Evolution of Goaltending in the NHL

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Today, the term hockey describes differing games in various parts of the world, but specifically in North America it refers to as ice hockey. In its origin, hockey is one of the oldest games played. The earliest mention of the sport of hockey dates back to 1572, when it was on a list of prohibited games. Hockey's birthplace is believed to be in Asia and authorities credit Persia with having devised it about 2000 BC. People who perfected the game of polo must have known "hockey on the ground" before "hockey on horseback". Certainly though ice hockey originated in Canada. Two theories have surfaced as to who really came up with ice hockey. The first credits English soldiers serving with the Royal Canadian Rifles at Kingston, Ontario. They improvised the game at the rear of their barracks at Tete du Pont, on the iced up harbor on Christmas day in 1855. After sweeping the snow from the ice, the soldiers tied "runners" to their boats and, with borrowed hockey sticks, played a match with an old lacrosse ball. The other theory gives not soldier's credit, but students credit. It tells that G.F. Robertson, of Mcgill University in Montreal first thought of ice hockey. On a visit to Britain in 1879, he had watched a field hockey match and had greatly been intrigued by it. Himself being a skilled ice skater, he wondered if it was at all possible to combine the two sports into one, thereby creating something new and exciting. On his return home, he discussed the idea with a friend and together they worked out a synthesis of hockey and skating, adding for good measure a few football rules. Enjoyment of the game proved so great that from an initial experimental venture, it soon graduated at their college to an invigorating sport of tremendous speed, leading eventually to the formation of the McGill University Hockey Club. The first theory is the one believed to be the right one but no one knows for certain the originator of the game. We do know that the term "Ice Hockey" was the earliest recorded in a game that took place in Montreal. As the Canadians love and knowledge for the game of ice hockey grew, so did the sport. After various problems between teams playing with different rules, McGill University stepped in to set up the rules, thus making ice hockey a sport. The most popular ice hockey league in the world is the National ... ... middle of paper ... ...the goalies in the NHL have always had to evolve along with the game. The position of goaltending has greatly evolved since the formation of the NHL and even before the NHL started. The formation of the NHL in 1917 opened doors for players to show off their skills to the world and make a living, especially the goalies. The equipment that goalies use have evolve to be much lighter, more comfortable, and more aerodynamic since the start of the NHL and will keep enhancing in time. The physical and mental abilities of goaltenders today is much more sharper, stronger, and quicker than what they were in years in the past. The style of play of goalies these days has evolved greatly from the base styles that were set by some of the great goalies in the past. Also, the rule changes that the NHL has set forced goalies to evolve their game to fit the new rules and make the most out of what situations are presented to them. These are all the aspects of the position that have evolved throughout the years in the NHL. Goaltenders today are the most conditioned, sharpest, quickest, and most important piece of a professional hockey team and has all evolved from what goalies in the past have done.

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