When Thomas Milic joined the InGoal Radio Podcast shortly after winning the World Junior Championships with Canada, one of the things discussed was his effective use of an Overlap save technique on sharp angle plays from above the goal line.
While there has been a lot of negative focus at the past two World Juniors on goalies getting beat short-side high while using a reverse-VH in similar situations, Milic was able to avoid the dreaded #RVHFail hashtag on social media by using a variety of post-integration techniques, including the Reverse. It felt worthy of further discussion, and Milic obliged with a video session over Zoom to review his Overlap use, which we eventually discovered was more of a purposely flattened-out version known as the Panda Post Lock he discovered at InGoal Premium.
Milic walked us through three clips, starting with this defensive zone faceoff against Sweden:
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There is a pretty big exploit with the PANDA (or RVH Overlap as I would call it).
If puck carrier elects to not shoot and drive behind the net to threaten a wrap around, you expose a lot of your back and butt to the puck below the goal line. In that state, the puck can be bounced off you and into the net. The shooters will catch on soon enough.
Todd, I think you’re missing a couple of key points then that separate the Panda from a pure overlap. Your point while definitely something to be mindful of when using it also assumes the goaltender will be static and not read the drive around the net and adjust. Milic himself noted in here that it’s easy enough to adjust and get the foot inside the post when you read the drive behind the net, for example. But again – well worth keeping the dangers in mind so that when you do read the situation you can make the appropriate adjustment.
David, I think this refinement needs to be greatly emphasized if we coach the Panda. Several coaches (Jamie Phillips, Pasco Valana) have recently come out against the Panda, and their perspective is based on Todd’s point. Unfortunately the original introductions of the Panda did not make this point (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lI_-cfZ07kE), which has lead to a lot of confusion and consternation about pucks being bounced off backsides.