Thatcher Demko has been exceptional his first nine Pro Reads, explaining how he sees the game and chooses depth, save selections and post integrations based on a variety of factors. The Vancouver Canucks No. 1 has also done a great job explaining some of his technical foundations within these save breakdowns, including some elements unique to working Ian Clark, and that continues in his latest video session with a look at what they call Zig-Zag Recovery.


This is actually a two-part breakdown that will later include a screen play, continuing the theme from his last Pro Reads installment, but it starts with a rush shot that is deflected by his sliding defenseman, resulting in a loose puck below the goal line and a recovery in tight:

With the puck below the goal line, then San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns (yes, this save clip is two seasons old) most likely to retrieve it, and a second threat on the backside, what is your next move as a goalie at this point? How are you recovering to that post?

Are you getting back to your skates or staying down? Are you swinging into a Reverse?

Let’s keep it even simpler: Are you making that move with your right or left skate?

While Demko’s answers to those questions (below) are most likely to become the focus of this Pro Reads, lets continue onto the impending screen and his sightline decisions:

Reflecting back to Demko’s screen breakdown in his previous Pro Reads, what factors do you think he is considering while trying to pick a side around this screen to see the release?


Now let’s see how Demko managed both situations:

Were you surprised to see Demko recover with his right skate on that initial rush rebound?

Would you have planted your left skate and swung into a reverse, with the right skate going back to the post instead? What factors do you think might go into that decision to use a two-piece recovery in Reverse rather than swinging into Reverse in a more traditional method?

Does anything else stand out about the way he handled that play, or the ensuing screen?


Now let’s hear how Demko saw both parts of this sequence:

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Would you like more details on the “Zig-Zag?” Minnesota Wild development coach Richard Bachman explains its use with Vancouver Giant Matthew Hutchison in this video from the NET360 camp.

ProTips #2 with Richard Bachman


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