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How do Goalies Handle being bad?

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Old
07-12-2015, 03:48 PM
  #1
tfong
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How do Goalies Handle being bad?

I'd like to know what the thought place is on a goalie that knows they are bad or unsuited for a certain level of hockey. Given the importance of the position, you can't just "bench yourself" or play less or whatever the case is.

I'm in a low level of a beer league and suffice to say our goalie is really bad but he has a good attitude on the ice for the most part and he is a teammate.

But he has really bad technique (doesn't seal the ice in butterfly, gives up floaters on the ice, redirects pucks into his own net and basically can't track pucks. Basically everything poor you can think of, it will happen. We only win because we can outscore opponents. For example last night we limited the other team to 6-8 shots. We won 11-6. For reference of our team D, we have a Dman that also acts as the backup, he doesn't have goalie skates and has never played goalie for a full season anytime on ice. The last two games he played when our regular was out, back to back shutouts.

How do we approach the situation? I want the guy to do better, but since I'm not a goalie and I'm not that close to him, I don't know how to approach him.

Where would a goalie like this be at mentally? Its frustrating for the rest of us where all the opponent really has to do is put it on net and it has a chance to go in because he has terrible technique.

We haven't kicked anyone off the team, it is a low level team like I said so we play for fun, but we still want to win and I think this situation is going to be a problem sooner or later.

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07-12-2015, 07:29 PM
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tfong
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That's a lot of views and no opinions lol.

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07-12-2015, 08:14 PM
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That's a tough one, especially at a recreational or social level. While you can carry the guy for the most part, it's going to cost you in tight games or in a playoff situation when it might matter to everyone else.

The big thing for me would be is the guy working at his game, getting better or improving? If so it's not such a biggie, but if not someone might need to approach the guy. Of course you need to have someone else in the pipeline ready to go and can the current guy play as a skater?

I've got time for anyone that works at their game and is trying to improve, even if they struggle, but less so for average guys that just turn up on game day and never improve.

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07-12-2015, 11:00 PM
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Our goalie is BRUTAL sometimes and we all pretty much abuse him from the bench when h starts giving up softies. Sucks when we play hard and then he blows the game back there, we give him a break sometimes causes he's the oldest player on our team but most of us would like him to leave the team to be honest. Unfortunately he started the team over a decade ago so we can't just tell him to stop playing, so we yell at him instead

I think he just ignores us because he never says anything back and one or two of our guys REALLY lays into him sometimes.

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07-12-2015, 11:16 PM
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That's okay if it's giving some serious stick to a buddy, but pretty harsh if it isn't. I think in that situation I'd be either looking for a new team or trying to put my own team together the following year.

No problem discussing it or bringing it up at a competitive level, but tough to do at rec level.

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07-12-2015, 11:23 PM
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There are many possibilities about the guy's play that it's hard to say.

-Some rec goalies, like some rec skaters, are just happy to be there once/twice a week and what you see is what you're gonna get.
-Some goalies are obsessive about learning and getting as much ice time as possible to learn as much as quickly as they can and improve constantly (that'd be me ).
-Some know they suck and it makes them get down on themselves and lose confidence which makes them worse.
-Some honestly have no clue how good they are or are not.
-Some may know they aren't that good but have no idea/time/money to work on improving and are frustrated by it

No matter what his mindset is, he's your teammate. As a team, you have to decide what's the important thing. You're winning, just by not enough goals in your estimation. The guy's got a good attitude, and that's not a bad thing. You could try to find someone better, but what if the new guy is a good goalie and a totally unpleasant teammate?

Telling an adult, in a low level recreational sports league, that they're not "good enough" is just wrong on so many levels, in my opinion. I've seen it happen, and it's usually the biggest jerks who do the telling, and often it wrecks the team. I've had teammates get frustrated and yell and me, and I take my gloves and stick and offer it all to them, and tell them to do it better then. For some reason they always decline. lol I have on occasion also pointed out that a puck in the net got by six people.

Now, when another player who happens to have been a goalie at some point wants to give me a tip that I can really use, then I welcome that whole-heartedly. (hey, I noticed you're cheating on the passes in front). That's a completely different deal. If your team has someone like that who has a rapport with the goalie, then that can be useful. But that'd be the limit to what I would suggest as a solution for your "problem", other than replacing him.

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07-13-2015, 07:14 AM
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So basically...with anyone else in net, your team wins 11-0? Or close to it? Based on your team being able to score its way out of problems to the tune of a goalie who lets in every shot essentially?


tbh it sounds like your "team" are playing in the wrong league/level, below your collective skill level.

Your goaltender might be the only guy who is actually playing at the right level for his ability.


I mean...if your team can win a game with essentially no goaltender at all stopping basically no pucks, and while posting a 10 spot on the other team's netminder...chances are you've got at least a few players who are playing above their real ability as "ringers".

I'd be a lot more upset about a team rolling out some ringers or being too good for the level of play, than i would be about a goaltender who is letting in a lot of goals, in a league where apparently...11 goals for your team isn't unreasonable.


If it bothers you that much...find a better goaltender and steamroll your league i guess. That doesn't seem super fun to me, but if that's what you want...

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07-13-2015, 10:15 AM
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First, I agree with the post above - your team sounds like they might not be the right fit for the league. Not that you're the first, and I'm sure that you won't be the last.

To your question, this sounds like a conversation between the captain and the goaltender at the end of the season.

All of our skills erode as we age; I've gone from college hockey to the point where I'm scratching and clawing to stay relevant at the B/C level in beer league. It's exceptionally frustrating, and depending on the goaltender's temperament, it could be a touchy subject.

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07-13-2015, 10:18 AM
  #9
tfong
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biturbo19 View Post
So basically...with anyone else in net, your team wins 11-0? Or close to it? Based on your team being able to score its way out of problems to the tune of a goalie who lets in every shot essentially?


tbh it sounds like your "team" are playing in the wrong league/level, below your collective skill level.

Your goaltender might be the only guy who is actually playing at the right level for his ability.


I mean...if your team can win a game with essentially no goaltender at all stopping basically no pucks, and while posting a 10 spot on the other team's netminder...chances are you've got at least a few players who are playing above their real ability as "ringers".

I'd be a lot more upset about a team rolling out some ringers or being too good for the level of play, than i would be about a goaltender who is letting in a lot of goals, in a league where apparently...11 goals for your team isn't unreasonable.


If it bothers you that much...find a better goaltender and steamroll your league i guess. That doesn't seem super fun to me, but if that's what you want...
We're 6-5-1 this season. 4.42 GFAvg, goalie is 3.89GAA, League doesn't record sav%. Our backup goalie is 1.33 GAA. We don't win 11-0 often, but moer in tune to usually 4-6 goals scored a game, which is in line with the top 3 teams in our divsiion.

Prior season we were 18-10-2, 4.5GFAvg, goalie 3.31GAA, Backup goalie 2.5GAA

The team could probably play up a div or two based on individual skill level, however there are 3-4 players that are extremely weak and our team play is not good enough to shelter them and the goalie.

Prior to this season was our starting season, we started in a higher div in a diff league. GF AVG was around 1.89 but our GAA skyrocketed to 10 and we were 1-27 that season. So when our forward corp is matched against similiar level players, the weak players get heavily exposed as well as the goaltending.

We've never finished top our division. As mentioned before, we're a friendly team, so we don't kick people off which is exactly why in OP I asked how to approach this situation. Ideally, we'd like to be able to have the goalie improve as he is our friend and here from the start, but myself and some of the other "leaders" of the team are just unsure how to approach the situation. We are however recruiting players to fill roster spots that are closer to our avg level rather than recruiting players way beyond our team level so the scoring is balancing out going forward.

This is just an issue I'd like to deal with sooner before it becomes an issue as mentioned.

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07-13-2015, 10:36 AM
  #10
capebretoncanadien
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Just be direct and approach the guy.

Tell him how you really feel.

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07-13-2015, 11:20 AM
  #11
Ozz
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There's too many possible answers, depending on how much the guy cares.

One of my goalies, he makes up for his bad play by talking about how good he was at some other time and pumping his tires that way

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07-13-2015, 12:28 PM
  #12
Fixed to Ruin
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Without painting everyone with the same brush....

Would this goalie be an older guy. ~40 years old.

I've seen it a few times where these older guys are trying to hang on to the dream of playing goal but they don't have the reaction time required any more and their bodies fail them. (eg. Less Flexibility, Less willingness to go down when required). These goalies basically stand on the goal line and while they look like swiss cheese out there they make 2 big saves per game that makes them think they still got "it". Mostly your team mates don't care if you made a nice save on a 2-1 when 2 min later you let one in from the red line.

Of course there are always older guys who are in good shape and could play beer league goal into their 50s but there are some who can't after they hit their 30s.

I always get nervous when I see a older goalie show up to the rink with brand new gear. 99% of the time that goalie won't be any good.

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07-13-2015, 01:20 PM
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JoeCool16
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Is he brand new? I started goal for the first time last season and have become quite a lot better just from the 8 games I played in the spring season. I'm in a low-level league as well and yeah, I was pretty bad at the start. I did get better. Unfortunately, I didn't have a strong team in front of me to mask my flaws so I found out quite quickly that I wasn't good at rebound control, and regularly saw 30 shots a game. I'd end up letting 5-8 of the shots in and we lost every game of the season. It sucked, and although I had fun, I hated that I couldn't be a superstar and win games for my team.

Some things I learned that make me think this guy is new from seeing his mistakes and recognizing them that maybe you could pass along...

1)tracking the puck. When you go into a reactionary butterfly from a distance, my arms would drop to my side and I'd have to try to whip them back up to make a save on a shot going to the corner. When they were coming fast, I wouldn't have time to. I learned to try to keep my blocker and glove spatially as close to where they were when I was standing when going into a reactionary butterfly from a distance.

2)Deflecting it into my own net. I wouldn't ever do this, but what I may do that was close was not seal up on a reactionary butterfly from close. As a result, the puck may sneak through under my arm. If the shot is coming from close and I'm going down, I learned to seal up by keeping my arms tight to my body, so there was no hole for it to squeeze through.

3)Butterfly technique. For my first game my pads were too tight and they wouldn't rotate correctly. I loosened them up and then they did. Further, I needed to learn to use my stick to block up my 5-hole... I'm still letting some softies in that way, but at least I KNOW how to stop them!

4)Floaters. Does this guy play deep in his net? I did. Around the third game I made the effort, scary as it was, to stay out at the edge of the blue paint when the puck wasn't in close. It really cut down the angles and I wouldn't give up any shots from a distance anymore (except a very embarrassing and ugly five-hole goal from a mile off!)


What I'd recommend is having your "backup" that plays D go to him 1-on-1 after has trouble with something from the above and say "hey, when I was playing goal I kind of had the same thing go wrong you just did, what I found worked was this". That, I think, would be a nice way to keep his confidence up but still give him pointers that could really improve his game.

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07-13-2015, 03:20 PM
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Being a low-level beer leaguer myself, I know it can be frustrating to have guys on my team that don't seem (in my opinion) to be carrying their weight. The thing is, it's low level beer league. If I want better overall gameplay, I just have to make myself better and earn my way into higher leagues. Getting mad or frustrated with someone on my team (which is in the lowest division) is like getting mad at someone going the speed limit in the far right lane...even if it's slower than I'd like them going, they're exactly where they're supposed to be, given their personal comfort level.

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07-13-2015, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by aguynamedjoe View Post
Being a low-level beer leaguer myself, I know it can be frustrating to have guys on my team that don't seem (in my opinion) to be carrying their weight. The thing is, it's low level beer league. If I want better overall gameplay, I just have to make myself better and earn my way into higher leagues. Getting mad or frustrated with someone on my team (which is in the lowest division) is like getting mad at someone going the speed limit in the far right lane...even if it's slower than I'd like them going, they're exactly where they're supposed to be, given their personal comfort level.
This is a great comment.

I'm sincerly not trying to troll the OP here, but it sounds like you're trying to have your cake and eat it too. There are two things you should expect in low-level beer league: low-level play and low-level players. If you don't have a weakness, you're not a low-level team. Sounds like you should roll with your "back up" and move up a division.

The worst possible thing for this guy's development (assuming he is trying to get better) is having competition for his job. There are no minor leagues for low level beer league and this guy needs to play to get better. As a team, you need to let him do that or cut him loose so that he can do that elsewhere.

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07-13-2015, 07:05 PM
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tfong
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Thanks guys, didn't want to provide any sort of ID details for those that were asking because I'm not trying to get him IDed. Just wanted to know how deal with this situation.

We are as a team trying to get better and win the division and go up higher though for those asking.

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07-13-2015, 07:25 PM
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As much as my teams old goalie struggled, I would never hate on the guy simply because he was the only guy on the team with gear and the only one willing to play the position. We are the beginner team in our league so everyone on the team was new, and I don't think he realized that in order to be an effective goalie you need to be a very strong skater. Is your goalie a good skater?

Doesn't really matter though, he quit the team, and now we have a guy who played competitively in Canada as a teenager who plays out of his mind and we still lose, granted we don't get blown out much anymore, but are still searching for our first W.


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07-14-2015, 07:22 AM
  #18
biturbo19
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Originally Posted by tfong View Post
We're 6-5-1 this season. 4.42 GFAvg, goalie is 3.89GAA, League doesn't record sav%. Our backup goalie is 1.33 GAA. We don't win 11-0 often, but moer in tune to usually 4-6 goals scored a game, which is in line with the top 3 teams in our divsiion.

Prior season we were 18-10-2, 4.5GFAvg, goalie 3.31GAA, Backup goalie 2.5GAA

The team could probably play up a div or two based on individual skill level, however there are 3-4 players that are extremely weak and our team play is not good enough to shelter them and the goalie.

Prior to this season was our starting season, we started in a higher div in a diff league. GF AVG was around 1.89 but our GAA skyrocketed to 10 and we were 1-27 that season. So when our forward corp is matched against similiar level players, the weak players get heavily exposed as well as the goaltending.

We've never finished top our division. As mentioned before, we're a friendly team, so we don't kick people off which is exactly why in OP I asked how to approach this situation. Ideally, we'd like to be able to have the goalie improve as he is our friend and here from the start, but myself and some of the other "leaders" of the team are just unsure how to approach the situation. We are however recruiting players to fill roster spots that are closer to our avg level rather than recruiting players way beyond our team level so the scoring is balancing out going forward.

This is just an issue I'd like to deal with sooner before it becomes an issue as mentioned.
Fair enough. I got a very different impression from the original post.

But at the same time...if this goaltender is as much "dead weight" as initially suggested, maintaining those sort of results is probably still a real testament to how strong your team is as a whole...and the ambitions that arise in that.

I don't really know how i'd go about it other that straight up honesty...but if your team really does have ambitions of moving on up...maybe this guy just isn't the goaltender to take you there. And really, trying to force someone to improve at the rate your team wants them to...isn't very fair to anyone, and nobody is going to be happy in that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JKinCLE View Post
As much as my teams old goalie sucked, I would never hate on the guy simply because he was the only guy on the team with gear and the only one willing to play the position. We are the beginner team in our league so everyone on the team was new, and I don't think he realized that in order to be an effective goalie you need to be a very strong skater. Is your goalie a good skater?

Doesn't really matter though, he quit the team, and now we have a guy who played competitively in Canada as a teenager who plays out of his mind and we still lose, granted we don't get blown out much anymore, but are still searching for our first W.
More than just skating...i think people tend to underemphasize or just completely not realize the level of conditioning and fitness it requires for a goaltender to consistently play their "best game". I mean, they just stand there half the time right?

But honestly, think about it. We've all overstayed a shift from time to time . You know how that feels as 1 of 5 skaters even - not the last line of defence. Legs turn to jello, you're just trying not to blow it too badly, hunched over, coasting, gliding, big loops, desperately hoping a teammate can turn the puck up ice so you can get a change in...Imagine being a goaltender in that situation. Where that moment of laziness is a goal against and a real stinker of a goal. There's no "tagging out" for goalies, there's no "shortcuts" to a half-moment of relaxing.

And at the other end of things...you face 10 shots a night, you're doing a lot of standing around trying to keep your focus on the game for that one breakout chance every 6 minutes or so.

Goaltending is such a tough and unforgiving position.

That's the kind of stuff that has kept me from spending the tons of money on equipment to pick the position back up after playing it for most of my competitive career as a youth. It's always tempting because i loved it so much...but i know that for these sort of reasons, it would just be frustrating, for everyone really. Can be a very black and white, great or terrible sort of thing - very little margin for error like playing as a skater affords.


Maybe this guy you've got in nets isn't the guy who really fits what your team is or wants to be. But if that's the case, it's probably best for everyone to be honest about that and move on. You're not going to pep-talk a goaltender into being massively more capable. Expecting your goaltender to "develop" at the same rate as the rest of your "team" isn't really fair to anyone. Goaltender development isn't that linear at the highest NHL levels of things...much less when it comes to beer league stuff.

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07-15-2015, 10:30 AM
  #19
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Thanks guys, didn't want to provide any sort of ID details for those that were asking because I'm not trying to get him IDed. Just wanted to know how deal with this situation.

We are as a team trying to get better and win the division and go up higher though for those asking.
Don't bother worrying about winning the current division just be open with people and say that half the team is starting to feel like ringers at the current level and would like to start their own team a division up.
Do it mid-season and give both yourselves and the other players on your team (who wouldn't come up with you) enough time to either find a new team or a bunch of new players to play at the division they are more comfortable playing at.

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07-15-2015, 11:28 AM
  #20
tfong
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Originally Posted by biturbo19 View Post
I don't really know how i'd go about it other that straight up honesty...but if your team really does have ambitions of moving on up...maybe this guy just isn't the goaltender to take you there. And really, trying to force someone to improve at the rate your team wants them to...isn't very fair to anyone, and nobody is going to be happy in that.

Goaltending is such a tough and unforgiving position.

That's the kind of stuff that has kept me from spending the tons of money on equipment to pick the position back up after playing it for most of my competitive career as a youth. It's always tempting because i loved it so much...but i know that for these sort of reasons, it would just be frustrating, for everyone really. Can be a very black and white, great or terrible sort of thing - very little margin for error like playing as a skater affords.

Maybe this guy you've got in nets isn't the guy who really fits what your team is or wants to be. But if that's the case, it's probably best for everyone to be honest about that and move on. You're not going to pep-talk a goaltender into being massively more capable. Expecting your goaltender to "develop" at the same rate as the rest of your "team" isn't really fair to anyone. Goaltender development isn't that linear at the highest NHL levels of things...much less when it comes to beer league stuff.
It is basically a rock and a hard place and pretty much the situation. The one hand, you have a guy everyone likes and is reliable and consistent in attendance. The other hand, he may not be able to handle the rigors of the next level unless he improves greatly. As mentioned, this is why I'm sort of seeing how other team leaders or whatnot have handled such situations.

And having tried my hand at being a goaltender (and been very terrible at it due to my lack of conditioning, I agree with the statement, it is a physically and mentally draining job).

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaintMorose View Post
Don't bother worrying about winning the current division just be open with people and say that half the team is starting to feel like ringers at the current level and would like to start their own team a division up.
Do it mid-season and give both yourselves and the other players on your team (who wouldn't come up with you) enough time to either find a new team or a bunch of new players to play at the division they are more comfortable playing at.
Some of the better players have recognized this actually and have asked to be subs rather than regulars as we slowly bring in other people of our skill level. Its all understood very well and nobody is really bothered by it, almost everyone on the team including myself play on multiple teams. I mean ideally we'd like to grow as a team and be together long term (we've been through 3 seasons now) and maybe go up a div or two.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JKinCLE View Post
As much as my teams old goalie struggled, I would never hate on the guy simply because he was the only guy on the team with gear and the only one willing to play the position. We are the beginner team in our league so everyone on the team was new, and I don't think he realized that in order to be an effective goalie you need to be a very strong skater. Is your goalie a good skater?

Doesn't really matter though, he quit the team, and now we have a guy who played competitively in Canada as a teenager who plays out of his mind and we still lose, granted we don't get blown out much anymore, but are still searching for our first W.
Nobody hates on the guy, we all love him, but it is grinding on the team all the soft goals that go in on him. I wouldn't say he is a strong skater, he is adequate for our level. His problem stems from technique and puck tracking and puck handling.

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07-15-2015, 12:38 PM
  #21
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you are in a low level Adult league. Goalies tend to be pretty terrible at that level. If you can find a replacement who is willing to pay and show up every week, replace your goalie, if not, just be greatful you have someone who is willing to show up each week and play net. There really isn't many of us out there and as we get older, playing goalie becomes more difficult on the body so guys tend to shift out of the net and play D once they reach 40 years old. Its also pretty hard to find an adult league goalie who fits into the lower beer league levels because the good ones are playing at a higher level and a lot of the bad ones have given up the position/sport


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07-16-2015, 01:08 PM
  #22
Brunomics
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FLYLine24 View Post
Our goalie is BRUTAL sometimes and we all pretty much abuse him from the bench when h starts giving up softies. Sucks when we play hard and then he blows the game back there, we give him a break sometimes causes he's the oldest player on our team but most of us would like him to leave the team to be honest. Unfortunately he started the team over a decade ago so we can't just tell him to stop playing, so we yell at him instead

I think he just ignores us because he never says anything back and one or two of our guys REALLY lays into him sometimes.
Do you play out in Suffolk County? Sounds similar to my team.

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