Among the many interesting revelations to come out of Episode 156 of the InGoal Radio Podcast with Calgary Flames goalie development coach Thomas Speer and top puck-stopping prospect Dustin Wolf was a new sharp-angle technique they called The Panda, or Panda Post Lock.
No, it has nothing to do with Robin Lehner, whose nickname is Panda, though admittedly that was the first thing that went through our minds when Speer mentioned it.
The move actually originated as part of Wolf’s evolution as a first-year pro and the addition of Overlap technique to how he handles dead-angle shots, something he said resulted from getting sniped short-side high from the bottom of the face-off circle in a rookie game against the Edmonton Oilers.
“It was a goal I’d rather not give up it was a learning experience that’s kind of set me up,” Wolf said. “It’s been a pretty big game changer in terms of shots from dead angles.”
One of the challenges with using Overlap can be handling that attack as it gets closer to the net and evolves from a shot threat to a wraparound. For some, the answer is to switch from an Overlap into Reverse-VH inside the post, but that transition can leave some goalies feeling exposed, so they came up with a new alternative.
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In the first clip there was a wrap around attempt, stick side. Goalie makes the save but gives up a rebound and the goalie goes to rvh. This leaves that window open over the right shoulder. Now he’s in the scenario he tried to avoid using overlap. What todo?
At the 2:20 mark
I see bank in goals off the butt all day long if this technique becomes a thing
Interesting new technique but it looks like there are some flaws I’m hoping to get some answers to. What’s stopping the shooter from either cutting to the front of the net and wrapping it in the crease, or going behind and shooting off the goalies back for the bounce in goal. Other than your back being held right against the post it seems risky
I would think both those situations could be easily countered – you are not locking in to this position, you can easily adjust to a dynamic situation.
It sounds like he scenario this Panda move solves is using Overlap and how to handle the wraparound threat. “One of the challenges with using Overlap can be handling that attack as it gets closer to the net and evolves from a shot threat to a wraparound.” and specifically during the transition “Instead of transitioning from overlap into RVH in that awkward spot where he can shoot it…” . The 2:20 mark you mentioned is after a wraparound shot, so there is no second wraparound threat on rebound, and since the goalie is already on the ice from wraparound save there is no big transition when getting into the RVH.
If you are concerned about the rebound shot after wraparound save going top shelf, decide to stand up. It looks like in the clip the goalie decided to stay in RVH, for whatever reason.
I think the point is not so much that he is wanting to avoid use of RVH – though that is an advantage to overlap for sure – More that that if you are on your feet by choice and then the threat gets close enough that you might want to be in RVH – this is an option,
a modification to a traditional overlap that avoids the danger of transition – as we move from standing to RVH, holes open up and we are vulnerable. It does not avoid ever being in RVH.
Speaking for goalies that aren’t 6′ 4″. Feel like we have been doing this the whole time, instead of RVH.
Overlap, yes I’m sure – but have you always done it with the back leg more flat on the goal line like this? If so – congrats for the great work! If not, maybe give this tweak a try.
i see a bunch of comments overthinking this technique even though its been used by nhl goalies forever, all of the issues of bounce off the back goals are always a concern to a goalie of any high level once the puck is below the goal line, its purpose is to eliminate over the shoulder/ over the pad goals the transition into other techniques (rvh) cause, nothing in goaltending is “flawless” its about the best percentage, this would be something i’d recommend to smaller or goalies who are fast and have good post play, the recovery to the far post can become very desperate and uncontrolled in game (div 1 / echl level) leaving rebounds off the wrap to become the next biggest issue. no matter yours skill level its another great tool to have in the toolbox.
So I’ve been reflecting on this technique and its integration. I recommend as well people go to Kasimir Kaskisuo’s YouTube page, as he discusses it as well as features a clip of Brian Daccord explaining the technique. Here are my thoughts.
1. Application against Rush: best deployed when play read suggests a wide-cutting forward whose main options are quick short-side shot close to dead-angle, or putting their head down and going for a quick wrap. You CANNOT prematurely enter this position, like a lot of goalies tend to with RVH, as surrendering squareness too early will open up problems. Stress patient edges and comfort with post-overlap.
2. Application during in-zone play: Will require more study. Likely deployed again right at dead angle incorporated with post-overlap, but added threat of cross-seam plays from the corner complicate. Flattening out early likely helps, but marks a transition from traditional RVH push-off-post to get into position for next shot.
3. Concern 1: Strong-side leg is no longer immediately anchored to ice or post, unlike traditional RVH. This means that to push off, will require an additional movement (lifting the strong-side knee). This may negate the advantage of flattening out early for cross-goal line movements.
4. Concern 2: People are concerned about bank goals off the goalies backside. Will be less of a problem in the early days of this technique, but if this gains traction, will become an increasing concern as forwards adapt. This will require observation and adaptation. Preliminary idea is stressing pinning your back and butt to the post, but might be awkward.
5. Concern 3: Overall it’s a *bigger* series of motions to move across the goal lines, which complicates maintaining appropriate visual windows on the puck/puck carrier as they move behind the net. Stress developing appropriate visual tracking alongside this technique for wrap plays.
Overall it’s an interesting idea but will require significant refinement to meet these concerns above in my opinion. Its strength is dead angle shots and physiological ease. Its weakness, as far I can tell in its current state, are a) more movements overall, b) managing bank plays (will become increasingly urgent), and c) can risk further complicating a goalies situational playbook on post plays.