"If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” - African Proverb
Teamwork is the core of success in hockey. But often times the goaltender's role is not considered in the team concept. Success in hockey comes from everyone working together. But how can you be part of the team if you spend the majority of the time in the net by yourself?
Martin Brodeur played 21 seasons in the NHL New Jersey Devils before closing out his career with the St. Louis Blues. He won three Stanley Cup championships and five Eastern Conference championships in 17 postseason campaigns. He also won two Olympic gold medals with Team Canada in the 2002 and 2010 Winter Olympic Games, as well as several other medals with Team Canada in other international competitions. Brodeur is widely regarded as one of the greatest goaltenders of all time. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2018. Here's what he has to say about teamwork:
"Teammates are so important. You spend so much time with your team. You love everybody but there is chemistry that happens between some teammates. I had a lot of guys like that throughout the years. As a goalie you're vulnerable. If the players don't like you, it's easy for them not to play well. Not on purpose, but they won't go to the wall for you. My dad taught me that. He said you could have six guys playing against you or 11. You decide."
(The Hockey News Top 100 Goalies of All-Time, Dec 31, 2018, page 20.)
Vince Lombardi, the legendary coach of the Green Bay Packers, identified three things that make up a winning team:
The players have to know their jobs.
The 'we' is bigger than the 'me.'
The players must love one another.
Love them or hate them - You will never experience a better concept of team than the story of the Detroit Pistons of the late 80s.