SPORTS & RECREATION

Behind the Mask: A Revealing Look at Twelve of the Greatest Goalies in Hockey History

Greystone Oct. 2023. 272p. ISBN 9781771649636. $28.95. SPORTS
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Though part of a team, hockey goalies stand alone to protect their nets, while their teammates rush frantically all over the ice in pursuit of the puck. In this book, journalist Druzin (Between the Pipes) profiles 12 famous goalies to reveal their impetus to pursue that particular position of the game. Goaltenders face inherent danger, with pucks coming at them at 100 mph or faster, and opposing players (often 200 pounds or more) hurtling toward them in a perilous 60-minute ballet of near misses and catastrophic crashes. To explain the attraction to the role, the book features retired goalies, such as Gerry Cheevers, known for wearing a face mask decorated with marks that look like stitches—adding to it each time a puck hit him in the face—and Soviet player Vladislav Tretiak, inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 1989. Active goalies, such as Marc-André Fleury, are spotlighted too.
VERDICT With information and interviews culled from magazine articles and other works, this book does a nice job of capturing the character of each player and divulging what enticed them to become hockey goalies in the first place. An insightful exploration of the psyches of 12 accomplished goalies.
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