Goaltender–Specific Skating Series: Drill 14 of 20
Drill 14: Lateral Feed T-push
This crease-specific movement pattern basically mimics what the goaltender may do on a 2-on-1 rush with a cross-ice pass.
How far out or how deep in the blue paint the goaltender is initially positioned and begins this sequence of movements are debatable questions that likely depend on both the goalie’s individual skating skills and how his team prefers to play the situation.
If the lateral feed occurs at or above the top of the circle, goaltenders should be able to stay on their feet and T-push across.
For this drill, the goaltender begins at a position slightly beyond the blue paint squared up to a small cone.
Two backward C-cuts are employed to generate adequate backwards momentum. The second C-cut actually becomes a pivot to open the goaltender’s body to a new direction of movement.
The goaltender’s eyes and head should already have turned to what has now become the strong side with a pass.
The goaltender leans into the T-push leading, as always, with the hands and the stick.
The goaltender once again comes through the middle of the crease so that the appropriate angle is attained as soon as possible. However, with a lateral pass from that far out above the top of the face-off circles, if the goaltender is certain they can beat the pass to that second save position then some coaches teach a straight line across from one save position to the next, rather than subtly prioritizing angle in this movement.
At this point in a competitive situation the goaltender will hopefully be set in his stance for an oncoming shot. The likelihood of this improves with excellent lateral movement, anticipatory skills and a delayed release on the part of the shooter.
In the drill, the goaltender may briefly stop and then advance a couple of C-cuts forward toward the cone. Thereafter, the sequence of movements repeats itself in the opposite direction.
Six to eight cross-crease T-pushes is usually sufficient for one set.
The issue of how to generate backward momentum is debatable.
As the viewer sees in the video segment, two C-cuts are utilized by the demonstrating goaltender. The skate towards the boards always moves first, followed by the inside foot which executes the all-important pivot. This is, however, a two-move process.
Some coaches teach students to employ merely one C-cut (the pivot) to save time. You must however be able to generate enough momentum and power to get across the crease efficiently on a lateral feed.
A mature goaltender, starting slightly deeper than in the video segment, should be able to move successfully into position with one C-cut only. The pivot is made with the glide skate and the T-push is thereafter executed. As always, different options exist.