Canadian World Juniors’ Coach Marc Habscheid
made his goaltending selection for Canada’s first match, Marc-André Fleury
. He provided an insight as to why during an interview on Sportsnet. “The Europeans”, Habsheid said, “attack the net East/ West and they’re great with the one-timers”. East/West is the NHL hockey vernacular for what Ron Johnson calls,“a horizontal attack - parallel to goal line”. This approach demands that the goalie also move horizontally across his crease prohibiting him from squaring-up to the shooter. To make matters even more difficult for the goalie, the “one-timer” means release of the puck by the shooter without stopping it.
, and Inverted-V
are the three basic goaltender styles that exist in hockey. More recently a fourth has been added, the Hybrid.
The stand-up style is good for those goalies that have good footwork with the ability to move from side to side. This style cuts down on goals scored between the five-hole and better for controlling rebounds. The downfall of this manoeuvre is that it leaves the lower corners of the net opened and since your body position is more straight up, it is more difficult to see shots through a screen. The 1972 Summit Series clearly outlined the weakness of a stand-up goalie, like Ken Dryden
, in defending against a horizontal attack. The Canadian game, to that point, utilised a North/South or perpendicular attack. This allowed the great stand-up goalies to square-up to the shooter and cut down the shooting angle for both the top and bottom of the net.
The butterfly style covers the entire lower part of the net along the ice by extending the pads outward much like a butterfly spreads its wings. What is doesn't prevent are shots to the top corners or shelf. Puck carriers will often let butterfly style goaltenders make the first move and then shoot the puck to one of the top corners of the net. While this manoeuvre is great for deflections and screen shots, pad saves often create rebounds for the opposing team.
The most unorthodox style of the three disciplines is the inverted-V. Goalies using the inverted-V style stand with their feet apart and knees together, creating what looks like an upside down letter "V." The drawbacks to the inverted-V is that the five-hole is left open and the wide stance prevents the goaltender from easily moving side to side because the outside edge of the skate blades are dug into the ice. However if your reflexes are sharp, this could be the style for you.
Fleury is more of a hybrid goalie. Utilizing whatever style he deems necessary depending on the situation. He's a reaction goalie relying on reflexes to stop to the puck, and solid skating to remain square to the shooter. While better able to accommodate the horizontal or European style attack, this style of play often contributes to inconsistency. It forces the goalie to rely too often on his reflexes. This puts pressure on the goalie's ability to remain focused. Any drop in focus usually results in bad goals.