Hockey Lab Japan articles #6

Principles of Puckhandling
for Goalies
Realistic ways to handle the puck in Today's hockey.
by Hiroki WAKABAYASHI
ABSTRACT
Puckhandling is an important skill for today's goaltending. You can see great assists or even goals by NHL goalies like Hextall or Brodeur. But.... Remember, those highlights are just exceptions. If you watch the games closer, you'll find more simple & solid puckhandlings than super passes or goals. And also, you'll see a lot of poor mistakes by overhandling the puck. Today's hockey is very fast and transitional, so you don't have much time to try fancy passes or handlings.

Here we introduce the "Principle of puckhandling for goalies in today's hockey". It may looks conservative, but it's realistic and effective.

Play or Stay ?

If you decide to play the puck......

GO FOR IT AS QUICK AS POSSIBLE!!

If you're not sure......

STAY!!

Simple & clear decision will help you and your teammates.

Where to Play ?

There are not many options to play the puck because....

  1. You don't have much time to think and play. That's why you have to go for the puck very quick.
  2. Goalies can't have the same puckhandling ability as the other skaters.

Then....

If you find your teammate who is free and ready for receiving the pass,

GIVE IT TO HIM!!

If you're not sure......

SHOOT IT INTO THE CORNER!!

Simple & Clear decision again.

If you want to set it up for D who is coming up to you,

TRY TO SET IT UP BEHIND THE GOALLINE!!

Because it's safety. In case D's in trouble with forechecker, etc.

Anyway,

PLAY IT TO WHERE YOU CAN SEE !!
(Usually, in front of you.)

NO GAMBLE, PLEASE !!

Remember, you're the goalies, you may have chance to assist a few goals in the season, BUT,

ALWAYS SAFETY FIRST!!

STAY

If you decide to stay in your crease,

READ THE SITUATION AND ANTICIPATE NEXT PLAYS

In what way???

  1. Count the numbers of your TEAMMATES
  2. Count the numbers of FORECHECKERS
  3. Check up your BACKDOOR

Anyway,

BE READY FOR THE SHORTPLAYS!!

SUMMERY

  • Make SIMPLE & CLEAR decision. And don't OVERPLAY the puck.
  • Always SAFETY FIRST and READ NEXT PLAYS.

KISS your STICK!

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