One of the more deflating feelings for a netminder is letting in a goal they knew should’ve been an easy save. These goals usually happen when a goalie isn’t sharp in their positioning, as all a good shooter needs is a little bit of space for the puck to find the back of the net.
Appearing in a segment on NHL Tonight, New Jersey Devils all-star goaltender Cory Schneider broke down how he protects the posts of the net.
Schneider discussed several scenarios with host Kevin Weekes (a former goalie himself) that would find a netminder needing to protect the short side of the goal. An eight-year NHL veteran, Schneider has his own preferences about leg positioning but offered two examples in the clip.
The first, Schneider’s favoured style of play, is called the VH – the pad closest to the post is vertical (V) and snug right up against it while the other pad is horizontal (H) next to it on the ice. This provides the highest probability of making the save from a bad angle or the short side. Schneider likes to use his pad to seal up the post and uses his glove to remove any top corner threat from a right-handed shooter.
However, if shooter does a cross-ice pass, it takes extra half second from Schneider’s position to get to the other side of the net. He prefers to play the odds in this scenario.
The other technique shown by Schneider is the Reverse-VH. It relies more on the upper body protecting the short side of the net but offers a quicker side-to-side transition. Goalies keep their pad horizontal against the ice and have the skate pushed up against the post. The other pad has the top edge stacked on top of the flat pad already on the ice. Netminders can use their glove and body position to take away the short side. Schneider thinks that this can leave some holes for a shooter but says it allows goalies to use their stick easier and can provide a greater reach close to the net.
Schneider suggests that goalies should start to get into position with either the VH or Reverse-VH once the puck gets just below the faceoff circle or the hashmarks on either side in the defensive zone. The player with the puck will be at a bad angle and not have a lot of room to get a good shot on net.
According to Schneider, the Reverse-VH option is the more popular of the two with his fellow comrades in the NHL. Goalies like Ben Bishop, Jonathan Quick and Tuukka Rask are examples of players who use the Reverse-VH style.