Pro-Gear: Ball machines help NHL and other goaltenders stay sharp

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NHL goalies have been forced to get creative in their efforts to stay sharp while they are unable to get on the ice due to social distancing and stay-at-home orders as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, and for many that means ball-throwing machines to keep their hands active.

It’s become an increasingly common theme among goaltenders talking to reporters on Zoom calls in recent weeks: Jacob Markstrom has added a tennis-ball machine to his training back home in Sweden, and Elvis Merzlikins is planning to buy one for his Columbus apartment.

InGoal had already talked to goalies who use ball-throwing machines to keep their hands sharp every summer, and how that work (and having those machines handy) can benefit them now that the offseason has started mid-season. That includes Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jonathan Bernier, who has used tennis-ball machines for a long time in the offseason with Marco Marciano, goalie coach of the Montreal Canadiens AHL team in Laval.

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Note:  InGoal has no relationship with the company producing this unit and is not being paid in any way to endorse it. That said, if you wish to try one yourself and you use the link below to order it, InGoal would receive a small commission that would help to produce more exclusive goaltending content – and if you find us in the rink some day to tell us about using the machine, we’ll be happy to buy you a coffee and chat goaltending!