Joseph Woll Photo Gavin Napier/Icon Sportswire
When Toronto Maple Leafs goalie Joseph Woll joined the InGoal Radio Podcast to talk about his evolution to a successful NHL debut this season, he talked a lot about reading the game.
So it made sense to have Woll, who went 3-1-0 with one shutout and a .911 save percentage in four games with the Maple Leafs, to make his Pro Reads debut right away.
Welcome the NHL: Woll is facing a 3-on-1 rush against the Winnipeg Jets, with a couple of skilled forwards in Mark Scheifele and Kyle Connor featuring prominently in the attack:
What are the first pieces of information you’re taking in as a goaltender from the freeze frame above? (And hopefully you’ve picked them up long before it’s this deep in the zone).
We don’t see Woll yet, but where would you expect him relative to his crease at this point?
Is there anything about the way Connor and Evgeny Svechnikov are spaced as passing options that might impact your depth decision as a goalie facing this chance?
As Woll enters our feed with the puck and shooting options all still above the top of the face-off circle, he’s got his heels at the edge of his crease. What else have you noticed that changed between the first and second freeze frame that might affect what you expect to happen?
Are there any tells that would lead you to believe Scheifele is shooting or passing?
Given he’s on his strong side, can you afford to hedge for a pass anyway?
Since it’s a rush chance, seeing Woll’s positioning in a freeze frame isn’t enough to tell us whether he’s playing this with backwards flow and, if so, how much. We should also point out there’s no right or wrong way to approach that part of this. Every goalie has different personal preferences, sometimes tied to skating strengths or weaknesses, in some cases even to try and influence what the opposition does by baiting them. But given where Woll was in that second freeze frame and the passing options, would you expect him to have a little flow going?
Watch the entire sequence to find out:
Does seeing it at full speed change anything about the way you would have played this 3-on-1?
Were there enough clues to expect that pass? Was there a point your focus shifted? When?
THE PRO READ
Now let’s check in with Woll for his explanation and breakdown of the save:
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