Troy Grosenick went more than six years between NHL starts but as the 31-year-old Wisconsin native showed while making 33 saves in his first start with the Los Angeles Kings this season to backstop a 5-1 win against the Anaheim Ducks, all he needed was another opportunity.
Grosenick, who appeared on the InGoal Radio Podcast after signing with the Kings last summer and again shortly before that start after bouncing back and forth between Edmonton and Los Angeles off waivers, made the most of it in that first start back with Los Angeles. He got another start in the final game of the season against a loaded Colorado Avalanche team that needed a win to clinch the President’s Trophy and home-ice advantage in the playoffs, and while that one didn’t end well (the overmatched Kings lost 5-1), it was loaded with great Grosenick saves.
Those two starts provided more than enough saves and reads to make Grosenick, who finished them with a .922 save percentage, a perfect candidate for Pro Reads. It also helps that he thinks the game well, and is so open about the evolution of both his game and reads, as well as how he might like to do things differently even on plays where he makes the save.
Before we get to his first video breakdowns — and we have two separate rush chances mixed into his first Pro Reads — it’s interesting to hear him explain how different it is in real time.
“There are so many little things going on in front of you that determine what you do but there’s no way for me to actually say all those things in the moment, like that’s why I did this,” said Grosenick. “In the moment, it’s just read-and-react instincts. If I was out there in an NHL game thinking about every save that way, I would be in trouble. It would be paralysis by analysis. When we’re breaking down the video it’s like ‘this is what I saw,’ but in that moment, you can’t break it down like that. It’s literally this is what I see and this is what feels right and this is what I’m doing. I don’t know if it’s like that for every goalie but for me that’s just how it is.”
Just because Grosenick isn’t consciously thinking through every aspect in real time doesn’t mean all those “little things going on in front” aren’t worth thinking about, of course. If anything, it emphasizes the importance of video work, and adds to the relevance of these Pro Reads sessions because it allows you to identify the keys so they become instinctual once you are on the ice. Grosenick still finds new details worth noting while watching the playoffs.
“If you really want to get good at it, there’s little things you can pick up all the time watching,” he said. “You don’t have to be playing to learn and your mind automatically starts to recognize the patterns even if when you’re in the moment you’re not thinking about why.”
With that in mind, let’s get sharing some of the little things Grosenick picks up.
SCENARIO NO. 1
We’re going to share a couple of rush chances by Avalanche forward Joonas Donskoi in that final game of the season. We’ll consider them separately because they were different types of rushes, but wanted to group then together because there were also similarities in how Grosenick managed the chances, especially when it came to patience and glove positioning, and he gets into that more after the second one. But for now, we’ll start with this solo rush:
As Donskoi breaks through a pair of Kings defenders above faceoff circle to face Grosenick, are there any clues you can see that might provide a hint as the whether he’s shooting or could continue to make his way to the net? Does Donskoi being a right-handed shot matter at all? If so, how? Any thoughts on Grosenick’s positioning? Anything you’d do different?
There isn’t a lot to this quick chance on the surface, so we’ll cut straight to the video:
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