What are your intentions prior to a shot? What do you feel? What are you actually executing?

 If there was ever a goaltender that could make every save out of the butterfly, it’s Connor Hellebuyck. He is 6’4”, has a huge frame and exceptional tracking.  In both instances in the clip the shooter shoots high and Hellebuyck make the save not out of the traditional butterfly.

There are so many influencers (or reads) that go into making any save from routine to highlight reel. For the purposes of this article we are going to focus the final component, the actual release and the actual point of save.

How a goalie feels prior to a shot is very important. In both situations we see Hellebuyck enter an athletic body position and utilize a small drift back. He is on his angle and his eyes are down on the puck. All of this helps his poise prior to the release. In goaltending poise and patience are words that get used interchangeably, that is wrong. Anyone can have patience… just stand there and wait; you don’t necessarily have to do anything. Whereas, poise for us as goalies is the combination of three things: skill, patience and the confidence to execute on the skill. There are many goalies that have 2 of those 3. The goalies that can consistently act on all 3 are at the highest levels.

Hellebuyck’s intention is clear on both plays, make the save. However, too often a goaltender’s intention is to butterfly then figure out the save as he or she is going down. Versus having the intention of doing what’s best to make this particular save and having the poise AND guts to act on it. Which is how and why Hellebuyck is so successful in these two situations.

Goaltenders have always been coached to wait for the shot to be released. Just saying that is not enough. Be sure to build skill, practice patience, execute and have the guts to fail in your execution if it leads to learning. The sum of these parts will build confidence, which leads to poise.