A. It's anything but boring. It's a constant challenge. Even when you have stopped Bobby Orr in one situation, the game's patterns are constantly changing. You never meet exactly the same challenge twice, and so everything is always new and interesting. Boredom is never a problem when you are tending goal.
Q. I think you'd have to be bananas to become a goaltender. It's too dangerous, for one thing. You must be a masochist at heart.
A. But you don't realize the danger until it's too late, until you're already a goal-tender for life. Goalies start playing goal when they are little kids. None of the other kids has a shot hard enough to hurt them, and the job is kind of enjoyable and relaxing. It isn't till you get a bit older that the puck begins to come in harder and it begins to hurt, but by that time you're a goaltender and it is too late to change. Deep down, though, I guess you play goal because you enjoy the challenges.
Q. Yeah, but the puck travels at 120 miles an hour in the NHL, and I would think you'd begin to wonder about your health and safety out there.
A. Well, once in a while I stop to think about it, and I say to myself, "Jeez Murphy, this job hurts. Why am I out here? It's not fun anymore. Why go through the whole bloody thing?" But then comes the reward: a stopped shot, an impossible save, a shutout, a Stanley Cup, and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoy my work.
Q. And you enjoy the money that comes with it?
A. Sure, money is nice, but nobody plays just for the money. You would have to be crazy. After you've satisfied your pride by getting the salary you think you deserve, then you tend to forget about money. The real motivating factor becomes the challenge of the job. A lot of athletes put on a superficial hardness about playing only for money, but if they were really honest with themselves, they'd find it is personal pride that motivates them, not the dollar.
Q. Your pride makes you challenge other men to prove that you are better?
A. Something like that. It is like Sandy Koufax throwing his fastball to a great fastball hitter. There are psychological implications to challenging somebody and defeating him.
Q. Aren't you ever afraid out there?