Hockey Goaltending (Part 4 of 6)

4. Postsave Recovery

The ability to control rebounds and get into position and make second and third saves is one of the key components that separates goaltenders at all levels.

Post save Recovery Skills

When moving to your next spot, you wan to fill the space in the middle of the net as quickly as possible. … You need to gauge how much time you have before the next shot. You should ask yourself, “Is there time to get up and move to the next position, or am I going to stay down?”

If the rebound comes out to a shooter who is in close, you will want to move using path of direction, keeping your body tight (blocking butterfly) to face the second shot. If the rebound goes out a little farther but the shooter is still close to the puck, you will still want to stay down and use a butterfly with active hands. … If the shot goes out to a shooter at a farther distance and the shooter is a little farther from the puck, you should get to your feet and move into position to face the second shot.

Your decision to stay up or go down depends on the player’s proximity to the puck. If the shooter is close to the puck, stay down. if the shooter is farther away from the puck, then it is better to get up and ready yourself. … the safer bet is to stay down and cover the higher-risk play by blocking the lower part of the net. If the rebound goes out to the side, with the potential of another shot coming immediately, you have to load with your inside edge and outside skate to push across and explode into a save.

Post Leans

The Vertical Horizontal and the Reverse Vertical Horizontal will now be referred to as a “lean”. Shoulder lean positions are used to defend against plays out of the corner.

To execute the blocker-side lean, keep your pads tightly sealed along the ice, using your back leg for support, and keep your chest and hands up in an active ready position. Feel the post against your shoulder. Keep a strong seal against the post, don’t go beyond the post in your lean.

The glove-side lean looks very much like the blocker-side lean. … Don’t pull off the post early. … Always keep your eye on the puck.

Lead-leg recoveries are used when you need to recover onto your feet from a post lean. Instead of driving of your back leg, you are using your lead leg to pull you up and into position on your feet. A back-leg recovery is used to move while staying down on the ice or moving onto your feet from the butterfly.

To execute a lead-leg recovery

  • Point your lead skate in the direction you want to move
  • Open your front-leg skate in a C-cut position.
  • Putting your weight on your front leg, pull yourself forward with your upper body using your chest, hands, and stick for momentum.
  • Bring your head forward through the motion.

Post Reaches

How to best follow the play and move post to post when the puck is behind the net.

In no other part of the game are you exposed to as many threats as when the puck is being played behind the net. For this reason, we have developed the 75-25 rule.

In a lean postion, you will be 100 percent committed to the near post. As the puck goes farther behind the net, you need to widen your stance, thus creating a window over your shoulder whereby you can see where the puck is. So as your stance widens, you are now committed 75 percent to the near post, but with 25 percent awareness and commitment to the far post. When the puck travels past the halfway point behind the net, you should move your upper body, keep your eyes on the puck, and commit 100 percent to the other post. … Always bring your lower body across first and be in a ready position if the play should revert to the near-side post. This is one situation where you do not lead with your head to get to the other post. … Once the play moves out in front of the net, use a lead-leg recovery and move out to defend the play.


When defending the blocker side, you have two options … you can defend using the paddle-down technique. … you can use an active stick defense and attempt to take the puck off the opposition’s stick. … The active-stick technique is better suited to breaking up pass plays out of the corner.

When defending a glove-side wraparound, it is essential that your glove be facing the puck in a ready position and that you maintain a tight seal on the post while continuing to watch the puck.

Stretch Saves

There are instances when a rebound ends up in a dangerous position. Although you may be required to make a stretch save, you still want o be in control of your movements. … in close proximity to the net, you will need to first inside-edge push and then extend your body.

Inside-Edge Push Into an Extension

Assume that after making an initial save in a butterfly position, the rebound goes out to a dangerous spot, and the opposition shooter takes a high shot. You may be forced to inside-edge push and extend your upper body as far as possible to make the save. You are in essence making a save while in motion. … the key is to inside-edge push and react to wherever the puck is headed. For example, you could be moving to your right, and the puck is shot to your left, forcing you to extend your body in the other direction.

Inside-Edge Push Into a Full Split

In the case where a rebound goes to a shooter who quickly fires a shot to the low corner of the net, you may be required to extend your lower body into a full-split save position.

Inside-Edge Push Into Upper and Lower Extension

In other circumstances, you may be required to extend both your upper and lower body at the same time.

Net Management

It is important that you move with precision between your posts. Net management is about not pushing outside the confines of your posts. … If an opponent has the puck on the wall at the hash marks, you start on the post. As the shooter skates toward you with the puck

  • Come off the post, at the shooter
  • Push out and overcomer on the short-side post; otherwise, as soon as you drop into the butterfly, you will be exposed on the short side.

Corralling and Covering Rebounds

In many instances, a rebound will come off your upper body or pads and end up right in front of you. … you want to retrieve the puck with your stick, pull it in, and cover it with your glove. … When covering the puck, attack the loose puck.

  • If you are forced to make a paddle-down save, … just reach over the top of the paddle and cover the puck with your glove.
  • Stop the puck first and then cover it
  • If the rebound is just out of reach and it turns into an in-tight breakaway situation, always try to get to your feet to defend.