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Creating A “Body Pocket” or “Bread Basket”:

Have you noticed that some goalies hardly ever give out rebounds when making a butterfly while other goalies look like a tennis backboard with pucks going all over the place? The success, or lack thereof, when controlling rebounds in the butterfly position often relates to the positioning of the hands and back. When the hands are ahead of the body with the elbows comfortably bent while staying close to the ribs, the back will naturally lean you slightly forward. When your back leans forward instead of being totally straight, you create an air pocket behind the chest pad that has loosely moved off your body. This air pocket will keep the puck in your midsection and softly drop it into your pads or right in front of you so you can freeze it. The creation of this “body pocket” cushions a fast-moving puck so it does not get away from you. When your back is straight and your hands are at your sides, the chest pad stays flush to your body and rebounds the puck back into play since there is no cushioning to slow the puck down. I often get asked about where the hands should be(high or low) when in the butterfly. That often depends  on your read of the situation. If the puck is more than a few feet away, your hands should be ahead of your body to protect the upper corners of the net. Also, the glove wrist should be turned slightly downward so the pocket can meet the sharply rising puck before it goes over your hand. If the play is right on top of you, you may bring your hands lower simply because the puck is too close to the body for the shooter to extend his or her hands to aim at the high corners. 

Keep Your Body In Synch:

If your lower body and upper body do not make the butterfly simultaneously, you run the risk of giving out rebounds and 5 Hole goals. Why is this? Well, if you are late bringing your upper body down for the butterfly, you can’t close off your 5 Hole right away. Also by getting your upper body down late, your back is straighter which makes pucks rebound away from you. Try not to favor one side of your body when making the butterfly because you will lean away from the shot and shooters can see that.

Why Your Plant Foot Matters On Recoveries: If you’ve made a full butterfly or a half-butterfly and the puck rebounds to one side, you obviously have to move to the new angle to make the next save. If your rebound has deflected to your left side and you get up from the initial butterfly on your left leg, you will be vulnerable to a quick rebound shot since you are not in that lane. If you have rotated your hips toward the left and plant your right foot, you can explosively get up and move to your left by planting that right foot or make a butterfly slide. Use the valuable seconds that a shooter is locating the rebound to get your plant foot set and drive to the new angle whether you get all the way up or not. 

Common Problems When Making A Butterfly Slide: If you have not mastered the butterfly slide, it may be because your plant foot is too wide to give you the power to slide laterally. You may not be turning your hands in the direction of the slide as you drive off the plant foot. You may also be leaning heavily on the knee that is on the ice. For example, if you have planted your right foot to slide to your left and you are heavily leaning on your left knee, you will not be able to slide very far, if at all.

This article was contributed by Fred Quistgard of Quistgard Goalie Training.

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