Both Coach TenEyck and I were very pleased with last weekend’s session on many fronts.
First, all the goalies seemed very focused on all the drills. It appeared every goalie worked hard this past Saturday and, considering the number of goalies in the two sessions, that is a nice achievement. Quite frankly, we expect that work ethic all the time.
Second, to compliment the work ethic, there were no behavioral issues. For Group One, this is a monumental accomplishment. On-ice behavior this past weekend was the best it has been all camp, and, according to the off-ice trainer, behavior was just as good upstairs.
Something that we have noticed, many goalies, in both groups, use sticks meant for bigger goalies. Sticks are the most important piece of equipment and having the correct size is paramount to effective goaltending. Please see my post on purchasing the correct size of stick (https://elitegoaltending.wordpress.com/2008/07/06/choosing-the-proper-stick/)
Regarding the Rbk Challenge, each group was measured differently.
For Group One, each goalie’s eyes were watched to see if they were looking at the 2nd puck before moving across the crease to make the second save. Any time the goalie began to move across without looking, a point was deducted. It is vital goalies keep their focus on the puck particularly with an uncontrolled rebound, which the drill simulated. A goalie who sees where he needs to move to will be more accurate in his movement.
Group Two’s drill was tougher because the measurement was how many saves on the second shot the goalie made. I have to include, we were disappointed in most of the scores.
After considerable thought, I believe the problem is three-fold.
First, the goalies were not getting strong enough pushes to get their body to the second shot. Leg strength is a must for goaltending and this drill should have convinced the goalies of that.
Second, when moving across goalies were too concerned with their depth in relation to the puck as opposed to prioritizing getting into the shooting lane. This is exactly the same principle we discussed with moving across the crease to face the shot while on skates – going “under.” Moving across the crease to face a shot in no different for power slides as it is for movement using skates. See diagram below.
Getting the driving skate in-front of the knee after the head/shoulder/hips have rotated will put the goalie into the shooting angle faster.
Lastly, goalies were not arriving to face the shot as compact as required so pucks were getting through holes in their “wall.” When plays are in tight and the threat of a shot is very real, the “wall” must be built. I believe in many cases, not being compact is a result of poor leg strength since the goalie must try to gain momentum using his arms which prevents a “wall” from being formed before arrival.
Next week, we begin handling the puck and playing outside of the net.
Until then, enjoy the week, try to get on the ice to work on the things we cover and we’ll see you Saturday.