For years everyone has heard that goalies need to be good skaters, perhaps the best on the team. This is still true, but too often overlooked. Goalie specific crease movements should be quick and efficient. Unfortunately, many young goalies that haven’t been trained properly are sometimes the worst skaters on the team. Being a poor skater will greatly reduce the ability to get square, which leads to a number of problems.
A goalie needs great balance, edge control, and the ability to stop and start quickly and efficiently. These skills are necessary to stay square to the puck, be able to use proper save selection, recover square to the puck, and handle any pucks outside of the crease area. Many young goalies have neglected the skating portion of their development by lack of knowledge or sometimes effort. They need to make a conscious effort to continue to improve all aspects of their skating to be able to “arrive early” to make more 1st and 2nd saves and to be able to help out their team by handling the puck proficiently.
There are several aspects of skating goaltenders should be working on. Position specific crease movements should be quick and controlled in order for goalies to get to the best possible position to make the save. Therefore shuffles, T-pushes, and push-outs should be automatic without the goalies having to look down at the crease to know where they are in relation to the net. Having good edgework also helps goalies to be able to move while down to be able to make 2nd saves. The recent use of the of the Reverse VH post play has also increased the importance of edgework.
Another area that greatly affects skating ability is how deep the hollow should be when the skates are sharpened. The hollow should be as deep as possible as long as the goalie can still shuffle. As the goalie acquires more leg strength they can go deeper with the hollow so they can push hard and get set quick, trying to “arrive early” to make the difficult saves become routine.
For more information on the Janosz School of Goaltending or Private Training go our new video website at www.bobjanosz.com or call (716) 308-9224.