In Original Six hockey, there were no off-nights. Sure, some teams were better than others, but when only six teams held the best players in the world, every night produced great hockey. This meant there were no easy nights for the goalies, no easy wins, no light games, especially since they played every minute without a mask.
Glenn Hall was a great among even the greatest, the goalie who played every minute for 502 consecutive games, a record that will never be bettered. Never. Guaranteed.
GLENN HALL Photo Gallery
What is more amazing about Hall and his bare-faced brethren of six-team hockey was that they were so good for so long despite hating the game. They routinely suffered facial cuts or worse. Fans booed every goal they allowed. The pressure to succeed was enormous. Roger Crozier retired because of nerves. Terry Sawchuk left the game for the same reason mid-career. Gump Worsley hated flying and left. Hall hated training camp and practice because he’d suffer injuries for no good reason, as he saw it.
Hall was called “Mr. Goalie” as a parallel compliment to Gordie Howe’s “Mr. Hockey” moniker, but Hall’s habit it can’t rightly be called a superstition was one for the ages. He threw up before every game he played. Nerves got the better of him. Motivating himself made him sick. Pressure weighed heavily on his insides. Every game he played started with a trip to the washroom. He was one of the greatest, but you certainly don’t get the sense he enjoyed every minute of it.
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