save yourself

Born in Orud’yevo, north of Moscow, on a 1952 Friday of this date, goaltending great Vladislav Tretiak is 69 today. “Other players may make mistakes,” he wrote in The Hockey I Love, a memoir published in English in 1977, “but there is no room for an error by the goaltender. When a forward loses the puck, he knows the defence is there to bail him out. When the defence is careless, the goaltender stands ready to correct its mistakes. Only the goalie cannot make a mistake, because his mistakes are goals. He is his own salvation. He must be his own judge.”
 
“No-one has pity for the goaltender,” he continued. In general, it’s a pretty positive book, but it has these haunted corners. “When a shot slips past him into the net, the red light glares like a disaster signal. The fans often boo; even teammates sometimes fail to show their sympathy. No wonder goaltenders have trouble sleeping after a defeat.”

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