Goaltender–Specific Skating Series: Drill 15 of 20
Drill 15: Lateral Feed – Butterfly Slide
In this drill most of the teaching points remain the same as Drill 14, with one key difference: the goaltender’s decision to slide across the ice subsequent to the lateral feed.
The author teaches this particular approach when the feed is made successfully below the top of the circles. The distance from the puck carrier to the net is reduced, making it more difficult for a goaltender to beat the pass and arrive at the desired location with angle and depth if they stay on their feet.
A goaltender that plays deeper in the crease may not have to change their approach until the play is even lower in the zone, since the distance to cover is reduced. The principle in playing deeper in the net – like Henrik Lundqvist, for example – is minimal movement is required to establish angle while acknowledging that some depth is sacrificed at this expense. This is commonly seen when trying to kill a penalty.
Quicker reflexes and reactionary skills may be required when playing deeper, but the shorter lateral distance can also mean goalies that start from a more conservative depth don’t require backwards flow or momentum builds – like the reverse C-cuts in the video – it they do slide across.
If the goaltender decides on a butterfly slide a line must be taken that establishes angle with some degree of depth as soon as possible.
The goaltender chooses the slide for the purposes of taking away goals along the ice if a quick release is taken. Naturally, this does not mean that the shot may be on a trajectory to the top part of the net. In fact, many beautiful quick-release goals are scored to the upper portion of the net on a 2-on-1. The possibility of a “cut-back deke” also exists and was discussed in a previous article.
If you slide across the ice you will hopefully not let anything soft past you along, or just off, the ice. The goaltender should therefore be ready to react and hopefully stop shots to the upper half of the net.
With modern goaltender training, many goalies are so efficient with their slides that they choose to slide almost everywhere instead of using the pivot – T-push combination. This will be discussed a bit more in the next couple of drills but whatever makes a goaltender most successful is the correct course of action for that individual. As always, never impose your doctrine on a student, but provide options, explanations and find out what works best for each student in a given situation.