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Goaltender–Specific Skating Series: Drill 20 of 20

Goaltender–Specific Skating Series: Drill 20 of 20

Drill #20: Butterfly Wings

We return to the crease for the final drill in this basic goaltender-specific skating series.

The goaltender begins at the goal post. Upon command, they move out to the top of the crease arc and shuffle to the mid-point on an angle consistent with the middle of the net (a cone or puck can be used as a marker).

Upon reaching the cone, the goalie comes to a complete stop. Thereafter, a firm quick butterfly drop is performed. The torso should be upright with no holes visible under either arm. The stick blade should be centered between the pads.

It is preferred if the blade angle is neither too shallow nor positioned too far from the pads. This creates a “ramp-like” effect which often results in pucks deflecting past the goaltender. The head should be flexed somewhat downward.

The post-save recovery begins with the eyes and head turning in tandem followed by rotation of the torso. The hip swivel occurs to turn the body onto the new line of movement towards the post.

The power leg is used to recover to one’s feet and a straight line T-push is usually used to reach the goal-post.

In the case of a possible quick shot on net, many goaltenders will perform the same sequence to the point of the hip swivel but thereafter choose to slide to the post. After much practice, coordinated students cans slide and recover to their feet in one smooth movement sequence.

Upon reaching the goal-post the sequence is repeated in the opposite direction.

The younger the student, the less coordination will be evident. Power with come with years of dedicated training but always keep your movements under control. Young students often want to race through drills. Teach and refine control first followed by power when appropriate muscle memory, improved general athleticism and physical mature are established.

Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

With a strong body and a healthy mind, the possibilities are endless.

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. David

    any reason why these videos aren’t loading for me.

  2. Scott

    Same non-result for me……..

    • David Hutchison

      Do you mean the video? Seems to be a firefox issue as best we can tell.

  3. T Hertz

    I have checked back on a couple of different occasions. On two occasions the video did function but poorly and choppy the first time through, Same problem for several of the other drills!

  4. Ray

    I cannot get any of the videos to play. I have tried IE and firefox and both browsers and computer have all latest updates.

  5. Rick Besharah

    Although I appreciate the drill, I can’t help but notice some technical, and teaching points which may benefit this goaltender and others.

    The Cone Marker
    If simulating a shot from a distance which the goaltender is still standing for upon reaching the top of his crease and prior to a butterfly drop, the goaltender should be looking at a marker which is appropriate for the visualization. This will allow goaltenders to recognize the distance aspect while being centered and square to the marker. My suggestion would be to place the marker outside of the hash marks, preferably centered on the blue line or centered on the ringette line.

    Essential Direct Movements
    You will notice from the video (I exited the page and returned. Then it loaded fine), that the goaltender leaves the post with a weak, double C-cut. Alarmingly, I’ve seen this technique too many times to count. Instead, I would suggest a hard push-hard stop in order to ensure that the goaltender is training with intensity and simulating a real game situation.

    Pushing hard with one foot, and stopping hard with the other will ensure that goaltenders are ready for a quick release, while remaining agile for a quick one-touch pass. If the goaltender applies the straight-legged, coasting “blade-rocker” method seen in the demonstration video, then his training will become counterproductive. Applying proper technique, first and high intensity second is essential for goaltenders to get their game to the next level. Therefore, perfect technique, train hard, efficiently, and effectively, and your hard work and training will pay off in games. Coast during practices, and you will not be able to keep up with the puck’s movement during games.

    Post Position Efficiency
    When located at his blocker-side post, the goaltender is seen placing his stick on an angle to cut off passes through his crease. The same should be done on the glove side when visualizing the puck below the goal line.

    As mentioned in the article, it’s a marathon and not a sprint. Therefore, adjustments should be made upon arriving at both posts. This will ensure consistency in order for the goaltender to become as efficient as possible. Goaltenders who angle their stick in ways which will cut off passes through their crease will benefit from minimizing the threats behind them, enabling them to take away the pass option for about a third of the defensive zone.

    In addition to the stick, the glove is such an underrated tool in this position. Smart hockey players will attempt to saucer the puck over the stick if they have a teammate in position and ready. Goalies should attempt to challenge the pass by turning their open gloves toward the puck cutting off saucer passes before they become scoring opportunities. Avoid the “dead arm” method and use what you have available to you to minimize scoring chances thus becoming a more efficient goaltender, and essential part of the team.