This is a great article by Fluto Shinzawa about a new save selection called a “lateral release”. He goes into detail about how shooters are adapting to goaltenders sliding into shots and building their coverage from the ice, and how they are looking to catch and release shots to the upper portion of the net or looking to make the extra pass back in the opposing directions. It is much harder to react and/or change directions from a sliding position, and goalies must adapt.
A couple keys to a lateral release are: holding your lead inside edge as long as possible in order to maintain your stance and stop your momentum when necessary and having your back-side leg hit the ice slightly before your lead edge if you do drop into your butterfly. By using this movement/save selection, it allows the goalie to react from a standing position (much easier to react with your hands from your stance), and by holding the lead inside edge the goalie can change directions if the shooter decides to make that extra pass!
Fluto does a great job describing additional benefits and the minor intricacies of executing this save selection. It is a must-read for goaltenders, as many try to slide on many lateral passes and changes in the shooter’s release.
This article by Tomas Hertz, for inGOAL magazine, is a great resource for understanding the opportune times to utilize the Reverse Vertical-Horizontal (RVH) post-play technique. A common theme for goaltenders of all ages is to use this technique as the be all and end all when the puck is below the face-off dots. This should not be the case.
RVH should be used as a tool in our toolbox, but goalies should not default to this technique in all low-play situations. Hertz does a great job describing the pitfalls of excessive use and what happens how the finer details of this technique need to be applied to execute it properly. He does a great job describing the scenarios of when the RVH may be a goalie’s best option. The graphic he posts (designed by Kory Cooper) does a great job depicting the opportune times to utilize the RVH, and what areas it is best to be on your feet.
This technique is great as the pucks proximity to the net closes, but it does inhibit a goaltenders ability to dictate their path and the distance they travel. This is a great article for goalies to read and something we talk about frequently at MAP Goaltending!
This article by Alex Prewitt is a describes how the use of “Head Trajectory” helped Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk rediscover his game. This term was developed by Lyle Mast, and the use of proper head trajectory helps goaltenders track the puck better and become more efficient in their movements and recoveries. By tracking on a proper plane and leading with the goalies head, the goaltender sees the puck much better. One of the focuses of this technique is making sure the goaltender tracks the puck from the center of their eyes, instead of following it with their peripheral vision. Using the peripherals distorts their tracking and can throw off the perception of the true location of the pucks’ path.
We highly suggest reading this, as many of our Minnesota based goaltenders get an opportunity to see Devan Dubnyk put this practice into action. He has become one of the elite goaltenders in the NHL and he frequently credits the installation of this technique as one of his breakthroughs into the NHL’s elite. He should be a technical model for all goalies, as he is one of the most efficient goalies, particularly in his puck tracking abilities. This was a great job by Prewitt getting a description of this technique from Dubnyk and the creator of the technique, Lyle Mast.