Brians

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I've been experimenting with this move for a while now and things seem to be working out well. The plan is to transfer some of my lateral moves over to this one. This move is not easy. It is totally different and is physically awkward but I can see enough potential benefits to make it worth the effort.
Basically, the move is a simple lateral push. The really big difference is what the left foot does. As I push off with the right foot, the left foot rolls down onto the side of the boot and slides out on the plastic. To stop the slide I angle my foot up to catch Overdrive and the main blade. Normally, the left foot would either:

1) Turn sideways to glide.
On a t-push, the lead foot (left) opens up and the pad turns away. You get great distance but your form breaks and the move is a big problem in tight. To be set for a save the left foot has to stop and turn to the front.

2) Stay pointed out but straighten up for a sideways shuffle.
On a shuffle, the left foot pushes and the right foot angles up. This reduces the cutting angle of the blade so it can slide out. The blade will still cut in and this will limit how far you can push, so a cross- crease move will take 2 or 3 shuffles. To be set for a save the right foot has to angle back down to something like what the left foot is at.

Sliding out on the side of your boot in this new way has a number of disadvantages.

It's difficult: Physically, this is a tough move. Learning it requires healthy knees. Look at the angle my legs are at and keep in mind that they are supporting my weight, holding the butterfly together and maintaining balance. Once you get it the stress drops down to normal but I took my time at the beginning. The first few times you try it, it will definitely feel awkward and out of control. You may think it can't be done properly but try starting slowly with short moves.

It's different: Programming your foot to roll down in this way instead of rolling up will take some time. It took me about a month to get the move going smoothly but longer to get iit into my game.

It's tough on the ice: Normal Overdrive use doesn't make much, if any difference in the crease but this move is different. Until you smooth it out, this move takes out some shallow gouges. The crease is still playable and normal play smoothed out the bumps but you have to get below Overdrive and onto the plastic of the boot. Once you clean the move up, you'll get small scrapes at the most.

It works best with the butterfly stance: My butterfly stance puts me right on Overdrive so it's a short roll to get onto the side of the boot. Not so for a standup goalie. Rolling the skate down to the boot is farther than straightening it up for a t-push or shuffle.

There's an obvious wobble to this one. I hadn't warmed the move up yet but it may give you an idea of the balance required. Still, it looks like I got about 10 feet here.

So after all this, why would I want to try this move?

The reason is that there are problems with the standard lateral moves. Whether your foot turns sideways to glide or it straightens up to shuffle, you're temporarily not set for the puck. Holes also open up so you can be stuck in a situation where you have to move to follow the shooter but can't break your form. For instance:

Tracking a player doing a big lateral move through the slot puts the feet in constant motion. In addition they have to readjust several times so shooters just have to wait for the holes to open up (a t-push works but it's often not useable in this situation). Coverage goes in and out of 'tune' and the goalie must synchronize his being set with when the shooter really is committing. It's a tough move with a high failure rate because shooters are tuned to shoot more than goalies are able to stay set and ready.

Or, when a player cuts in hard and fast from the wing, your feet have to prepare to go big lateral but, even preparing for it opens up holes along the ice. The shooter then has the option of going long around you or going short between your feet. You'll see this play a lot as goalies feet get tied up trying to do two conflicting moves at once, i.e. to cover the long move, the feet roll up or turn out; to cover the short move, the feet roll down like the butterfly.

The clip shows my left foot repositioning twice as I move left. Each time, the knee opens up and the foot twists to move and reset, I'm briefly not set for the puck. You see a lot of goals scored when the shooter catches the goalie with his feet twisted open.

The ideal would be a lateral move where:

  • the pads stay square,
  • the feet stay rolled down at or near the ready position,
  • you could track smoothly and continuously with a tight form,
  • you could get enough distance to cover the crease.

This move seems to have all of the above as well as the added advantage of simplicity. I don't like having a collection of different moves cluttering my brain. It slows down the mental traffic and the wrong move can appear at the wrong time. I base every move I do on the butterfly and this move fits right in. The feet stay set in the butterfly position throughout so they're always doing the same thing no matter what happens on the ice. Instead of using valuable 'brain time' selecting a move, your focus can be better applied studying the play.

Staying set and ready to take a puck while you're moving will always be difficult but I'm wondering if this move might make things a little easier. Again, it's only an experiment. I'm always trying new things and they don't always work out but I thought this one would be an interesting addition to the site.

I've been working on a number of uses for this move and here's one of them. It's a recovery that is a lot faster than the standard recovery. I don't want to load too much video on one page so just click the thumbnail (right) and it'll load. This clip is from 'new recovery' but will be moved to 'recoveries, left and right' shortly.
If you're thinking of trying this move, watch how the moving foot slides out at a lower angle so that I'm below Overdrive. Start slowly with small moves. I'll get a more detailed description up soon with clips of how the feet should be.