ProReads with Jake Allen: Understanding Shooters Tendencies

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Today we welcome back Jake Allen for the second of several Pro Reads after the St. Louis Blues stopper sat down with us for more than an hour to review video. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out Allen’s first Pro Reads, which featured multiple deflections through traffic and some sound advice on how to find and choose your lanes around screens.

Like the first Pro Reads segment, this one also involves the Chicago Blackhawks, but this time Allen has to stare down Patrick Kane from a much more dangerous spot on the ice.

​The Scenario

Perhaps the most obvious lesson here — and it’s one repeated prominently in a future Pro Reads with Carter Hart of the Philadelphia Flyers and Cal Peterson of the Los Angeles — is that even at the NHL level goalies can’t afford to relax until the puck is out of their zone. Turnovers happen, as you’ll see in the save video below.

In this case, it leaves Allen facing Kane alone with the puck below the face-off dot. Take a look at what Allen is facing as the Blackhawks superstar receives the puck and tell us what you see as this play quickly develops inside the Blues end? 

Maybe write down, in order, what you think are the most dangerous threats (and why) as the puck arrives on Kane’s stick so you can compare it to what Allen shares with us at the end.

Now take a look at a second freeze frame less than one second later:

Keeping in mind that Kane has yet to turn his head towards, or even glanced at the net or Allen at all, how have your thoughts changed about who is the most dangerous threat?

Knowing what you do about Kane, who has scored 389 goals and recorded 633 assists in 973 career NHL games, are you thinking shot or pass at this point?

The Save

Now let’s take a look at the entire save sequence:

Did that match your expectations based on the freeze frames? Did you expect Kane to shoot or pass from there given he never turned to face, or even look towards, Allen beforehand?

Now let’s listen to Allen break down the video for us, and hear the role that his first-hand knowledge of Kane (he has played the Blackhawks 21 times in his career and is 11-6-4 with an impressive .920 save percentage) played in both his read on whether Kane would shoot or pass, not to mention where he expected that shot to be directed and why he used VH as a result.

Make sure you watch the entire 3-minute breakdown, because as fascinating as it is to hear Allen talk about Kane specifically, it’s his read on the passing threats that really allows him to lock in on the shooter. Watch and compare those to your own breakdown of the threats:

To watch as Allen breaks down his save in this sequence – and what he would do differently, please become an InGoal Member today.

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