Q: What's 6'2", 200 lbs., and has shoulders 45" wide before pads?
A: My little brother Eli, aka "Igor," the goalie.
Eli's played goalie in three different sports: soccer, olympic-style roller hockey, and ice hockey. He's played at über-competitive levels and been invited to the Olympic Training Center several times. As you'll see below, Eli likes his hockey just a little bit rough, probably a legacy from his occasional rounds as a defenseman.
When I started this blog, I knew I wanted to explain why I love goalies so much. Well, Eli, you're the real reason why.
You see, as Lifetime-movie as this sounds, Eli is a hero of mine. So, here's an introduction to my absolute favorite hockey player of all time:
1. Which goalie style do you think is best: stand-up, butterfly, or profly?
2. Which style did you use as a goalie? Why was it best for you?
I mostly played butterfly, but stayed up too much for certain people. The major con against this style is that it leaves the top parts of the net open for shots. With my size, my shoulders and upper body covered more of the top than most other goalies.
3. What did you like best about being a goalie? The least?
The best thing was the saves, crushing the other team's hopes and dreams for scoring. The worst part was the shots I missed.
(Editor's note: Hey Eli, what about that time you stopped the 100 mph shot with your head, and it knocked the bolt out of your helmet - not to mention making you "fruit-loopy?")
4. You played goalie and defenseman. Which did you like more?
I liked playing both positions. I had a strong slapshot and could check, but I could play goalie better than most guys my age. (I had more years of experience at it.)
5. Favorite Flyers goalie?
I like Bernie Parent and Ron Hextall.
6. Best goalie of all time?
The same two, or possibly Patrick Roy.
7. What do you feel has been the greatest goalie contribution to the game?
My favorite goalie memory is seeing Rox Hextall and Grant Fuhr fighting. They proved that goalies can fight too, damn it! We don't just stay between the pipes.
8. Best NHL coach?
I'd have to say that I really liked Roger Neilson.