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Bruins Goaltending Coach Bob Essensa Answers InGoal Reader Questions (Audio)

One of the great things about being a part of the InGoal team is getting the chance to meet and spend time with NHL goaltenders and NHL goalie coaches. We’re all part of the #GoalieUnion and the guys we speak with generally come across as regular guys, generous with their time and happy to chat goaltending with us and with you the goalies who read InGoal. When we chat face to face and bring reader questions we literally pull out the phone and show them the questions on our Facebook page and they get a genuine kick out of the chance to interact with you.

I was lucky enough to spend a bit of time chatting with Bruins goaltending coach Bob Essensa this week and like so many others he was very happy to chat about his craft and answer a few questions that readers left for him on the InGoal Facebook page. One of our goals here is to take you inside the room with us to learn more from the best in the business and we’re thankful Bob would take some time with us.

Bob will be coaching at the end of June in Detroit at an Eli Wilson Goaltending Camp with Eli, Chris Piku and three professional goaltenders, Jeff Glass, CJ Motte & Michael Houser – we published a short piece on the camp this week if you would like to learn more about getting on the ice with Bob and the rest of this talented group.

We present our chat as an audio interview today followed by some notes about when you can find specific questions in the file.

Bob Essensa had a career with seven NHL teams and finished with a 173–176–47 record in 446 career NHL appearances, along with 17 shutouts and a 3.15 GAA Photo credit: Ken DeNardo

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  • 0:00 What is it like working with an NHL goaltender?
  • 1:30 (reader question) What are the key factors you are looking for when you are developing an NHL goaltender?
  • 3:00 (reader question) Is positioning the only thing you can teach an NHL goalie (spoiler alert: No!)
  • 4:10 Bob brought up Gap Control – what does it mean to a goalie?
  • 5:35 Do you play a role in planning for the shootout with the Bruins?
  • 7:00 The game has changed a ton since you played, how do you stay current? (spoiler alert: InGoal Magazine…seriously)

“Well, fortunately I tune in to InGoal Magazine…it’s always interesting to get different coaches’ perspectives and different philosophies.”

Bob Essensa

Goaltending Coach, Boston Bruins

  • 8:45 Do NHL goalie coaches share knowledge? (he speaks of why he likes coaching in the summer at the Eli Wilson Camp)
  • 10:15 (reader question) What’s the most overused tool in the game?
  • 12:00 More on the relationship between goalie and goalie coach at the NHL level
  • 15:20 What is Tuukka Rask like as a person when he isn’t on the ice?
  • 16:55 (reader question) What do you think about the gear changes that are coming?
  • 18:10 Do you have a role in the Bruin goalies’ summer development?
  • 20:00 (reader question) How do beer league goalies get recognized by an NHL team? (tongue in cheek of course but it lead nicely to talking about BHL goalies being welcome in their summer camps.
  • 20:55 Bob talks about the Eli Wilson Camp in Detroit he will be coaching at.

In the coming weeks and months we’ll bring you inside as we chat with more pros. Stay tuned!


Bob talks about working with NHL goaltenders as well as Tuukka’s post integration technique. Scott Slingsby Image.

You’re never too old to learn! 49 year old BHL goalie with Bob Essensa at camp in Detroit last summer. Photo courtesy Chris Piku.

About The Author

David Hutchison

David is one of the founders of InGoal Magazine which he began in 2009. Of course he finds time for some goaltending of his own as well, and despite his age, clings desperately to the idea that some NHL team will call him to play for them - though in his mid-forties (OK, late 40s) it'll likely be for a practice when everyone else on their depth chart has the flu and the shooter tutor has gone in for repairs.

1 Comment

  1. David Polombo

    Great to hear Bob mention Brian Daccord over at the PAD. My son has been attending their clinics for the past few years. I cannot think of any other camp I would want him to attend.