Introducing Overlap Reverse Post-Integration Technique
By Complete Goaltending Development coaches Charlie McTavish, Paul Schonfelder and Eli Rassi
At 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 InGoalMag.com 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 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:
A key component of this technique is how the goaltender positions their body against the post.
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 www.chdcentre.com or www.cgdgoalies.com