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Four years ago, InGoal Magazine’s own Paul Campbell came up with the brilliant idea to declare November 1 International Goalie Day in honour of Jacque Plante’s definitive contribution to goaltending, and since then we’ve tried to find unique ways to mark this special occasion.
In honour of Plante’s definitive contribution to goaltending, November 1st each year is hereby decreed Goalie Day https://t.co/kwe2IyIEFR
— InGoal Magazine (@InGoalMedia) November 1, 2017
Last year, Campbell confronted our mortality between the pipes through the experiences of someone who has done everything he can to push back the clock and keep kicking them out, good friend of InGoal and inspiration to aging goalies everywhere, Chris Mottola.
This year we decided to spread a little goalie goodwill to celebrate the day, by unlocking some of our favourite InGoal Premium stories for goalies to read for free all over the world.
This is just a sampling of nearly 500 stories we’ve published for InGoal Premium Members since switching to a subscription website almost two years ago, and they are full of insights and expertise directly from some of the best goalies and goaltending coaches in the NHL and beyond, so we wanted to open things up for more of the goalie union to enjoy.
Carey Price introduces us to the potential of Pro Reads
It only makes sense to start at the beginning for what has quickly become our most popular feature at InGoal, the weekly Pro Reads featuring NHL goalies breaking down video of themselves making saves and sharing the insights and details that led them to play each situation the way they did, or to make specific save selections. It was an idea we’d been kicking around for a few years, and we knew it was a good one when we sat down with Carey Price as the guinea pig for this little puck-stopping experiment and our first ever Pro Reads.
Sharing mistakes helps goalies grow
The amount of detail Price shared in that first session has spilled over into video breakdowns with dozens of NHL goalies since then, and close to 100 Pro Reads overall featuring names at the top of the NHL goalie rankings right now, including Frederik Andersen, Craig Anderson, James Reimer, insightful veterans like Jake Allen, Devan Dubnyk and Jonathan Bernier, as well as rising stars like Chris Driedger, Joey Daccord, Eric Comrie, Cal Petersen, Alex Nedeljkovic and Carter Hart, who was one of the first to add another layer by pointing out what he would have liked to do differently on a specific save, and really breaking down the technical elements as well as reading opponents and how to look for signs about what is coming next.
In this case, Hart talks about counter-rotation in his movement on a backdoor save:
On-ice instruction from the best …
As important as every NHL goalie will tell you video work is to getting better, nothing beats getting on the ice and working on your game, and InGoal has the good fortune to get out there with some of the best to watch them work on a variety of elements, and we’ve built the kind of relationships that allow the goalies and coaches to feel comfortable sharing insights into what they are working on in specific drills. Between our Pro Drills and Pro Tips sections at InGoal Premium, there are over 100 such instructions sessions on a variety of topics.
Let’s lead this off the same way we did with Pro Reads and take you onto the ice with Carey Price at an annual camp we did with the Montreal Canadiens star and Eli Wilson Goaltending schools. There’s more than a dozen tips and drills from these day-long sessions already up at InGoal Premium, and more to come, but this is a great example of the type of simple advice Price delivers, tips that you could see him applying to his game in the Stanley Cup Final:
Price also spent time going over (and demonstrating) proper butterfly recovery mechanics:
We also spent time on the ice in Florida with future Hall of Famer Roberto Luongo before he retired, and that led to a handful of video sessions and articles with Luongo, Panthers goaltending coach Rob Tallas, and then Florida backup James Reimer. Hearing Luongo review how he uses “windows” to manage plays behind the net was one of the takeaway articles:
We also got some time on the ice with Reimer and Tallas at the annual NET360 camp, and that included some great video sessions with Tallas on the re-emergence of paddle down techniques, especially on wraparounds and players walking out from behind the net:
Tallas, Reimer and paddle down to defend wraparounds
Of course, there’s more to great goalies than just technique, and 40-year-old Craig Anderson continues to show this season with the Buffalo Sabres that the ability to read the game and releases is still a huge part of having success. The good news is Anderson has shared some of his secrets to reading those shots, a skill former playing partners like Chris Driedger and Robin Lehner has lauded as the best in the game and big helps to their own development, with InGoal. This article contains some great practice advice on how to get better at it:
Puck handling can also be a big difference maker for goalies trying to stand out and move up the ranks, so you’ll be happy to know we got to spend an hour on the ice this summer with one of the best at it, Mike Smith. The result was a four-part series of advice and instruction that included drills to improve your puck-handling, and the skating moves to facilitate it:
Another big part of getting better is making the most of your time on the ice, a lesson that applies to puck handling, and advice we’ve shared from greats like Martin Brodeur, but it’s also nice when you can improve other parts of your game without needing a goalie coach – or even shooters – to help you out. For that we turn to Vancouver Canucks prospect Mikey DiPietro, and a simple 3-puck retention drill that could save you four or five goals per season:
Of course, a lot goes into being a goaltender before we even get onto the ice, and InGoal has you covered there too, including advice for training your eyes, brain and body, as well as warm–ups before and after you get onto the ice. We’ll start with an on-ice movement warm up featuring Winnipeg Jets star Connor Hellebuyck and then backup Laurent Brossoit:
We also try to take a monthly look at the drills that various NHL goalies and teams use to get ready to play during morning skates, like this one with Thatcher Demko and Ian Clark:
Off the ice, we’ve got advice from some of the best trainers in the game, including Maria Mountain sharing a great warm-up designed to help goalies avoid injury:
We’ve also run off-ice training series with goalie and author Devan McConnell, who used to work with the New Jersey Devils and is now with the Arizona Coyotes, and a variety of different series with Adam Francilia, who is a goalie consultant with the San Jose Sharks, and counts Hellebuyck, Smith, Reimer and Brossoit among his dozen-plus NHL contracted clients. That includes a 6-part counter-rotation series that is summed up nicely here:
InGoal has also shared mental game tips from John Stevenson and Pete Fry, including this one designed to teach anyone to juggle in just 10 minutes:
And while our equipment reviews are always unlocked for everyone to read, InGoal does keep some specific gear advice from the pros for Premium Members, including Price explain his toe tie set up, and this video of Price sharing the specifics of how he tapes up his stick and why:
Enjoy those articles for free as we all celebrate International Goalie Day, and if you want to see more, remember an annual InGoal Premium subscription unlocks all of the nearly 500 articles that we’ve already published, plus the new stories and videos unveiled each week.
Happy Goalie Day everyone!
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