Photo: Joel Auerbach//Icon Sportswire
Fans of the InGoal Radio Podcast are already familiar with Florida Panthers goalie Chris Driedger, and an at-times twisting pro path that includes playing in the ECHL two seasons ago before breaking through in the NHL with a .938 save percentage last season.
Driedger was so open and willing to share the lessons he learned along the way, we knew we had to have him back to share more of his on-ice insights in a Pro Reads video breakdown session. Already to a 7-3-2 start with a .920 save percentage for the Panthers this season, the 26-year-old Winnipeg native made time during a recent road trip to do just that, and once again impressed with his thought process and willingness to share it with other goalies.
This is the first of more than a half-dozen segments with Driedger that explain everything from his positioning on the ice to why he now cuts and holds his (much shorter) stick paddle just like playing partner Sergei Bobrovsky. We hope you enjoy them and learn as much as we did.
This starts as a relatively routine five-on-five in-zone play against the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier this season, with the puck moved up to the point and a battle for position in front:
As the D-to-D transfer starts at the point, what do you make of Driedger’s positioning above his crease? As you can see above, it puts him in a positon that creates contact, and while the first instinct might be to shy away from that, can you think of any advantages to being there?
As the play continues, the left defenseman skates down to the top of the circle:
Looking at that photo above, what is the most dangerous threat on the ice you can see? And again, what do you think of Driedger’s positioning well above his crease at this point? Given your assessment of the biggest threat, would you have handled it any different?
Now let’s take a look at the entire sequence, including the save:
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