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Goaltender Specific Skating Series: Drill 12 of 20

Goaltender Specific Skating Series: Drill 12 of 20

DRILL 12: Three Point Star

Hertz Crease Movement Drill 12In this drill the goaltender begins at the goalpost, and three cones or pucks are positioned at various points around the crease arc, just beyond the blue paint.

The cones, or pucks, are usually positioned at the corner of the crease closest to the goaltender, the arc midpoint and on a line consistent with the far side faceoff dot.

The goaltender begins with a long shuffle to the first cone and back to the post. From there, T-pushes are used to move back and forth to the other two cones. The goaltender comes to a complete stop in a set stance prior to returning to the goalpost.

Move on a slightly curved lined out from the post to the target to achieve angle and depth. Return to the post on a straight line.

If executed with precision and intensity, performing the pattern three times is sufficient. As always, head rotation, eye movements, a leading stick blade, glove positioning, an upright torso and skate pivots are all components of the drill.

Stop the student at any time to point our errors in mechanics you believe are below standard based on your personal teaching principles and approach. You can also use an iPad to videotape both mechanical and tactical drills for immediate feedback to point out errors.

You can read all the skating drills and other great content from Tomas Hertz here.

About The Author

Tomas Hertz, MD BA

Tomas Hertz has been a contributing author to InGoal Magazine since 2010. He operated  "No Holes, No Goals Goaltending" in Kingston, Ontario for a decade and worked with developing goalies in the G.K.M.H.A. and K.A.M.H.A. He remains active as a timekeeper in the O.M.H.A. - O.W.H.A., the O.J.H.L. (Kingston Voyageurs), and the O.U.A.A. (R.M.C. Palladins). 


  1. Mitch

    I’m still confused as to how moving on a curved line gets you to your target faster than traveling on a straight line? The shortest path to a target is a straight line, not a curved one.

    • David Hutchison

      Mitch, he’s not suggesting it’s faster. He’s saying it puts you in the middle of the net faster – then take depth. If the shot comes sooner than you calculated, you’ll be mid-net and in a better position to stop the puck, not still coming across. Angle first, depth second, is the principle. Obviously not everyone agrees – but many coaches, including NHL goalie coaches, teach this principle.

      • Steve McKichan

        Which NHL goalie coaches?

    • Mike Thompson

      Mitch, it’s also important to realize that you don’t gain good coverage when you move in a straight line until you arrive at your stop point. You’re showing unbalanced areas of the net right up until you get to the point you’re skating to. However, if your line of travel has the emphasis toward angle (the curved line mentioned) you have good, balanced net coverage throughout the entire move and you are taking away more and more space as you move out as your depth increases. The way I always explain it is you’re taking away net by prioritizing angle and then you’re taking away MORE net by moving out, on angle, with increased depth.

      • Steve McKichan

        99% of the time you arrive at your target position well before a shot is enroute. If you have any semblance of game reading ability and intelligent anticipation.

        Watch any overhead camera of an NHL goalie and study every save they make. They are at the final target position and set BEFORE the shot is released.

        So in all bit the rarest of cases where a goalie got a late jump or a poor read, thanking the straight line is the most efficient.

        I can not make this any more clear.

        You curve guys act like ever shot on net catches you deep and off angle.

        If you need to resort to curve movement your biggest problem is you have no play reading ability or rudimentary skating skills.

        Before anyone attempts to refute this, select any NHL goalie and watch a complete game using the NHL over net feed.
        In a dominating majority of the cases the goalies feet are set and they are waiting for the shot AFTER arriving at their positional target completing straight line movement.

        Please quote any goalie who has actually played in the NHL who believes this……….. : )

        • Magnus Olsson

          Hi Steve, I’m also a fan of the straight lines. Where can you get a whole game overhead coverage?

          • Steve McKichan

            I believe the NHL vault or one of their subscription services has this.
            You will notice no one is listing actual NHL goalies or identifying NHL goalie coaches that teach or believe in this.

        • Rick Besharah

          I’m with you on this one Steve. A straight line is always the more direct path to take. The theory that taking an indirect route to find the middle of the net, and then coasting out to gain depth, is one that’s been baffling me for a couple of years now.

          In my opinion, teaching indirect movements to young goalies is doing them more harm than good.

          Direct movements applied through pushing hard and stopping hard ensure that goaltenders arrive on time and ready for shots while maintaining their agility for quick one-touch passes.

          Teaching anything other than direct/straight line movements for this exercise is counterproductive.