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Introducing Overlap Reverse Post-Integration Technique

Introducing Overlap Reverse Post-Integration Technique

By Complete Goaltending Development coaches Charlie McTavish, Paul Schonfelder and Eli Rassi

Overlap REverse Picture 2At every level of the hockey, goalies are using some sort of strategy on extreme angle plays or around the goal line close to the net area that involves positioning on their post, most often referred to now as “post-integration techniques.”

NHL goaltenders like Johnathan Quick, Tuukka Rask, Carey Price, and countless others have made noticeable improvements in this area by working on or adding new techniques to their post-integration technique.

You have already read about the Vertical Horizontal (VH) or One-Knee Down techniques; the Dead-Arm One-Knee Down, which was introduced by former Montreal Canadiens goaltending coach Pierre Groulx in an InGoal Magazine article featuring Carey Price; the Reverse, or Reverse VH, which was broken down by Dallas Stars goalie coach Mike Valley in the same issue; and the Overlap Technique, which was most recently outlined here at by Kory Cooper and Tomas Hertz.

What we have come to learn as coaches is that each technique or tool has its advantages and disadvantages. Additionally, we have learned some goalies feel more comfortable and confident using a particular technique or combination of techniques over any other.

That’s part of the job as a goalie coach that can be the most rewarding: Working with an athlete to find a way to improve their game that is personal to them.

With this in mind, a relatively new concept was borne out of a Complete Development Goaltending (CGD) student looking for a more comfortable post-integration technique that would fit into their overall game strategy. During a summer training session, a BCHL-bound goaltender was working on post-integration drills, specifically during situations where he ended up past or outside the post in a butterfly slide on a backdoor pass. At that point, the goaltender had to catch himself with his lead leg, push back so that his foot cleared the near post, catch himself again with his back skate, push and land the toe-bridge of his pad to the inside of the post, and lean his body over to cover the upper portion of the net on the short side. This type of recovery movement is typically seen when goalies are getting in position to use the Reverse VH technique.

However, this goalie did not feel comfortable or confident that he was sealing the short-side of the net if there was a quick rebound shot. This wasn’t the typical feeling of being uncomfortable when trying something new. The truth is, he was able to perform Reverse VH with his toe-bridge or the boot-area of his pad inside the post, but he just didn’t feel comfortable.

Physically, he felt a lot of discomfort at his hip and knee-area.

Simply put, this particular goaltender has a certain amount of flexibility and range of motion. Where some goalies will go to special off-ice training or seek measures to change their body, it’s not something that everyone has the means to do.

So an opportunity presented itself: How could a goalie integrate a post-play strategy that sealed the ice once they slid slightly past the post on the short side of the net, but enable them to recover to the far side, to their feet, or butterfly slide – all at the same time? The answer is a combination of what Cooper and Hertz wrote about in their article about the Overlap Technique and the Reverse Vertical Horizontal – the Overlap Reverse technique.

Before getting too far along with the Overlap Reverse, it’s important to keep in mind the following:

1. Goaltenders who find certain post-integration techniques uncomfortable might find the Overlap Reverse a more suitable option for their game.

2. It’s designed as a tool to help goaltenders quickly recover and seal the short-side of the net when they push past, or outside, the post.

3. This technique enables goaltenders to regain control quickly and add a post-integration strategy to their game, sealing the short-side of the net and prepared for any immediate shot or pass threat.

4. Hands should remain non-reactive, tight to the body, and positioned outside of the post.

5. This technique is not something that should be considered for plays generating from behind the goal line.

Now let’s take a look at each of these points.

Below, you can see the difference in body positioning when a goaltender slides into the post compared to slightly past the post. There are some goaltenders who are comfortable sliding so that their skate makes contact with the post and their body follows through with a shoulder lean to cover the short side. Some goalie coaches prefer teaching this way, but again, it might not be for everyone.

The goalie on the left slid into the post, while the goalie on the right slid slightly past, or outside the post.

The goalie on the left slid into the post, while the goalie on the right slid slightly past, or outside the post.

The photo on the right is where you would begin to perform the Overlap Reverse post-integration technique. Rather than push back so that the foot clears the near post and into any variation of Reverse Vertical Horizontal (skate blade on post, toe bridge against post, skate boot inside post, or shin area of pad on the inside of the post), goaltenders can catch themselves with the blade of their lead foot, and then whip their leg back so that their heel is positioned slightly outside the post:

With the Overlap Reverse Technique, Kanata Lasers goaltender and CGD student Cole Skinner is positioned with the heel of his skate slightly outside the post, hands tight to his body and non-reactive (block butterfly), and elbows against the post. On the glove side, Cole is showing two options for stick positioning.

With the Overlap Reverse Technique, Kanata Lasers goaltender and CGD student Cole Skinner is positioned with the heel of his skate slightly outside the post, hands tight to his body and non-reactive (block butterfly), and elbows against the post. On the glove side, Cole is showing two options for stick positioning.

A key component of this technique is how the goaltender positions their body against the post.

 Skinner uses the Overlap Reverse on the blocker side.

Skinner uses the Overlap Reverse on the blocker side.

If the goaltender’s pad is positioned horizontal or turned towards the middle of the ice, their rebound will most likely end up towards the middle of the ice. 

However, if the goaltender’s pad is slightly turned towards the back boards and their body is leaned outside and around the post, a quick rebound will end up behind the goal line, thus resulting in a less threatening position.

The videos below of the Overlap Reverse technique demonstrate goaltenders can use it and still:

~ Make a quick save on the short side by placing the back of their foot against the outside of the post and lean their body to cover the upper portion of the short side of the net:

~ Recover to their feet on a pass out or push into butterfly slide:

~ Or push across to stop a wraparound, something we see Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Steve Mason doing against the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 8:

Mason provided another example in the same game for anyone wondering if a goaltender can recover quick enough once they commit to the ice to the far side outside the post:

As you can see, Mason uses the Overlap technique in both situations and was able to recover to make a wrap-around save and a rebound save off the initial shot. He’s executing it in the fastest league in the world.

Our objective with the Overlap Reverse technique is to introduce it as a tool that may help goalies looking for a more comfortable post-integration technique that puts less strain on the knees, hips and ankles. It is not meant to replace or take away from what has been discussed or achieved before. Rather, it should be considered another tool in the goalie toolbox, one that might not be for everyone, but may very well appeal to many.

Charlie McTavish, Paul Schonfelder and Eli Rassi are instructors at Complete Goaltending Development (CGD) in Ottawa. CGD offers on-ice group, semi-private and private training programs, and consulting services for minor hockey associations, for goaltenders at all levels in Ottawa at its training facility in the city’s West end, the Complete Hockey Development Centre. For more information, please visit or

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  1. Bob Burke

    Ummm…the video clips of Mason are identical…

    • Kevin Woodley

      Fixed, sorry admin mistake

    • Shanon Hedgecock

      Bob, your hips are too old for this anyway 😉

  2. Mark O'Byrne

    This makes complete sense and is a far more advance and defined version of what I’ve been experimenting with on my short sides. Can’t wait to give this a go tomorrow night.

    Good clips, great explanations, keep up the good stuff.

  3. josh

    one thing to keep in mind is Mason is 6’4″. He doesn’t have that far to go to seal up the other side on a wrap around. Im 6ft and have trouble getting back around for the wrap around using this technique. I seem to keep getting barely beat on the wrap arounds when i do this.

  4. Rherbst

    I like the reverse VH better because you have your blade on your post and you can push of your post instead of lifting your leg witch takes more time.

    • Matt Archer

      The thing with pushing off the post is that alot of the ice rinks, don’t have post that go deep into the ice. You push hard enough, the net will come loose.

  5. Tyler

    I believe that this technique will not work with small goaltenders like me we have to far to push once the skater makes his move behind the net. I am more of a fan of the VH or the reverse VH, you have great positioning and you remain inside your crease so if you do make a slip up you still have a chance to make a save.

    • Rich

      In my opinion, the reverse VH, the overlap reverse VH, and now this, are not significant technical advancemtns over the original VH. I didn’t buy the arguments that the reverse VH was necessarily superior to standard VH, just that it was different.

      Personally, I think if reverse VH is uncomfortable and you’re less than 6’4″ and not fortunate enough to play and train for hockey professionaly, you should just go to standard VH. As it is, this technique leaves you having to travel a country mile and half to cover backdoor plays and wrap arounds.

      • Richard St-Onge

        The reverse VH is good if you’re late getting over and can’t set up your vertical leg to the post. At least you somewhat close the opening by leaning in a bit until you post up.

        I agree with you, the original and dead-arm VH are more efficient for anyone regardless of height and can be easily taught at all levels (peewee up to be precise). It gives you angle advantage and ample anchorage with the skate to push off and recover and/or reposition yourself.

        • Paul

          I think there’s a reason goalies are going away from using the VH. I find it difficult to react as quickly in and out of the VH as you can using this method. I’m 5’10 and found it is hard to get the wrap around out of the overlap but found it way harder using the reverse VH. I’m not getting beat short side as much! I love this site!!

  6. Richard St-Onge

    If you are reading this Charlie McTavish, I would love to meet up with you and test this approach of yours first hand. I see some issues involved in the process but can only confirm them if I get to apply the exercise.

    Let me know when you’re free and we can meet up at your facility and talk shop. I’m just across the river.


  7. Eli Rassi

    Hi Richard,

    My apologies for the delayed response. We’d be happy to have you come by the facility to talk shop! Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any further questions!


  8. Max

    This technique looks great until you are faced with a back door pass and have nothing to push off of and have to get your outside leg around the post. looks to me that a reverse vh seal would be more effective. if you push the net off you push the net off.

  9. Craig MacDonald

    Good read on an ever growing and expanding part of the game for goaltenders. Many have their reservations with respect to change however I feel that if executed properly, standard VH, Reverse VH and now the overlap, all have their place in the game with distinct advantages. These techniques are suited for the higher level goalie where the speed of the game is the most dominant factor. What are your thoughts on the timing to enter into this position? Is it best to execute this strategy when the game is moving from low out of the corner to the middle of the ice or are you thinking more along the lines of the wrap situation where pucks are trying to be pushed through?

    I personally, and I am no expert, feel that a lot of young goalies get caught up trying to over use these post integration techniques as the play is approaching them off the angle and retreat too soon to find their post giving up their true position in the net. As many have mentioned in their comments, size is a tremendous factor when considering these techniques which leads back to my earlier questions, when is the proper timing to execute?

    Would love to read your thoughts and its great to see a young goalie from the south shore of Nova Scotia featured in an article like this. Atta boy Skinny!

    • Eli Rassi

      Hi Craig,

      Thanks for your comment. Personally, I introduce post-play and post-integration techniques around PeeWee age (This is speaking very generally. There are some Atom-aged goalies who can do this). At the younger levels, there’s not much need for an automatic drop into the posts. Also, I find that at the PeeWee age, goalies are strong enough physically to perform these moves and they’re better able to understand “why” these techniques should be woven into their game.

      Skinny is an unreal kid! It’s been our pleasure getting to know him for the past couple of years.