GOALTENDING....You Make the Save
Goaltending requires split-second decisions for fast-breaking
scoring situations. When the goaltender chooses correctly, the
rewards are great. When the incorrect decision is make,
the result is highlighted by the flashing red light. The best
goaltenders are students of the game because they know the
importance of understanding why offensive players react as they do.
An ignorant goaltender is one who plays with tunnel vision. The puck
is all he or she stares at and that results in a lot of guesswork
when a shot is finally attempted. There are some sample
situations for your to decide what to do.
make the save.
A two-on-one has developed by the left side of the blueline. The
puckcarrier is skating swiftly into the left face-off circle. The
open forward is approaching the lower right hand face-off at a high
rate of speed. Your defensemen is favoring the puckcarrier slightly
while skating backward by the hashmarks. You are just outside
the left side of the crease playing the carriers angle. The
puckcarrier has fired a pass past the defenseman to the open forward
by the right side of the crease You should:
Dive with your stick and arms to stop the shot.
Turn and execute a moving split save.
Turn the body with the pass, push off and stack the pads to the
Forget the move with the pass, yell something unprintable and slump
the shoulders as the player scores on the empty side of the net.
This will work once in a while, but it takes sometime for your body
to hit the ice. The puck will usually be in the net before you
can get there. (Player scores)
This also can work, but unless you have the legs of Robert Parish,
you won't be able to kick out a shot on the far corner. There
also isn't much body in front of the net, just the skate. (Player
This is the best choice, by turning with the pass you will get your
body closer to the shot. The player is crashing the net so hard that
the only thing he can do is quickly shoot before his momentum takes
him behind the net. The stack to the spot cuts off the maximum
angle and to smother the puck. (Great save.)
This should not be considered, but this reaction occurs quite often.
In trying to skate the puck out of the zone by the right boards,
your defenseman has fanned on a pass and the opposing left wing has
stolen the puck. The opposing winger is the quickest player on
the ice. You are standing in a ready position by the
side of the crease. The winger cuts across the middle of the
face-off circle on his way to the harshmarks. How do you play him?
You shuffle across the crease and try to stay close to him.
You take a couple of steps to your left and go down to fill space.
You skate backwards into the crease so you can reach all four
corners when he shoots.
You make an aggressive gamble by executing a pokecheck and a stack
of the pads. The pokecheck is made while the player is
distracted by the stack.
If you are a great skater, you've stayed with him and you've forced
him to make the first move. Congratulations - great save. If
you are an average or poor skater, you made a poor decision because
he skated around you like a cone. (player scores).
Wrong. You made the first move and the winger went right
around you. (Player scores).
Wrong. You have given the player room to walk around you and room to
score. (Player scores).
Good gamble if you maintained an element of surprise. The
stack distracted him and your well-timed pokecheck caught him off
guard. (Great save).
A forecheck in the left corner has beaten your defenseman to the
puck and is feeding an open center by the right hashmark in the
slot. The pass is on its way to the center and the puck passes
within 5 feet of you. How do you play this?
You slid your hand to the knob of the stick although the blade
remained by the post. You step out with the full stick
and deflected the pass while you move towards the center. You are
angling towards the players stick as you move.
You hustle to the middle of the crease as you await the shot.
You fly out at him in your stance and try pressure him into a bad
Yell for help from the #!?*# defense.
You probably deflected the puck harmlessly away and if you didn't,
your body was ready. (Great play)
Wrong. You're giving the center too much net. (Player scores).
If you fly out at him, you are out of control and the center made an
easy head fake to go around you. (Player scores).
It's a little too late for that. (Player easily scores).
So, how did you do? Most of the choices were reasonably
intelligent decisions, but they didn't all work in these examples.
Sometimes a wrong decision will work okay, but for a consistent
performance you need to read and react under control and limit the
options of the shooter. You also must know instinctively what
a player's options are when a shot is forthcoming.
This article was contributed by
Quistgard of Quistgard Goalie Training