Ground down, sore on Saturday night when the regular season ends. Ready to explode Wednesday as the playoffs begin. It’s the miracle of April.
When playoff energy returns, defense returns. Shooters get harassed and forced to bad angles; rebounds are cleared. Great chances become good chances that good goalies can stop. Every goal not scored seems bigger. Every save made seems better. It’s a goalie’s time of year.
You have to like attention to be a goalie. You have to want to be a hero. In the playoffs, you have your chance. You’re playing better than you’ve ever played, in games more important than you’ve ever been in. You can suddenly feel a wave build beneath you. A save, another, the noise of the crowd. You feel good. You feel great.