It's often said that goalies have to be the best skaters on the ice. I don't know if goalies are really better skaters but their movement requirements are far more complex. On any one play, a goalie skate may have to plant the foot solidly to power an explosive move and then stop on a dime, subtly shuffle sideways to keep an angle covered, drop to the ice and then secure one of a wide variety of recoveries. Mobility requirements like these put goaltending on a completely different level than players. The situation also creates a number of difficulties when it comes to getting a proper sharpening.

Players skates (left drawing) really only move in 2 directions, forward and backward. The blades are too thin and too sharp to allow for much sideways sliding other than stops.

Goalie blades (right drawing) must be able to move not only in all four directions but everything in between as well.

This situation creates a skate sharpening problem for goalies because some of these movement requirements conflict. The same blade must be sharp to secure the foot for pushing off but also dull to allow for sideways slide and the problem is, both are essential.

In a push to the right (left pair of skates) the left foot needs a sharp edge to push off from and the right foot needs a dull edge to allow for sideways slide. It's the reverse for a push to the left (right pair of skates). Now the left foot needs a dull edge for sideways slide and the right foot needs to be sharp for pushing off.

So there's the goalies' dilemma, the same skate must be both sharp and dull. Somewhere in between the two is a happy medium that every goalie must find for himself. You can see why goalies are so finicky about their edges. The perfect balance of sharpness and dullness is a difficult thing to find and once you finally have it, getting consistency out of your sharpener or trainer can be frustrating.

Skates that are too sharp will give you rock solid push but your feet will stick. You'll lose the ability to fine tune your angles with small shuffles and shooters will find the holes that don't get covered.

Skates that are too dull will give you all of the sideways slide you need but none of the push. You'll be insecure about your moves because your footing is uncertain. You'll play deeper in the net and go down early and often.

It's critical that you find a cut you are comfortable with. A proper sharpening can cure numerous goaltending problems that remain unsolved. A poor cut can make life in nets a hell.

Overdrive can simplify the sharpening situation by reducing the tradeoff required. You can play with slightly duller skates to get your sideways slide because Overdrive will back up your footing for a rock solid push.

What I Do

I use to have nothing but problems with my edges but happily,
with the sharpening I use now, those days are gone.

When you shuffle sideways, you push off using the inside edge. The outside has to stay out of the way so it doesn't catch and slow you down or even cause a sprained ankle.
The cut I use is called an offset cut, which means that the inside edge is higher (or lower, depending on how you look at it) than the outside edge. The little drawing exaggerates things because it's very hard to see the offset.

This cut works well because on a push, the inside edge is there like a sharp point and on shuffles the outside edge is up and not in the way as much. They still think I'm a little crazy though because I get a very deep (players A) groove. It's way too sharp to use so I then dull it down (mostly the outside edge) until it's comfortable and then it not only works great but also lasts forever. I play a lot, all year long and I'm no slouch when it comes to movement and I've had one sharpening last up to 6 months(that includes summer ice). Also, it seems to survive at least a few hits to the goalpost. It's a real treat to go on the ice and not worry if the edges are going to be all right; in fact I don't even think of them at all any more.

Skate sharpening is a very personal thing so I don't want to dictate here. If you're happy with what you've got then I wouldn't change it but if you're stuck in sharpening hell, you might want to ask around about this cut or at least try a deeper groove and then dull down the outside edge.

Another thing I do for my edges is use a product called 'Sweet Stick' from MiracleStone. I think there's another one in the U.S. called 'Sharks Tooth'. This product is GREAT. It's a little 'Y' shaped ceramic sharpener. You just run it along your blade a couple of times and your edges are back. More than once or twice and they're too sharp. It is way better than having a stone. You have to get one.

I've had a lot of people asking me where to get these so here are a couple of sites.