BETWEEN THE PIPES WITH... MATHIEU GARON
Early on, I had played the game as a defenseman. I played defense for two years. After that, I wanted to be a goalie. I made the switch then, but playing on defense helped me learn to skate well. That helps as a goalie. But when they needed a goalie, even then I was the one who always volunteered.
When I first made the switch to goalie, there was not anything I did not like about the position. Once again, I loved the equipment – the mask, the pads, everything. Of course, back then the colors were not really there. They were pretty plain and brown.
I have one sister but she never played hockey. My father, mother and sister have always been behind me and trying to push me. I think the most important part of that is that they were there to encourage me. They always supported me when I needed them.
While growing up, I remember watching Grant Fuhr a lot because he caught with his right hand too. After that it was Patrick Roy, as I was a big fan of the Montreal Canadiens and also of the Quebec Nordiques.
I really enjoyed playing (as a kid). You don't always play to win when you are that young, but you do want to win all of the time. The most important thing is to have fun with your friends. I always wanted to be the best and to get better every year. It was also about winning, but the bottom line is that you played because you liked the game.
When I started I always wanted to make a career out of it. I think that is the same for every kid who has ever played hockey. When I was 10 or 12, around that age, I was always good but there were so many goalies that it was hard to look that far ahead. When I was 16, I had a great year and was a good prospect for junior hockey. That was the time I really thought I had a chance.