The Butterfly is without a doubt the most common save goalies use today. However, just like everything else in life, too much of one thing isn't good! The butterfly save is a great save. It is one of the most fundamental moves in goaltending.It should be studied, practiced, dissected, analyzed, evaluated and re-evaluated all the time. For most goalies, it is their bread and butter. And so it should be! There is nothing wrong in doing one save really well. What is wrong, is doing it all the time and in the wrong situations.
Key points to the save 1-The stick has to be angled away from the body and 6 inches in front of the pads and in front of the goalies " 5" hole (between the legs).
2-The pads have to be flared out to the sides so that they are practically on their sides.
3-The chest should be high to cover the top part of the net. No sitting back on you calves or behind!
4- Gloves should be out and to the sides so that they are not in front of your body. They should also be on a straight line across your body so that they rest at the top of your pads.
5- head should be high.
Getting up from the butterfly is important so that once the save is made, the goalie can pop back into position quickly. Recovery from this save is simple, which adds to it's popularity. There are 2 ways to get up. For younger goalies, they get up one leg at a time. They use their weak leg first to get up and then push up with their strong leg. Remember to stay in a set position. The other way is to pop up 2 legs at a time. This is accomplished by leaning back on your legs and using your ankles to pop up in one motion. Again, stay in the set position.
When to use the Butterfly
The key to using it is when the puck is shot along the ice and to the low corners or part of the net. It is used in a variety of scoring opportunities. It is used on breakaways, screen shots, deflections, passes across the net, shots from the point, etc. It can be used for just about everything. When not to use the Butterfly: Do not use this save all the time. Goalies become too dependent on this save and they become so predictable when they use it, that the shooters are ready for them and put the puck upstairs on them all the time. Watch the highlights from the NHL. You notice so many goals are going in the top part of the net. It's because the shooters know most goalies are going to go down into the butterfly save and the top part of the net will be open. The bad habit most goalies fall into is that they make the first move on many scoring opportunities and shooters know this. They wait for the goalie to commit to the butterfly save and then the shoot high. Be smart! Use this great save to your advantage but don't use it all the time.
The Paddle Down Save
The paddle down is becoming one of the most popular saves . NHL goalies like Ed Belfour and Felix Potvin have made the save so famous that it's hard to find a goalie today at any level who doesn't use it!
The paddle down save is a great save but it should be only one save in each goalie's arsenal of saves !!
A well-developed goalie should be efficient in every save, should know when to use each save and have the intelligence to analyze each scoring opportunity and the effectiveness of each save when it is used. Let's look at the key points of the paddle down save:
1- The stick must be flat on the ice and 6 inches in front of the goalie to cushion the puck when it hits the stick.
2- The pads should be in a half butterfly form with the left pad flared out on it's side and the right pad tucked underneath the goalie.
3- The glove should be on top of the left pad and open to the puck.
4- The chest and head should be high to cover the upper part of the net.
When should a goalie use the paddle down save? The paddle down save is effective when it is used in the following situations:
1- Wraparounds from behind the net.
2- Walkouts from the side of the net, only when the shooter is real close to the net.
3- On screen shots when the goalie is confident the puck is shot along the ice.
4- Deflections when the opposition is deflecting the puck right on top of the goalie.
When should a goalie not use the paddle down? Just about in every other situation! Or, whenever the shooter or puck isn't close to the net or goalie. The biggest problem with this save is that it makes the goalie real small in the net and when the shooter has the time, he can lift the puck in the top half of the net. The other negative is that shooters watch what saves goalies use, and if they spot a goalie over-using the paddle down, they will likely shoot high! Remember, the weakest part of the paddle down save is high on the goalie's blocker side! So goalies beware!! Be smart!! Choose your saves wisely.