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Goalies 101: The Essential Guide To Understanding Position

Goalies 101: The Essential Guide To Understanding Position

There are a number of terms used by the goaltending community that are understood differently by different parts of the hockey community. The differences in usage and meaning can lead to confusion and can make it harder for discussions about goaltending to bear fruit. In some ways, goalies and non goalies are often talking a different language. In an attempt to clarify some of these concepts, InGoal is bringing you Goalies 101, a series that aims to explore how goalies talk about goaltending.

The following articles, all authored by Clare Austin, provide a clear, through overview of indispensable goaltending concepts.

Cutting Down The Angle

There are few concepts more central to the modern discipline of goaltending than angles. If the biggest imperative for goaltenders is to get the core of the body in between the puck and the net, then managing angles is the most effective and efficient way to accomplish that.

Talking About The Butterfly

One of the most commonly misused terms is, ironically, one of the most basic of terms: the butterfly. The butterfly is and has always been a tactic – a save selection used to defend against certain kinds of shots and to put a goaltender into a position where a save can be made.

Rebound Control

Rebound control seems simple on the surface. The concept is straightforward: rebound control is the ability of a goaltender to (a) determine the best place for the puck to go after it hits her and (b) actually put it there. This idea is, I would argue, deceptively simple. So much so that it leads to faulty assumptions about rebounds, what creates them, what controlling them looks like, and – the most critical of all – where the value in rebound control really lies.

Athleticism Isn’t What You Think It Is

One of the phrases almost guaranteed to set a goaltending coach’s teeth on edge is “athletic goalie” or “athletic save.” It’s almost always used in a vague way to refer to saves in which the goaltender has to reach or dive for the puck. It’s seen as a positive attribute, a sign that the goalie is working hard to make the most difficult saves. The more the goalie sprawls, the tougher the chances he or she is thought to have faced