A puckhead writes:
I'm really sorry about emailing twice in a day, but as a hockey goalie I couldn't let this one slide. No, an obese goalie cannot change hockey. The most important reason for this is the consideration of equipment regulations.
All organized leagues follow NHL size guidelines for pads, gloves, chest/arm protectors, pants, etc., and I can tell you that a human being who stands 6'+ tall and is 4'+ wide would never be able to physically fit into regulation equipment. And even if he/she could cram themselves into the gear, I'm sure there would be an immense amount of exposed skin where the poor bastard wouldn't even want to lay there on the ice getting peppered.
As much as I enjoy it, getting hit by a puck is rarely painless, especially when you take a good hard shot to the body. Take an NHL (or AHL, D-I college, or Canadian Major Junior) shot in an unpadded spot, at 85+ MPH, and brother, you're in for a very bad couple of days.
Keep up the great work, but it might be best to leave the hockey talk to us puckheads!
The "fat goalie fallacy" is something familiar to most fans of hockey. It's the kind of stupid question that gets asked by those completely ignorant of the sport. Why is it so dumb? Because playing in goal is Hard Work.
A fat slob of a goalie may block more of the net, but they would still need to have the athletic reflexes to catch 100-mile-an-hour slapshots, the strength to drop down into stance (the butterfly) and bounce back up again immediately, the skating ability to go side to side repeatedly, and the endurance to play for a full 60 minutes without any letdown in concentration.
That said, goaltenders are in fact getting larger, and heavier, at a faster rate than players at other positions. The Nashville Predators have a goalie tandem that averages 6'5" and 225lbs - but make no mistake they are elite athletes.
A lot of the action is at ice level - not the best angle for your obese goalie. If he's big enough to block the goal he won't be able to see his shoes or even bend enough to control that space. Also, goalies are especially vulnerable if they can't follow the action behind them. Here's what would happen if you played the fat guy.
Another sends the above Youtube:
There was an episode of "Sports Science" that looked into it by putting a sumo wrestler, and then a guy in a sumo suit alongside him, in goal. Both were easily beaten. (On top of that, the guy taking the shots is Anaheim Ducks enforcer George Parros, who isn't exactly know for his goal scoring prowess.)