Week Four continued where Week Three left-off with emphasis on saving the puck with the upper body as well as moving into butterfly slides.
A few things that need to be touched on this week
- We have a number of goalies who do not regularly sharpen their skates. If this was the mid-80’s, sharp skates for a goalie would not matter. But, with today’s style of guarding the net, sharp blades are a requirement due to the development of the butterfly component of the position. As for frequency and type of cut, I genreally recomment the following-
- Squirts and Younger – every 6 times on the ice. Blades should be cut at “5/8”.
- Bantam and Pee Wee – every 4 times on the ice. Blades should be cut at ½”.
- Midget – every 3 times on the ice. Blades should be cut, depending on size and leg strength of the goalie from ½” to 3/8” (3/8 is sharper).
- With upper body saves, we saw a number of goalies attempt to make saves with their mid-section only to have the puck hit the blocker. This is far from ideal and will cost you goals against. When the puck is coming towards the mid-section, the goalie should allow the puck to hit them in the stomach or lower chest for better rebound control. When the puck hits the blocker in such a scenario, there is little chance of rebound being controlled which means a second scoring chance is likely. Let the chest and arm pads do their work and then use the gloves to trap against body.
- With upper body saves while in butterfly position, it is vital for the goalie to lower their butt to the ice as the puck is making contact with the chest pad. This provides more pillow-effect as well as helps the goalie keep control of the puck. If the puck happens to get loose, the goalie must become very aggressive and pounce on the rebound immediately since they are in a sitting-position leading to poor net coverage.
- It has come to our staff’s attention we have a number of goalies who get very frustrated when goals are scored against them. Gentlemen, we are in practice and every one of you will be scored on many times. What is the sense of getting upset? Once I see a goalie react upset after scored on I know they will struggle to make the next save. I recall four instances from Saturday’s Rbk Challenge where goalies lost points on two consecutive shots from failure to let go of the first goal. One goalie received points on the first six shots only to miss points on the following four shots when he became distracted when finally scored upon. Let me re-state this again… he got so rattled on allowing one goal in the first seven shots, he could not save the remaining three. I hope none of the four goalies lose in the final results of the Challenge by one point (this can happen as evidence by last years results). Simple fact, if you cannot mentally allow for goals-against, you cannot play the position.
Speaking of the Rbk Challenge, the Top Five in each age group was posted last night and I emailed the scoring spreadsheet earlier today. For this past Saturday, we tested goalies on their ability to control the puck on high shots. Each goalie faced ten shots to the upper body region and either had to catch or deflect puck with gloves or control rebound off their chest. I was surprised at how many low scores there were. We will spend time reviewing upper body shots at the beginning of Saturday’s session.
Next session, the last before the July 4th break, after our review of upper body saves, we will move into lower body saves and butterfly movement. Hope everyone is enjoying the caliber of shooters – many of you have never seen shots like these and it is good for your development.
Until then, enjoy the week and don’t forget to work on the trivia.