Friday, September 18, 2009

Stopping The Puck With Your Body

When it comes to making a save, I am a firm believer in making things as easy for the goaltender as possible. One way to do this is to try and stop the puck with your body as much as possible. Stopping the puck with just your glove or blocker is alright but if the shot gets tipped, it's going right over or under your glove. If your body is behind the puck and it gets tipped, it will still at least hit you. The only way you can stop the puck with your body is either they shoot it at your body or you slide into the puck. When you slide into the puck you usually need more time to react. You won't always be able to get your body behind it but if you can it will make your job a lot easier.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Poke Check

The poke check is not a very common move any more but if used properly can be very effective. You don't want to over use the poke check because then players will notice that and be expecting it. The whole idea of the poke check, it's unexpected.

When doing the poke check you need to be in your ready stance. When the player is within range, slide your hand to the top of your stick and poke it out quickly towards the puck. Keep your eye on the puck. Make sure that the poke check is done when the shooter is in tight and do it as quick as possible. Don't worry about the shooter getting tripped by you stick during the poke check; it will not be a penalty.

Friday, September 11, 2009

3 on 2's

A 3 on 2 is very similar to a 2 on 1 in many ways. You need to communicate with your defenseman, challenge the shooter, and don't over commit. But there are a couple of things that are different about the two.

On a 3 on 2 you always want to make sure that you are challenging the shooter because the other two should be tied up by your defenseman. Try and stay standing for as long as possible just in case the shooter tries to go around you. He probably won't be able to because of your 2 defenseman, but it's better to be safe than sorry. Have confidence in your defenseman. You got to know that he is taking the guy without the puck. If there happens to be a pass across make sure that you get across the crease as fast as possible for the big save.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

How to Make a Successful Outlet Pass

1. A goalie must keep their head up at all times while moving the puck above or below the goal line to analyze the oncoming pressure.

2. While behind the goal line, savvy ice awareness is essential. With a limited number of options available, being able to read the on coming pressure is crucial. A decision must be made on which way to play the puck; if the puck should be stopped and left for a teammate, make a direct pass or wrap the puck around the boards. If pressure comes unexpectedly, don’t panic. Remember, with a simple T-push or a spin of the body, a goalie now has created a new outlet angel to get the puck out of harms way.

3. Execute the play quickly and without hesitation. Remember, to play K.I.S.S and don’t be flashy!!

Goalies, keep in mind that sometimes playing the puck doesn’t always go as planned. If this is the case, don’t forget to quickly get back into your crease and protect your number one priority, the net! Goalies that have confidence in their puck playing ability and play K.I.S.S will have less hesitation and greater poise when venturing outside the crease to play the puck. Good luck!

Here is a photo of a goalie playing the puck properly.

© Bandits Goalie School - 2009

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Remember To Play K.I.S.S When Playing The Puck

The position of goaltending is consistently evolving. A goaltender will not be successful until they recognize their ability to control plays with their puck playing skills are key in the game of hockey. Goalies that consistently have confidence in their puck playing ability above and below the goal line become a valuable assist to their team. However, making mechanical mistakes while playing the puck can be costly!

When a goalie leaves the crease to play the puck, remember to not over handle the puck or make a bad decision with the puck especially away from the net. Goalies that remind themselves to play K.I.S.S will always be successful. K.I.S.S is a term used to Keep It Simple - Stupid when playing the puck outside the crease. Making a blind pass or trying to be flashy with ones puck playing skills will get a goaltender in trouble.

Goalies are their own worst enemies when playing the puck outside their crease. A flashy puck player will likely make rash decisions and pay for it by getting caught out of position. Whether it’s making a poor clearing attempt to a teammate or a bad pass off the high glass, why do so many goalies find the need to put themselves in these types of situations? Some of the best puck playing decisions a goalie makes are the simple plays that do not draw any attention to them while doing it. It’s common to see a goalie below the goal line trying to make a flashy, off the high glass outlet pass; hesitate, fumble the clear and scrambles to get back into the net while the other team finds a way to score. It’s seen way too often. REMEMBER TO MAKE THE SIMPLE PLAY!!

© Bandits Goalie School - 2009

2 on 1's

2 on 1's don't come around that often. But when they do, you need to be ready to make a big save. A couple of key things to remember are that you have to communicate with your defenseman. It's so important to let your defenseman know that you will take the shooter so he can pick up the extra man. Challenge the shooter to cut off all angles, and stand up as long as possible just in case the shooter decides last second to make a pass across. Don't cheat by being off angle so that you're a little closer to the open man. Be sure to keep your angle. Don't back in to fast or the shooter will have the whole net to shoot at. If there is a pass across butterfly slide across as fast as possible because it will most likely be a quick shot. Keep your eyes on the puck at all times.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Paddle Down Save

The paddle down save is not very common anymore but sometimes is the best save for the situation. This save should be used on long dump ins and wraparounds. You don't want to do this position when the shooter is in close because he will just shoot high blocker side and your blocker is on the ice so it will be hard to reach the puck.

When making this save one leg should be flat on the ice and the other extended out on an angle. The paddle of your stick should be flat on the ice. Your glove should be up above your pad open to catch the shot. Keep your head up so that the shot can be seen and stay square with the puck.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Butterfly Slide

The butterfly slide is probably the most used save in the NHL today. It's so common because you cover the complete lower part of the ice and if out far enough you can have the whole net covered. When balanced and in control it is very easy to make saves from the butterfly slide.

When doing the butterfly slide there are a couple of things that should be remembered. First you want to load your push leg by crouching down for lots of power on your push. Next you want to look where you are going and make an explosive push across the net. Keep your stick on the ice and your glove and blocker up and out so that you are ready to catch anything or block anything. Make sure that your legs are flat on the ice and keep your body compact so that no pucks can slip through you. Always have a wide butterfly so that you get maximum lower net coverage.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Importance of a Goaltender Staying Hydrated

In Goal Magazine has recently done a study on goalie hydration. The scientist conducting the study was Dr. Lawrence Spriet. He shows you just how important it is to keep hydrated to reach peak performance.

- Losing only 1-2% of your body mass can impair performance - that's as little as 2 pounds for a 200 lb. goalie - less for you fit types!

- Players lost on average 1.8 L per hour of fluid - to replace that fluid you would need to drink nearly two large water bottles. And certainly one full bottle to stay within the 1% loss of body mass.

- Goalies averaged 2.9L lost in an hour - 3 very large water bottles! The goalies did drink the most - 1.8 L on average - but they still lost on average 1.1% of body mass.

- You have to assume that these well-trained young men were taught in their careers about the importance of hydration - yet 1/3 of them still lost more than 1% of their mass.

- The players were not able to maintain adequate sodium balance.

- The players tended to choose sports drinks before practice and plain water during.

- Sodium Balance - Sodium replacement is essential for retaining ingested fluid and restoring fluid balance after exercise

- Suggest extra sodium sports drink to help replacement of sodium - drinking water only can be a real problem.

Goalies sweat the most, losing 2.9 ± 0.2 Lh–1, and this can be attributed to their constant involvement in the drills during the practice — other players, upon completing a drill, waited for 4 – 5 of their teammates to complete their turns before repeating the drill. This allowed the players a chance to rest while the goalies were generally involved in many or all successive repetitions of each drill. The sweating response would presumably be different in game situations, as goalies are only required to react to game play in their end while other players are continuously active during their shifts. This is supported by a study by Green et al. (1976) that demonstrated much smaller increases in blood lactate for a goalie (n = 1, +153%) than for other players (n = 7, +325% ± 16%) during a game, despite similar fitness levels.

Bottom Line - How Should a Goalie Manage Hydration?

The bottom line is that it is unsure how much this matters for non-elite players. The only way to be sure is to take your body weight before and after a game or practice - right before old-timers, not after that extra hour in the dressing room or local watering hole!

- If you are losing more than 1% of your body weight you have a potential problem.

- Sports drinks have little value before a game, but are exactly what you need during a game - the extra sodium versions.

- You need a well balanced meal right after the game - if it will be delayed there are many recovery shake options that are essentially chocolate milk!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Stretching for Goaltenders

When it comes to being a goaltender, being flexible is very important. Not only is it important to be able to reach further for pucks, but you wouldn't want to pull your groin or hamstring and risk an injury. Most people overlook stretching but it should be done often to increase performance on and off the ice. The most important time to stretch is before a game or practice. If you do that you will feel a lot more loose and ready to make a save. You should also be doing stretches on your days off to reach peak performance. Each stretch should be held for approximately 30 seconds. Do this often and you will see a big performance difference in your game.

The Blocker Save

The blocker save is much like the glove save only on the opposite side, and you don't have to worry about catching the puck. The blocker save is a great save because you can control the rebound so easily and direct the puck exactly to where you want it.

When making the blocker save you need to start by keeping your hands in front of your body. Once the shot has been taken, put your blocker in the path of the puck. Make sure that you are following the puck to your blocker. Once the puck hits your blocker cock your wrist so that the blocker is facing into the corner, because where your blocker is angled, that is where the puck will go. Make sure you don't punch at the puck, let the puck come to you.