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When it comes to getting ready to play, Los Angeles Kings puck-stopping prospect Matt Villalta has moved away from the static shooting drills that so many professional goalies begin their game days with, instead mixing in a series of shooting and movements into his warm-up.
Villalta and Kings goaltending development coach Matt Millar reviewed video of their game-day routine after a recent game with the Ontario Reign in the American Hockey League.
“I used to do warm-ups starting off with just hands, a stationary shooter, the routine everybody does but I feel like you can kind of just go through the motions, you can catch it easy, right?” Villalta explained. “So, I feel like incorporating a little more movement, getting a stick rotation in, really tracking down on the puck as a first drill, getting a little sweaty and then incorporating a few hand shots into the drill too. I feel like that kind of gets me going a little bit, get a sweat going, feel the puck a little bit more than you would with just stationary shooting.”
It’s a two-part warm-up that begins with two shooters positioned in the high slot, just inside the faceoff circle. The first shot is along the ice for a stick save, and Villalta follows the rebound into his post on that side, then recovers up to the middle for a shot from the opposite shooter:
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