate how hard this game actually is….. And write about it.