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The best part of watching Carey Price backstopping the Montreal Canadiens on an unexpected playoff run this summer isn’t all the highlight reel saves, at least not here at InGoal Magazine.
For us it’s seeing the staples of his game that have remained constant over 14 years in the NHL, the fine details and foundational elements that contribute to that controlled style and calm demeanor he is again being lauded for as the best goalie in the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
After watching the Canadiens star go through drills and share keys to those movement and positioning details with young kids at the Eli Wilson Goaltending Day with Price since 2015, it’s fun to see some of same elements play out every time he hits the ice in these playoffs. It was also a good reminder we probably haven’t shared them all, so we started going back through two weeks of video to find a few more of those tips from Price. The beauty is they still apply, whether you come up to his waist and are just learning, or are trying to carry your team to the Cup.
We’ll start with a couple of tips on stick positioning when you’re up against the post:
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We’ll share Price’s tips for the blocker side below, but first another couple examples of him sharing similar advice on a different drill that took goalies up against their post in 2016:
Not to hammer on the same point too hard, but Price got into some of the blocker and shooter position specifics a bit more with another goalie in 2016 that’s also worth sharing:
Switching to the other side, Price focuses as much on elbow position as the key to being able to free up the stick, which as you will see here also makes it easier to move properly off that post:
You’ll have to forgive the audio quality in that clip, which is from our initial Day with Price way back in 2015 and before we’d invested in professional grade microphones. The good news is that, just as Price continues to play his blocker side post that way today, his stick- and elbow-position advice to the young goalies at this camp hasn’t changed over the years, and we’ve been able to better capture him delivering that advice in subsequent summer sessions.
This drill is from the 2019 camp and ends with Price hopping in net to show how it’s done:
As fun as it can be to try to follow along and link the year of these Day with Price camps to the various iterations of the CCM EFlex line he’s wearing in each video, you’ll notice the advice — and the crease movements — don’t change much for Price. The importance of that skating and the amount of time he puts into those types of crease movement patterns are both things the Hart, Vezina and Olympic gold medal winner has talked about many times.
“That’s the foundation of it all. It’s something that you have worked on ever since you were a little kid, and it doesn’t change even when you are in the NHL,” Price said in an InGoal article from last spring linking the focus he and Carter Hart place on crease movement patterns. “It’s the building blocks of getting into position and getting set for the next shot.”
In the interest of sharing more examples of those movements and tips from Price as he watches younger goalies performing them, here are a couple longer videos of the Canadiens star demonstrating and coaching drills, first from the 2016 Eli Wilson camp:
And one last one with Price demonstrating the drill that led this off, but this time from the 2015 camp, and another brief sample of him reinforcing the importance of early eyes with the kids:
We added that one because it was also the first time we saw Price use his “kick-out drill on those imaginary post-save recoveries out of the butterfly before pushing to the post. You can read his reasons for doing it that way in the first of these archived Price articles:
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