No job in the world of sports is as intimidating, exhilarating, and stress-ridden as that of a hockey goaltender. Clint Malarchuk did that job while suffering high anxiety, depression, and obsessive compulsive disorder and had his career nearly literally cut short by a skate across his neck, to date the most gruesome injury hockey has ever seen. This autobiography takes readers deep into the troubled mind of Malarchuk, the former NHL goaltender for the Quebec Nordiques, the Washington Capitals, and the Buffalo Sabres. When his carotid artery was slashed during a collision in the crease, Malarchuk nearly died on the ice. Forever changed, he struggled deeply with depression and a dependence on alcohol, which nearly cost him his life and left a bullet in his head. In A Matter of Inches, Malarchuk reflects on his past as he looks forward to the future, every day grateful to have cheated death—twice.
One of the best books
This book is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I truly opened this book because I was curious about the famous state-blade accident, but I walked away from this book with so much more. Thank you Clint for being so open about your life and for being vulnerable. So many people can connect to how you felt at different times and it’s just a great book to know you’re not alone. 10/10 recommend.
Neck injury starts at Chapter 14
It was long winded and unnecessary at points. What initially made me want to read this was the infamous hockey injury, and I was hoping he would clue readers into how he grew from there on. You don’t even get to that part of the story until chapter 14. He barely mentions the Vietnam War vet who saved him, Jim Pizzutelli. More insight into him or his perspective would’ve been cool.
Also would’ve made sense to see if there was more about how Clint has contributed to the hockey community, recovery community, or literally any community. There wasn’t much of a conclusion or “lessons learned,” part where the story would’ve felt more inspiring or relevant.
I will say—the chapters about his wife (Joanie), were very interesting and touching. As someone who’s dated an alcoholic, this book offered some insight and reminded me of how hard the disease can be on people.
The pages turn without notice as the story unfolds, bare truths are exposed and for those with an open heart, these truths are painfully internalized in a way that compels the reader to a level of personal honesty that is soulfully rewarding. Thank you Clint for touching my spirit and revealing my inner demons in order for me to seek help also.