Linus Ullmark Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire

Linus Ullmark has been the best goalie in the NHL this season and part of that rise has been his belated embrace of “recoil,” a philosophy of purposefully retreating, even on in-zone play, that he and Boston Bruins goaltending coach Bob Essensa recently explained to InGoal Magazine.

You can read more on “recoil” from Ullmark, Essensa and Jeremy Swayman here:

Bruins Ullmark Adds ‘Recoil’ in Breakout Season

Given that article, it only seemed fitting that this week’s Pro Reads featured Ullmark and at least one example of how he uses that little bit of backwards flow in a game situation.


After walking us through breakaway chances in his first two Pro Reads, this time Ullmark is facing what starts as a rush chance against the New York Islanders but becomes more of a settled in-zone play when the puck is moved back up to a shooter atop the faceoff circle:

Looking at that photo, who are you treating as the primary threat at this point?

What do you make of Ullmark’s positioning with heels atop the crease?


Because this starts as a rush chance, let’s go right to the video to get a feel for flow and speed:

There are several parts to this breakdown, including how Ullmark reads the initial rush, his depth and flow decisions on the shooter in the moment pictured above, and of course the recovery to his feet on the second chance opportunity that results on the other side?

Of course, we’ve already set this up as being about that little bit of backwards flow Ullmark generates on the initial shooter as he loads up, so what did you think of it?


In fairness, it may not be the perfect example because of the rush nature of this chance initially, but let’s hear how Ullmark approached it in terms of that “recoil” and the rest of his decision-making process, which certainly shouldn’t get lost in our focus on the flow part of this.

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