Hockey Goaltending (Part 3 of 6)

3. Save Execution

The Butterfly

How fast you can drop down and be in a save position is the most important attribute you can have. … Goaltenders who are slow dropping into their butterfly must drop earlier to compensate for their lack of quickness. Dropping too early exposes the top portion of the net for a longer period.

Most saves are made from the butterfly position. … There are two types of butterfly positions. The active butterfly is an upright position with active hands and is used for plays that are farther out. The blocking butterfly is more compact, keeping everything tight, and it is used for plays in close.

Dropping into the Butterfly Position

It is important not to force your butterfly to be too wide. Let your position come to you naturally. When you use an unnatural butterfly and try to go as wide as you can, it slows you down as you go to the ice. Building on your butterfly width takes time and practice.

  • You should have a slight forward lean.
  • Drive your knees down to the ice. Let your hips generate the power.
  • Keep your feet in their set position on the ice… only your knees should move ahead.
  • Have a slight bend at the waist, and stay agile with hands up in a ready position

Moving in the Butterfly Position

The Inside-Edge Push is used to move across your ease when down in the butterfly position. This is utilized when you want to end up in a butterfly position at a different destination in the crease.

  • Make sure your head and shoulders take a slight turn in the direction of your destination.
  • Plant the back skate on an angle toward your destination
  • Keep your lead shoulder and leg forward
  • Keep your head down and push

Back-Leg Recovery

The goaltender will be required to move to a new destination and end up on his feet in a stance.

  • Turn your head and shoulders in the direction you want to move
  • Bring your front leg slightly underneath your body
  • Maintain active hands throughout the movement
  • Bring your back leg slightly behind, plant your skate on an angle, and drive off the back skate
  • Open up the lead skate and T-push into position, returning to a regular stance

Remember that “once it goes, it stays.” Never move a part of your body one way and then pull back to load up.

Butterfly Slide

Moving from a stance and sliding into a butterfly position at a new destination in the crease.

  • Turn your head; turn your shoulders
  • Lead with the lead side of your body.
  • Turn and pivot with your lead leg.
  • Push off you back leg and land on your lead knee, sliding directly into position and ending up in a butterfly.

Types of Save Executions

Glove Saves

The key principle is having it out in front of your body, ready to make a save. … A glove save can be executed from both a standing and a butterfly position. … From both positions, you must track the puck, stay on top of the shot, and watch it all the way into the glove, catching it in front of the body, not to the side.

  • Watch the puck
  • Have your hand meet the puck

Blocker Saves

To initialize proper blocker-hand positioning, the goalie should keep his wrist in a nearly straight line with his forearm. The key to executing ta proper blocker save is to be able to direct the rebound into the corner.

  • Watch the puck all the way into your blocker
  • Turn your wrist outward to direct the puck to the corner
  • Watch the puck off your blocker.

On higher shots close to the body, there is a tendency to reach with the hand … The elbow must be held up so you do not direct pucks too high

Stick Saves

As a rule, short side shots should not be handled with the stick. … short side shots along the ice can be better controlled with a butterfly pad save.

When defending a far blocker-side shot, you should deflect the puck out of play. Turn your stick off the thigh rise of the pad, and send the puck over the glass behind the net. … Don’t slice at the puck; let it come to the stick, and turn it aside by rotating the paddle of your stick off of your thigh rise.

Defending the far-side glove shot requires a different technique. … Keep your stick along the ice at an angle and use a knifing motion to send the puck into the corner or out of play.

Pad Saves

The key to executing a proper pad save is to be able to extend the leg, making the save while keeping your other leg in position. … Slightly transfer your weight toward the save leg to ensure the pad has a tight seal to the ice.

Body-Containment Saves

The position of a body-containment save is a butterfly, with hands forward and tight to the body. … Do not allow the blocker to come in so far that it deflects the puck.

  • Keep your stick on the ice.
  • Do not try to cover the puck in your body using your blocker hand.
  • If the puck escapes your body, you will need to retrieve the puck with your stick.
  • Support the save with the glove so the puck drops off the body into the glove.