Quick Plays Puck Behind Net From Knees, Pushes Off Post With Pad
High on the list was his robbery of Ryan Carter in the slot to keep it 2-1 late in the second period (video below). The stop was noteworthy because it came on a pass-out from behind the net, and Quick has been playing most of these plays below his goal line from his knees, using VH or one-pad down on as the play moves down low on his glove side, but transitioning down and using a pad-down approach against the post on the blocker side, and also staying down for a lot of the action behind his net.
Watch how Quick uses the shin of his pad, just above the boot, to push across into this save, rather than planting his skate:
The approach was covered in the last issue of InGoal Magazine in an instructional story by former Ottawa Senators goaltending coach Eli Wilson about defaulting to the knees early on plays behind the net. And it that created a lot of healthy debate and discussion when we pointed it out on a similar save by one of his pupils, Boston’s Tim Thomas, earlier in the playoffs.
Thomas isn’t the only NHL goalie going down early and staying there. Mike Smith used a similar approach in Phoenix, though the much bigger Smith takes up most of the net from his knees, and, like Quick, pops back up more often if the play moves back across and out, as well as when the puck gets tied up with several players in the corner. Quick is also so good at it – and so strong – that he can actually push off the post with that right pad and go straight onto his opposite skate and into a t-push.
In general, the philosophy, as explained by Wilson and also seen in pupil Carey Price, is designed to simplify things when the play moves behind the net, and reduce the possibility of getting caught in the transition from up to down and vice versa.
It’s not one every coach agrees with, but as Quick demonstrated in Game 5, it can be effective.