Goalies : The art of the pokecheck

Frank Drebin
12-12-2004, 01:32 PM
It seems to me that the pokecheck is getting used less and less as the goaltending position evolves. I've tried to implement it into my game, but I find myself overusing it and getting burnt for a goal down low, and putting it back on the shelf. I still am quite active with my stick, and will always try to pokecheck when the forward is coming in wide at a poor angle.......however, I think the pokecheck on a breakaway is something that should go the way of the skate save....you're better off trying to make the save than to make holes in your game.

Thoughts? :dunno:

IkeaMonkey*
12-12-2004, 01:36 PM
When I played net and there was a guy coming on the breakaway, I'd slide the stick out just a bit. Not quite telling the skater if I was going to poke check or not, but enough to get it out there sooner if I was going to poke and keep him honest on dekes in the process. I did alot of studying players tendancies, so my poke checking really depended on who the player was that was coming down on me.

usmhuskies
12-12-2004, 01:46 PM
As a foward(well D man) but I played foward a little:If the goalie makes the first move, espically a poke check, they are done: it just makes it eaiser for a foward to find holes...

User571
12-12-2004, 02:00 PM
It seems to me that the pokecheck is getting used less and less as the goaltending position evolves. I've tried to implement it into my game, but I find myself overusing it and getting burnt for a goal down low, and putting it back on the shelf. I still am quite active with my stick, and will always try to pokecheck when the forward is coming in wide at a poor angle.......however, I think the pokecheck on a breakaway is something that should go the way of the skate save....you're better off trying to make the save than to make holes in your game.

Thoughts? :dunno:
I think its good in some situations-keeps shooters guessing-and you can act like your gonna pokecheck to and they panic and take a bad shot(usually).
Marc-Andre Fleury you will find uses it a lot-its lost him a couple of shootouts now, which shows not to ovr use it.
skatesave... :lol

Jacques Plante
12-12-2004, 02:34 PM
I went to a goalie camp with former Capitals Blues and Jets goalies Jim Hrivnak. He said the toughest move to make was a poke-check. He told us about a story where Craig Berube came down on a break away. Hrivnak went for the poke check and got burnt. All his friends ripped him for getting undressed by a tough guy.

I pretty much take the same stance as Officer JL. I don't use it on break aways, too risky but there have been times, when the guy is coming in from a bad angle that I do use it. Stop him from gaining the slot and the puck goes loose.

On a breakaway save it's the butterfly slide for me.

Missionhockey
12-12-2004, 06:15 PM
As a foward(well D man) but I played foward a little:If the goalie makes the first move, espically a poke check, they are done: it just makes it eaiser for a foward to find holes...
True but sometimes it can throw off a forward who has his mind set on what he wants to do already. If the goalie is aggressive enough it forces the shooter to make a decision fast.

usmhuskies
12-12-2004, 08:52 PM
True but sometimes it can throw off a forward who has his mind set on what he wants to do already. If the goalie is aggressive enough it forces the shooter to make a decision fast.


I think it only throws of a player of if he has his head down, if he has his head up all he has to do is find a hole...I don't know, I just like it if the goalie makes the first move, makes it easier for the shooter...Pokecheck's are good on wrap-arounds and a tipping passes but other than that I don't think they are helpful...

Amen evil king
12-12-2004, 09:24 PM
From a forward's perspective, if you can't hide the fact you're about to make a poke check I wouldn't even bother. It's a brilliant surprise move, but if the guy can see it coming it's just handing him a goal..

Brodeur
12-13-2004, 01:07 PM
There a couple of situations where I like to poke check. If a guy is on a partial breakaway, but I can tell he's preoccupied with the defenseman right behind him.

On a breakaway, if I'm familiar with a certain player and I know he's beaten me before with a quick deke, sometimes I'll show that I'm ready to pokecheck when he's like 20 feet away.......and he'll see that my 5 hole is wideopen, and when he takes a shot, I close up the 5 hole immediately. Worked a couple nights ago.

A lot of times for me, it just depends on me knowing the other shooters and their tendencies/skill level. I end up playing the same people all the time, so I sometimes know what they're gonna do before they do.

Malefic74
12-13-2004, 02:04 PM
It's all in technique. Instead of sliding your hand up the shaft first (a dead give away) and then reaching for the pokecheck, it's far more effective to just let your stick slide out of your hand as you back in. It forces the shooter to one side or the other which you can then cover with a butterfly or even a pad stack (very effective.) Also pokechecks work better when the ice conditions suck as forwards have to really concentrate on handling and you can surprise them, or it increases the odds they'll lose the puck when they pull back to avoid the check.

The best thing is once you do it to a team once they become aware of it and you can "fake" pokecheck to force a shot pretty easily. Usually a little shoulder drop is enough to convince a player and 9 times out of 10 they shoot. Easy save.

HOWEVER, both are moves that should be used rarely. Generally speaking it is never a good idea to make the first move on any situation when it's just you and the shooter. Good goal scorers are seperated from everyone else by their patience more than anything else. If you consistently make the first move they will pick you apart. And unlike some game situations like deflections and screens there are no absolute, written in stone rules about pokechecks. It's pretty much case by case basis.

Don't let this dissuade you from being active with your stick though, particularly around your crease. After a lot of practice and work on that aspect of my game, I have notice a large decrease in the number of tap-in goals and cross-crease passes. The key is to be active, not aggressive, because that is what puts you out of position.

bruins4777*
12-13-2004, 04:34 PM
I play stand up and i use pokecheck avidly. I might drop down and force them to go for the deke, then thats when the pokecheck comes into play...

I dunno i hate how goalies use the pokecheck less and less. I personally think its a great techinique, that when combined with the paddledown method is one of the best a goalie can use. Of course its hard to learn, but once you've got it down its amazing.

Typically on a breakaway, something i find fun to do is have a dead giveaway for a pokecheck by holding the stick high, then switch to paddledown and stack the pads. It requires incredible timing and knowing your shooter well, but it looks awsome when you pull it off.

I'm a HUGE advocate of the paddledown method personally. I think its probably one of the best ways to patrol the crease. Then when you have guys who have that innersense of when to use the pokecheck, patrolling the crease gets easy. If i was a goalie coach i'd probably teach positioning, paddledown, and the art of the stick as my main key learning points...but thats just me. This is coming from a guy who's fav goalie is roberto luongo :P