The Mouse Trap Trapper
I was recently asked to assess a Minor Midget ‘AAA’ goaltender who was deemed to be struggling by his coach. One of the things I found flawed in his game is something I refer to as THE MOUSE TRAP TRAPPER. I will discuss this very briefly as a technical tip to developing goaltenders.
There are numerous variations that one will encounter as a goaltending observer with respect to the location of the goalie’s trapper while in the ready stance or set position. This varies based not only on the personal preference of the goaltender but also on the instructors with whom said goaltender has trained, and the philosophy of different goaltending schools.
Photo #1 reveals what I believe to be a reasonable approach to the trapper position:
There are certain principles which I believe must be adhered to including the following: (1) The trapper hand must be held out in front of the body. (2) The trapper must actually be open to catch the puck. (3) The trapper , just like the rest of the goaltender, must be square to the attack and (4) it should be angled slightly downward (i.e., closed) from the top to the bottom. The final point hopefully means that the puck (if not caught) will drop down in front of the goaltender and not deflect upward and potentially into the net.
This leads us to The Mouse Trap trapper.
Photo #2 shows how the goaltender I assessed was holding the trapper with the arm far away from the body (opening up the 6th hole) and the pocket facing the ice surface. You want the pocket facing the shooter and covering some net surface area.
If you have the pocket facing the ice surface you will require an additional small move and added time to get the pocket in position to catch the projectile. I refer to it as the mouse trap trapper because it reminds me of the children’s board game ‘Mouse Trap’ where the net comes down over the mouse as it runs around the board. The positioning actually looks impressive when you see it and the goalie looks intense but image is NOT what stops pucks. It is sound technique and a great competitive spirit.
In conclusion, you will see goaltenders of all ages and abilities holding their trapper in many different positions. We all remember the photographs of Gump Worsley or Johnny Bower holding their trapper beside their pad below knee level. THE MOUSE TRAP TRAPPER is but another trapper location variant but I just don’t see it being a sound technical approach.
Copyright 2011 Tomas Hertz, MD,BA