While Issue 4 covered the trapper while standing up, this issue will look at using the trapper while down.


While a lot of goalies are making the switch to the new style of holding the glove when they're on their feet, very few are using this style when they go down, yet there are some real benefits to be had from doing this. Most of the time, when goalies go down in the old style, the glove goes down as well, often getting buried on top of the pad where it doesn't offer very good coverage.

Above, when the glove is sitting low - on top of the pad and farther back, it leaves a lot of room up top. Below are some video clips showing the same idea.








Above is a puck view of a goalie in the butterfly (far left is a top view of where the puck is). His glove is more open than most goalies' and he's more erect - he's up on his legs and his chest isn't bent too much.

You know how forwards feel about open top corners - they love them, so, even based on this, I would prefer the new style, but this can be improved. Frankly, that's not a stance many goalies actually use during a game. If you can be on your knees and straight up like that, then it would be great, but when you go down, you sort of sit down a bit more, so that your upper body is lower

This is more realistic. There is still a lot of room to shoot for, but I find that the danger is usually below the glove. Very rarely do I have a puck go in over my glove.

One big advantage of this style is that the glove can be more active if you practice moving it around. It's not pinned on top of your pad, and you can easily move it in or out, up or down, and when you get good, you can focus it on the area it looks like the shooter will go.


Trapper movement with the traditional style can be difficult, because the Quebec butterfly style aims for a tight seal between the arms and the body. It does that very well, but it also pins the arms. This makes it hard to move them because you are squeezing them into your body, while movement requires the opposite motion.

Because of pinning the arms, it takes a little longer to get things moving, and when they do, it's a big, all-arm motion, hinging from the shoulders and the elbows. If you don't get them moving, you end up up with a muted, ineffectual upward nudge of the hand or elbow.



With the new style, it's very easy to bring the arm in to create that seal between the arm and body. Of course, that pins the arms a bit, though not as much as the old style, and the forearm and wrist are free to move. Besides, the movement required will not be all that big. I have rarely had a puck go over my glove with this style. The main motion will be to cover below the glove, which is a smallish snapping motion, nothing close to the big arm movement of the other style. There's some video of me using this style below.











So how much more net do you cover by leaning your trapper forward, as opposed to holding it straight up and down? The drawing to the right gives an idea. Both squares are the same size, but the green one leans forward to line up with the puck, and by doing this, it covers a bit more net.


Above, it's a gain of an inch or two, but that can make a big difference, and if you're out more, it covers more. And if you've got your glove out as well, it can make a really big difference.

Also, it's a little easier on your hand. Leaning your hand forward is a natural move involving little or no bending back at the wrist, whereas, keeping the glove straight up and down involves a bending back of the hand that can become tiring and painful - try it.



glove in the old style


glove in the new style

To the left are two more Flash pieces, similar to the ones on the last trapper page, on glove height while down.

To the right is a very simple drill - going down in the butterfly while keeping the glove up.





The split butterfly can be a ton of trouble. If you don't practice it to get your timing and positioning just right, you'll get scored on a whole lot because of all the holes the move can have. I think you see more bad goals with the split-butterfly than any other move. Perhaps its biggest problem is trapper position when the play is on your trapper side.


If you use the split butterfly with the trapper in the traditional position - down by your waist, it's going to get stuck behind the pad (far left).

Not only will this expose the top corner, but it becomes very difficult to move the trapper to cover that corner - it's as awkward as reaching around to the back seat of a car (left).











For a while, the paddle down was in fashion, but I'm no big fan of the move. If you use it too much, you'll get beat over the blocker a lot. Also, as you can see, the trapper has the same problem of being almost incapacitated.


With the butterfly, goalies can use either the traditional or the new trapper style, but with the split butterfly, you really don't have a choice. You have to use the new style if you're going to cover that top corner.









Despite its problems, the splitB is a great move when you get it right, and nothing works better on plays like these ones to the right.

Farther right is a drill.






The quality of your moves will always vary from one side to another. For instance, my butterfly slide to my blocker side has always been better than the same move to my trapper. With the split butterfly, I have a lot less trouble using it to my blocker side. We'll look at using the trapper on the splitB to this side, and, of course, you can use the old or the new style trapper positioning. I haven't found any video of goalies using the new style to this side - I am quite sure it's a new move. As I said before, goaltending is always changing, and I think this move is a good one. I've only been using it for a month (it's Feb. 27/08), and I've found it easy to adopt, and very, very useful. As with all moves using the new style trapper, you cover higher up, but expose some net underneath the glove - a trade-off that I think is well worth it.


Above is a split butterfly off of a t-push, and the glove drops in the traditional way. The splitB is a great move in this situation, but with the glove low, the far side high can look very tempting, especially since the shooter is seeing a lot more of the far side than the puck is.


Below is the same splitB (blocker leg up), but I kept the glove up, and it paid off, because the puck hit my cuff. All the other clips using the splitB are corner shots, but the move can be handy in many situations, including shots from straight on. There will be a proper issue covering the splitB where I'll deal with the many uses of this move. Below are clips of the move, this play included.













Many, many times, you're going to be caught out of position and need emergency coverage on your trapper side. As with all aspects of goaltending, it's better if you know what you should do to improve your odds of a save, despite the desperate situation. Although the chances of a save in these cases are low, you can improve your odds by placing your trapper in the most likely spot, and you may surprise yourself at how often you actually make the save.

If my pad is down I try to place my trapper about 6 - 10" above my pad, and of course, I get it out in front as much as possible. If I'm just reaching out with the glove, I'll keep it low-ish and again, try and reach out as much as I can. I know it sounds odd, since these are really low percentage plays, but ever since I started thinking about what I was doing on these plays, I've had good results. An open trapper can cover a lot of net if you place it properly, so don't panic, look at the stick and the puck, and get the hand over there.

Although you have to improvise an awful lot on the ice, try to keep it to a minimum by knowing ahead of time what the proper move should be. I think it is very important to at least place these plays in your head, because in a desperate situation, the mind will dig them out for you. Even moves like this can be worked on, in a minimal way. I would go down on my knees and reach around with my trapper, just getting an idea of the right height, and how much extension I could get. If I was fooling around with a shooter, or doing the 'rebound game' and I had one of these plays, I would try to adjust my hand a bit if I didn't stop it, and often, the next time I would be closer to the save. Just make a conscious effort on these plays and you'll get results.

Below are more clips from a skate I'm doing on Thursdays this winter. It's a good skate, some excellent shooters, and it's convenient to record.









Finally, here is a bunch of clips with comments on trapper style.