Goaltending instruction disparity: Quebec vs. The World

Jacques Plante
11-13-2004, 02:31 PM
I'm a goalie that lives in Ontario. Throughout my time playing hockey, I have found that the vast majority of people in minor hockey know nothing about goaltending. Some think the butterfly is a bad thing others don't even know what it is.

This summer I spent some time playing in Quebec. I noticed that all of the goalies were much more technically sound in the butterfly game than almost anyone i've come across in Ontario. Quebec has realized that goaltending is no longer dominated by reflexes but it is infact almost a science.

The butterfly is a simple style. it is based on Geometry. It's almost like playing the odds. You close up, don't make any holes and most of the time the puck will hit you.

In Ontario coaches in Jr B and C still look for the old standup style goalie. The one who's quick but makes alot of holes. These goalies often look great when they're hot because they make these spectacular saves. When they aren't hot they are terrible because they are rarely in good position and give up too many holes.

I wish I could understand why the rest of the hockey world has been so slow to realize that goaltending has changed. To compare it to a forwards life, it's almost as if a coach never used the trap and played up and down the wings while coaching a poor team.

I know change takes time but don't these people see what the goalies in the NHL are doing? It really amazes me the lack of basic knowledge regarding goaltending.

That's my rant feel free to discuss it...

X-SHARKIE
11-13-2004, 03:36 PM
Yeah This well be my 2nd year starting varsity for my high school team, and I haven't been really coached at all, except this summer by the Badgers goaltender coach, and he talked about playing the percentages and he preached some things....but I would love to be tought the Quebec style of playing the butterfly. Because I find my self like you said, playing great when i'm hot, then when i'm cold I let in goals threw holes between my arms and five holes ect.

usmhuskies
11-13-2004, 04:40 PM
I am not a goalie but i used to work with a former D1 goalie: Goaltending ia all about angles, if you play the angles right the puck will hit you...Some thing like on angle 2 you shouldn't go down cause it leaves the top part of the net open...Other goalie have adapted, I mean every goalie in the NHL now use some type of the buttefly...

nic29+
11-13-2004, 09:02 PM
My son is the goalie for his team this year but he's only Senior novice (7 years old).
The coach seems to be teaching him alot already but look forward to any advice he could get at this early age.

Anthony*
11-13-2004, 09:57 PM
playing the angles isnt about butterflying every five seconds like everyone in quebec

gr8haluschak
11-14-2004, 12:00 AM
playing the angles isnt about butterflying every five seconds like everyone in quebec

Exactly, I am a goalie coach and work for a year round goalie school where the owner is a scout for a NHL team and the goalie coach for a WHL team. Through his experinces now the world of goaltending is evolving back into a hybrid style when you go down into the butterfly when it is low, a good indicator is if it is above or below waste height. The reasoning is now shooters are constantly working on shots to the top parts of the net and becomming more accurate. If you look at true butterfly goalies that try to make the jump to the nesxt level they get eaten alive by the good shooters since they go down all the time. A second reason is now scouts have this unofficial rule that to be a strick butterfly goalie one should be atleast 6 feet to cover the top part of the net.

usmhuskies
11-14-2004, 05:07 AM
Exactly, I am a goalie coach and work for a year round goalie school where the owner is a scout for a NHL team and the goalie coach for a WHL team. Through his experinces now the world of goaltending is evolving back into a hybrid style when you go down into the butterfly when it is low, a good indicator is if it is above or below waste height. The reasoning is now shooters are constantly working on shots to the top parts of the net and becomming more accurate. If you look at true butterfly goalies that try to make the jump to the nesxt level they get eaten alive by the good shooters since they go down all the time. A second reason is now scouts have this unofficial rule that to be a strick butterfly goalie one should be atleast 6 feet to cover the top part of the net.

what???? Some of the best goalies are samller:yes I know a hybrid style is taking by most NHL goalies but 98% of that hybrids come from the butterfly....Once again it's all about angles...

usmhuskies
11-14-2004, 05:10 AM
playing the angles isnt about butterflying every five seconds like everyone in quebec


You sure about that????....Any hybird now used @ a high level is some type of the butterfly..

LaLaLaprise
11-14-2004, 11:57 AM
what???? Some of the best goalies are samller:yes I know a hybrid style is taking by most NHL goalies but 98% of that hybrids come from the butterfly....Once again it's all about angles...

Smaller? Try and find any NHL goalies now adays that is 5'10. Back in the day there used to be a few but not so much anymore.

6'02 190 is perfect size for a goalie. You dont want them too big or too small.

Douggy
11-14-2004, 12:59 PM
It sucked being a goalie when I was a kid. My dad was a big Dryden fan, so he gave me all the tips a stand-up goalie would need.

But when I went to camps and clinics, everyone would be a butterflyer.. so they'd be teaching me stuff that went against everything else I'd learned! Plus my knees didn't really bend well, they way they have to do go into the butterfly.

Now I'm 6'3 and I have pretty good reflexes... I really wish I'd stuck with it...

Crossroads*
11-14-2004, 02:13 PM
I'm a goalie that lives in Ontario. Throughout my time playing hockey, I have found that the vast majority of people in minor hockey know nothing about goaltending. Some think the butterfly is a bad thing others don't even know what it is.

This summer I spent some time playing in Quebec. I noticed that all of the goalies were much more technically sound in the butterfly game than almost anyone i've come across in Ontario. Quebec has realized that goaltending is no longer dominated by reflexes but it is infact almost a science.

The butterfly is a simple style. it is based on Geometry. It's almost like playing the odds. You close up, don't make any holes and most of the time the puck will hit you.

In Ontario coaches in Jr B and C still look for the old standup style goalie. The one who's quick but makes alot of holes. These goalies often look great when they're hot because they make these spectacular saves. When they aren't hot they are terrible because they are rarely in good position and give up too many holes.

I wish I could understand why the rest of the hockey world has been so slow to realize that goaltending has changed. To compare it to a forwards life, it's almost as if a coach never used the trap and played up and down the wings while coaching a poor team.

I know change takes time but don't these people see what the goalies in the NHL are doing? It really amazes me the lack of basic knowledge regarding goaltending.

That's my rant feel free to discuss it...

Jr B and C is garbage and no coaches often look for goalies that play butterfly. In my last year of minor hockey (played AAA for the Jr. Canadiens) I had tons of offers to play for both Jr B and C. I went to a few skates and found that I was way better than any of the goalies there. I made the Wexford Raiders Jr. A (in Toronto) but only managed to play half the season when I injured my knee then called it quits to concentrate on my education.

usmhuskies
11-14-2004, 06:26 PM
Smaller? Try and find any NHL goalies now adays that is 5'10. Back in the day there used to be a few but not so much anymore.

6'02 190 is perfect size for a goalie. You dont want them too big or too small.


Turco, Aibershear(sp), Nabokov....All "undersized" but play the angles well: espically Nabokov...

Malefic74
11-15-2004, 02:03 PM
You sure about that????....Any hybird now used @ a high level is some type of the butterfly..

Really? Watch Brodeur sometime. You will be lucky to see 3 textbook butterflys out of him. There is no "right way" to play the position. Hasek has proved that over and over again. Whether you look smooth and efficient or whether you flop like a fish out of water; the point is to keep the puck out.

There are no ironclad rules in goaltending. gr8haluschak is right. If you so much as drop a shoulder at higher levels you will spend a lot of time fishing the puck out of the net. In close and on deflections absolutely; make yourself as big as you can, cover the net. But on a clean shot the only rules are square to the puck, cut the angle. Once the puck is off his stick how you stop it makes no difference at all. Until you have to deal with the rebound (if there is one), then it all starts again.

I've been playing goal for 22 years now, and I have seen styles and equipment gimmicks come and go. But each goalies style is as different as his personality and trying to fit round pegs into square holes is an exercise in futility. Each style has pros and cons.

Stand-up goaltenders tend to have more holes, but they are also quicker side to side and tend to be more aggressive in cutting down angles knowing they can recover. Watch how many shots miss the net on stand-up goalies because forwards have to pick corners. Those are as good as a save.

Butterfly goalies are less susceptible to weird deflections and are usually in a better set position for rebounds. But when butterfly goalies play too far back, or drop too soon they are as susceptible to bad goals as anyone else. Ask Tommy Salo.

In the end it's about what is most comfortable for each individual behind the mask. Forcing someone (especially a kid) to switch from one style to another because other goalies make it look so easy is the wrong reason. If a goalie has focussed on a weakness in his (or her) game and changes their style gradually to counter it, it generally works out better.

usmhuskies
11-15-2004, 03:06 PM
Really? Watch Brodeur sometime. You will be lucky to see 3 textbook butterflys out of him. There is no "right way" to play the position. Hasek has proved that over and over again. Whether you look smooth and efficient or whether you flop like a fish out of water; the point is to keep the puck out.

There are no ironclad rules in goaltending. gr8haluschak is right. If you so much as drop a shoulder at higher levels you will spend a lot of time fishing the puck out of the net. In close and on deflections absolutely; make yourself as big as you can, cover the net. But on a clean shot the only rules are square to the puck, cut the angle. Once the puck is off his stick how you stop it makes no difference at all. Until you have to deal with the rebound (if there is one), then it all starts again.

I've been playing goal for 22 years now, and I have seen styles and equipment gimmicks come and go. But each goalies style is as different as his personality and trying to fit round pegs into square holes is an exercise in futility. Each style has pros and cons.

Stand-up goaltenders tend to have more holes, but they are also quicker side to side and tend to be more aggressive in cutting down angles knowing they can recover. Watch how many shots miss the net on stand-up goalies because forwards have to pick corners. Those are as good as a save.

Butterfly goalies are less susceptible to weird deflections and are usually in a better set position for rebounds. But when butterfly goalies play too far back, or drop too soon they are as susceptible to bad goals as anyone else. Ask Tommy Salo.

In the end it's about what is most comfortable for each individual behind the mask. Forcing someone (especially a kid) to switch from one style to another because other goalies make it look so easy is the wrong reason. If a goalie has focussed on a weakness in his (or her) game and changes their style gradually to counter it, it generally works out better.


I guess I am just not able to get my point across: it's harder on the comp...Yes I understand that but is the one "stand-up" goalie in the league right now??? every goalie usues a hybrid of the butterfly which is take away low and cut down angles...It's not that big of a deal cause i am not a big fan of goalies anyway :)

LaLaLaprise
11-15-2004, 03:40 PM
Turco, Aibershear(sp), Nabokov....All "undersized" but play the angles well: espically Nabokov...

They arent undersized. They are 6'00 and 6'01

Jacques Plante
11-15-2004, 05:56 PM
Really? Watch Brodeur sometime. You will be lucky to see 3 textbook butterflys out of him. There is no "right way" to play the position. Hasek has proved that over and over again. Whether you look smooth and efficient or whether you flop like a fish out of water; the point is to keep the puck out.

Let me just say that I agree with you about keeping the puck out of the net at all costs. However, Hasek butterflies much more than people realize, they just tend to focus on his "swimming" saves.

Stand-up goaltenders tend to have more holes, but they are also quicker side to side and tend to be more aggressive in cutting down angles knowing they can recover. Watch how many shots miss the net on stand-up goalies because forwards have to pick corners. Those are as good as a save.

The butterfly does the same thing. How many of those shots off the glass do you think were because all the shooter could see was those top two corners?


Butterfly goalies are less susceptible to weird deflections and are usually in a better set position for rebounds. But when butterfly goalies play too far back, or drop too soon they are as susceptible to bad goals as anyone else. Ask Tommy Salo.

Tommy Salo is not a butterfly goalie.

The biggest reason goalies get beat up top is because they were too deep in the crease. If he's at the top of the crease it will take a perfect shot to beat him, even if he's down. It's simple geometry.

If a buttefly goalie and a standup goalie of the same reflex ability and plays the angles properly, the butterfly goalie will come out on top 9 times out 10. It's just a much smarter, easier better style, IMO.

Malefic74
11-15-2004, 06:05 PM
I guess I am just not able to get my point across: it's harder on the comp...Yes I understand that but is the one "stand-up" goalie in the league right now??? every goalie usues a hybrid of the butterfly which is take away low and cut down angles...It's not that big of a deal cause i am not a big fan of goalies anyway :)

There aren't any pure stand-up goalies anymore, that's true, but it's more an evolution of the game that forced the style change. Compared to say the 80 or 70s a much, much higher percentage of shots are coming from in close, and in particular the rise of cross-crease passes and passes from behind the net have really gone up. In those situations stand-up goalies are killed simply because there is so much net to cover.

In the 70s and 80s so many more shots were from the perimeter that a goalie could really afford to challenge 2 or 3 feet outside his crease. Because passing has improved so much (thanks Wayne) goalies can rarely afford to be out of position this much.

The style isn't dead but like the pure butterfly has been reduced to usage in specific situations. You can still see guys like Burke, Kolzig or Brodeur come way out when they know the forward is by himself.

Frank Drebin
11-15-2004, 06:05 PM
So.....who in the league is a "true" butterfly goalie?

Giguere
Luongo
Roy was when he played

I don't know, I would say that most of the goalies do use the butterfly, but each have their own style of stopping the puck.

When I think of a textbook butterfly goalie, I think of a goalie where each of his/her saves are pretty much identical. To be efficient using this style, a goalie must have incredible leg strength to move across the crease after going down into the butterfly.

To say that the butterfly style is the only style to teach is a little silly. It does have it's advantages, but it is very hard to perfect, and is designed for a team that plays great defensive hockey.....Look at Giguere's success last playoffs.

Jacques Plante
11-15-2004, 06:13 PM
So.....who in the league is a "true" butterfly goalie?

Giguere
Luongo
Roy was when he played


Theodore
Lalime
Belfour
Cloutier
Burke
Weekes
Abeisher
Garon
Thibeault
Raycroft
Biron

There's more I'm sure but that's all I could get. All of these goalies are true butterfly goalies IMO.

Frank Drebin
11-15-2004, 06:26 PM
Theodore
Lalime
Belfour
Cloutier
Burke
Weekes
Abeisher
Garon
Thibeault
Raycroft
Biron

There's more I'm sure but that's all I could get. All of these goalies are true butterfly goalies IMO.


Ok, I think we just disagree on what a true butterfly goalie is. Theodore and Thibault are too small to play the game the way Roy did, they have to adapt a bit.

But the stand up style of goaltending has gone the way of the dodo. I think the big difference happened when equipment started getting better. Goalies would rarely go down in the 50's and 60's because of the increased chances of getting a puck in the face. Also the chest protectors were just like felt.

As far as the coaching goes, In Saskatchewan the goalie school that I go to teaches the butterfly (square, glove up, make yourself big, etc) and is abandoning most of the older techniques like pad stacks (which I still use from time to time, just because I'm too slow) and skate saves (which I never could do)

Malefic74
11-16-2004, 11:40 AM
As far as the coaching goes, In Saskatchewan the goalie school that I go to teaches the butterfly (square, glove up, make yourself big, etc) and is abandoning most of the older techniques like pad stacks (which I still use from time to time, just because I'm too slow) and skate saves (which I never could do)

Skate saves are a dying art. I'll pull one out every once ina while because there is no better save for rebound control on a low shot than the skate save. But I can understand why they aren't taght anymore. Pad stacks are still a useful save though and I honestly cannot understand why they wouldn't be taught. Hell guys in the NHL still use em (and here I am thinking of Brodeur). I don't think they are exclusively the domain of the stand-up style at all since the movement essentailly starts with a butterfly anyway. Curious.

And IMO Burke is a hybrid goalie. He only goes down when the play is below the faceoff circles generally and it is not rare at all to see him stand there and let the puck hit him as opposed to dropping for every shot. His technique when he does ho down is pretty much flawless though.

Frank Drebin
11-16-2004, 04:24 PM
Pad stacks are still a useful save though and I honestly cannot understand why they wouldn't be taught. Hell guys in the NHL still use em (and here I am thinking of Brodeur). I don't think they are exclusively the domain of the stand-up style at all since the movement essentailly starts with a butterfly anyway. Curious.

Honestly, I think the reason why they're not being taught is only because "true" butterflyers don't use them...I think that they are effective, but I don't know if a guy like Roy ever used one in his career.

I think a lot of teachers are trying too hard to copy Allaire without letting the goalie develop his own style.

Pensfan86
11-16-2004, 11:56 PM
I think butterfly has really taken over...you very rarely see standup goalies anymore, unless they are total lazy a**es, or if they are tall

Malefic74
11-18-2004, 04:30 PM
I think a lot of teachers are trying too hard to copy Allaire without letting the goalie develop his own style.

Totally agree. That is basically the point I've been trying to make for about 5 posts now. Thanks.

DisgruntledHawkFan
11-29-2004, 11:58 PM
I play a flopper style. I don't really think about stopping the puck... I just react. I've stopped shots by reaching my blocker across my body before. Horrible form. There is no such thing as the "right way". Quebec took the Butterfly and mastered it. The rest of the world is taking pages from it but in say ten years flopping around might be in style. The butterfly is only possible because of the HUGE pads we all have. I'm not saying they should be shrunk at all; forwards have illegal curves and lightweight composite sticks that allow everyone to rip wristshots at 90. I dunno most of my posts just kinda come I just write whatever is goin on in my head so they really lack structure... take it as you will.

gr8haluschak
11-30-2004, 12:34 AM
I play a flopper style. I don't really think about stopping the puck... I just react. I've stopped shots by reaching my blocker across my body before. Horrible form. There is no such thing as the "right way". Quebec took the Butterfly and mastered it. The rest of the world is taking pages from it but in say ten years flopping around might be in style. The butterfly is only possible because of the HUGE pads we all have. I'm not saying they should be shrunk at all; forwards have illegal curves and lightweight composite sticks that allow everyone to rip wristshots at 90. I dunno most of my posts just kinda come I just write whatever is goin on in my head so they really lack structure... take it as you will.


Ok well this one makes me really shake my head, that statment makes me really wonder, it does not matter what size pads you have since the butterfly has been used for 30 years ! The butterfly is the most effcient way for various reasons including:
- relativly equal coverage of the net while down
- takes the bottom of the net away very quick
- Allows a better recovery/positioning to face a rebound
- saves energy by not forcing someone to "flop around"
Those points alone allow it to be the most efficient way to make a save, as well as there are many many more benefits to it.

DisgruntledHawkFan
11-30-2004, 11:28 PM
I meant the domination of the butterfly style in todays game... and if by relatively equal coverage you mean 80-20 bottom top then sure.



joking with ya...

hotgoalie11565
12-01-2004, 12:30 AM
Honestly, I think the reason why they're not being taught is only because "true" butterflyers don't use them...I think that they are effective, but I don't know if a guy like Roy ever used one in his career.

My guess is the reason the pad stack isn't being taught anymore is because if it is used, it takes a lot longer to recover from that than it would take to drop in the butterfly and get up and get into position for a possible rebound.
But you are right about Roy though, Jim. Once he really learned the butterfly he never used the stack again. I have been playing goal for five years now. And I can honestly say I have never used the stack because my thought is it would take me way too long to recover from that than if I butterfly. BTW, I am 5' 10" tall, so yes I am more susceptible to high shots than someone with the height of, say, Tom Barrasso. But I counter that by playing not so deep in the net. :teach: