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Look Beyond the Obvious


(Before I begin, I want to emphasize that none of what I describe below is possible without the use of video) 

There is a saying, “Things are not always what they seem.”  And, sometimes, this is exactly true. But most times it isn’t. Because what we see in a game; a goal scored, a bad play read or a poorly executed save selection is a “result”. And, if we really want to understand THE WHY, we should dig a little deeper or else we just might head off in the wrong direction attempting to make a correction to one thing where the answer might lie elsewhere.  
Here is one example from a game situation. 
Odd man rush 2 on 1 defender.  Both offensive players in their respective wall lanes just outside the dots. Puck carrier makes a pass to his partner when the partner reaches a point in line with the face off dot on his side. Defender sprawls to intercept the pass but the pass is completed. The weak side player receives the pass & releases a wrist shot on net. The goaltender t-pushes over to gain position on the shooter & moves to a BF on the shot release. But the shot goes off the goaltender’s blocker & into the net. 

Good goal? Bad goal? Stoppable? Not stoppable? 

Let us work backwards & look at a few things (or combination of things) that could have happened in this scenario to cause the goal. 

  • Did the goaltender arrive “on time” & feet set, squared to the shot & positioned at a reasonable depth, on angle & in a “shot ready” position (similar details if a lateral slide is chosen) when the shot was released?  

  • If that wasn’t the issue, then perhaps it was a poor release read or maybe just a good shot. 

  • If the goaltender didn’t arrive “on time” was it because the goaltender’s direction across the crease wasn’t an “angle first” path which would allow the goaltender to arrive at angle quicker? (Was the goaltender late by attempting to gain angle and depth in the one movement?) 

What about the goaltender’s actions prior to the pass?

  • Was the goaltender’s depth overaggressive based on the situation making it impossible to cover the required distance in time to challenge the shot? 

  • Was the goaltender’s feet set as the puck carrier approached preventing backward flow & so natural momentum couldn’t be used to pivot effectively into a strong lateral push or slide to the new puck location? 

  • Or, as the puck carrier approached, was the goaltender already in a wide, “shot ready” stance thereby limiting the ability to produce a powerful push off & generate speed across the crease? 

I am sure there are a couple of other teaching points I missed, but the point is, when we dive little deeper & BEYOND THE OBVIOUS, things might become much clearer & not be as they appear at first.

The "Separator" - Details
All Shots on Goal ARE NOT Equal

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