A tactic is a strategy. A strategy is used to mitigate the risk of attack. A tactic is made up of individual skills which when assembled form a strategic response. Developing a strategy for different situations, and the ability to recognize and anticipate them developing, is a crucial step in the development of a goaltenders game. This issue we will cover tactical responses to net play: Walkouts  


Walkouts, like wraparounds, require the same initial fundamentals (post coverage and tracking skills). Beyond this, since the attacker has walked the puck off the goal line, the puck can now be shot low or high. This occurs due to the shooter's improved body position. The goalie must now worry about all shot locations. In order to establish the required coverage, the goalie must rotate off the post. This allows for a square, compact position, thus maximizing the goalie's coverage. Therefore, as the player walks out, the goalie rotates off the post. This rotation brings the goalie square. Next, the goalie must separate from the post. This means that as the rotation occurs, the goalie wants to move off the post. By moving off the post, the goalie is able to drop to a butterfly if necessary. The problem with staying on the post is that when the goalie drops, the body is pushed away from the post leaving the short side exposed. By separating from the post, the goalie cannot only drop to fully cover the net but can remain square and on angle. In turn this will provide for a stronger level of rebound control and consistency of controlling the shot to the same side of the ice. Sometimes, the goalie will drop to a lead leg down position out of fear for the nearside jam. This is alright provided the goalie can rotate while down. Also, it is often beneficial, once rotated, to shift from a lead leg down position to a butterfly position due to the increased vertical coverage. If still against the post in this case, the goalie should lean high towards the post with the upper body to secure short-side coverage.  


On a walkout, the goalie must track the puck properly and be strong on the posts. While doing so the goaltender must notify their own personal anchors of the ice and understand positionally where the player has the puck and how much time the goaltender has to respond to the shot. Furthermore, the goalie must be able to rotate square, separate from the post and use a butterfly effectively to block the net.


Small intricacies on reading the players approach out of the corners are important. For example, understanding the handedness of the players stick will help provide you with more pateince and a stronger understanding on how long you will have to hold your post for. Early eyes out of a quite zone is essential. Honoring the puck-carrier while being aware of the approaching threats is important. Preparing for the oncoming attack early helps create a balanced read that slows the situation down mentally for the goaltender.  

Goaltender Development # 1:

Transferring this breakdown to a practice, a goaltender can first develop this by having consistency within their nearside movements. It is key to have strong skate adjustments. For example, the drill below shows a basic movement pattern based around nearside positioning and behind the net tracking. 1. Goaltender steps out to nearside position facing the outside hashmarks 2. Goaltender drops down into a Narrow Butterfly and then proceeds with a backside recovery to the same initial starting position 3. Adjustment  is made to open up a window between the goaltenders body and the post (1st Net Third) 4. Goaltender separates from the post with a wide shuffles to the middle of the net (2nd Net Third) 5. Final step leads into post integration on the opposite side (3rd Net Third) The first movement must have a strong and accurate backside edge and lead leg adjustment that moves into an efficient positional adjustment of the goaltenders body. In order to establish coverage the goalie must rotate off the post, which in turn will allow for a square, compact position, thus maximizing the goalie's coverage. Therefore, as the player walks out, the goalie rotates off the post. This rotation brings the goalie square.  

Goaltender Development # 2:

Now, after the first 5-10 minutes of completing 2-3 different position specific movement patterns that revolve around Nearside Adjustments, a goaltender will then be ready for game-simulated drills in a practice. First off, one of the easiest ways to engage a goaltender in a practice is to have drills with high variability. Realistic game activity through game-simulated drills will improve performance due to the variability of situational characteristics involved. Compared to a blocked context where goaltenders have a pre-determined notion of what is about to happen, the variability will create a strong transfer from practice to games in building a goaltender’s mindset properly. High variability drills can be as simple as two to three passing options initiated from a player off of the boards. The importance in having the drill be effective for the goaltender revolves around the complexity of puck movement and varied attack options within that approach.  

GDI Drill Example:

1. Drill begins with Goaltender facing the X1 at the top of the crease 2. X1 passes the puck to X2 and G t-pushes to the post and faces X2 3. X2 proceeds to turn up ice and above the goal line 4. X2 makes a deceptive move around the cone to release a quick shot on net 5. Variables can be added to the approach of X2 who can also move tight to the post or along the goal line forcing the goaltender to hold his post 6. X2 will rotate after each repetition    

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