What is your earliest hockey memory?
I remember going to the rink with my dad before school, pre-K, and him unloading me, just letting me go. He was always more helpful with the other kids while he was letting me bang around the boards. (Laughs.) I wasn't a goaltender until travel hockey when I was 8, full-time when I was 10, just a little guy from a small town.
What's the best thing about playing in the NHL?
To me, projecting myself ahead, when I retire and look back I've been lucky because it's the guys, the quality of the guys I've been around. It's an eclectic group as you'll meet, and you spend more time with them than your family. I call Brenden Morrow my road wife. The friendships endure, being on a team -- hockey guys are the best. Everyone has their moments but for the most part, hockey players are normal, they get it, even though they play pro sports. It's fun to be around. It's a great sport. It's given me everything.
Which player would you most like to deliver a good, hard hit on?
Probably Corey Perry because he's fresh in my mind. We've had some good battles. He plays the game the right way. To lay him out and stare down at him -- that would be worth it. He plays the game the right way but he's still a little douchebag.
Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions?
Nothing of substance. Nothing off the wall, but it's good that people think that goaltenders are a little off the wall. People don't talk to us, they give us more space. But there are some things I always do: the way I skate during whistles, I go one way then the other way and always touch the boards, things like that, what I do during shootouts. It's fun.
There's an art in doing something totally repetitive, it takes your mind off other things. It helps you stay focused: I'm trying to stay in the zone to summon the now quicker.
Which teammate or former teammate's career would you most like to have?
I don't want to sound like I'm brown-nosing, because the one name I'd say is our general manager (Joe Nieuwendyk). I know how he's remembered by his teammates, and he is synonymous with class. He also played the game at a high level and he won, too. He had a special career, and to have this guy as our GM now -- well, he's going to go well beyond my years in the league.