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The Mighty Mite

Angle, Squareness, Depth: Philosophies and Preferences

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A critical aspect of the modern game is understanding the interaction between angle, squareness, and depth. While all modern minds for goaltending wouldn't contest that those three principle components form the core of how we understand positional play, it appears as though there are differing philosophies on their priority in practice.

The prevailing wisdom for several years (as far as what I can gather) is that priority is Angle -> Squareness -> Depth. For instance, during the save recovery cycle following a rebound pushed to the weakside, the goalie

  1. rotates for recovery back to post, and pushes (either backside recovery or recovery to feet with a t-push) (angle)
  2. Gets to post, rotates body to face puck (squareness)
  3. Moves back to top of crease (depth)

However, now have heard of prioritizing squareness over angle (e.g. Nick Dahan, "The Three Components of Positioning" on YouTube.) The same cycle:

  1. rotate the body such that the plane of the goalie's profile will be perpendicular to the play once angle is gained (squareness)
  2. recovery to the post (angle)
  3. Move back to top of crease (depth)

Now I have also heard of prioritizing depth over angle or squareness (e.g. Dave Prior, https://ingoalmag.com/news/vegas-goalie-coach-dave-prior-explains-his-old-school-approach/). The same cycle, I think:

  1. Move to top of the crease, where you would want to be ideally if a shot were taken immediately (depth + angle)
  2. Rotate to face the play (squareness)

I've been schooled in the traditional system of ASD, but there's an intuitive quality to DAS/DSA: Shouldn't we be seeking the shortest paths (i.e. straight lines) to where we want to be ultimately for a shot?

My thoughts aside on this, what have you been taught in terms of positional priorities? Do you have a preference and why?

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On 2/28/2021 at 1:18 PM, The Mighty Mite said:

I've been schooled in the traditional system of ASD, but there's an intuitive quality to DAS/DSA: Shouldn't we be seeking the shortest paths (i.e. straight lines) to where we want to be ultimately for a shot?

My thoughts aside on this, what have you been taught in terms of positional priorities? Do you have a preference and why?

Having no actual coaching except books, I started out prioritizing depth, angle, squareness and playing a reactive, stand-up style. Decades later, I got back into it and with youtube videos to learn from, I prioritized squareness, angle, depth and playing a hybrid reactive/blocking butterfly style. Not playing anymore though.

I think my preference before I hung up the pads was just looking good on the ice by wearing Vaughn and Koho gear.... forget about angle, squareness or depth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Just kidding. I had to juggle when to prioritize depth, squareness or angle depending on the situation. If the puck carrier was at the blue line, depth was priority. If the puck carrier was behind the goal line, then angle was prioritized so I could handle passes coming out front and to avoid someone trying to bank the puck off my pads and into the net (which had happened). If the puck was somewhere in between, then squareness was prioritized. 

 

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I'm not sure exactly where I've heard this but when I read into the situation with Carey Price and his goalie coach drama, some high level goalie coaches were trying to suggest to their goalies to adopt a Depth first/aggressive style because of how the shooters are now working on changing the angle of their shot on the fly (drag-pull wristers).

But that seems to have had a negative effect for goalies like Carey Price, whose new coach is now suggesting a squareness/angle first approach. Unless of course the situation calls for it.

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Steve McKichan, the former (current?) Leafs goalie coach, just did a video about this with this goalie school - Future Pro.  He is advocating a depth first approach.  One reason is that the shortest path between two points is a straight line, which makes sense and would be the logical reason for that method.  Another thing he mentions is that a depth first approach eliminates the short side of the play.  If you come directly from the starting point to the new angle establishing depth, it means you are moving along the shooting line from the first spot and completely covering the angle to that spot as you do.  You gain an advantage here since you now know that a shot has to go far side.  The depth you gain shortens the shooting angle and helps you cover the far side.  Using a middle first, which is the same as angle first, approach means that you may be directly along the shooting angle, but you open yourself to short side and across the grain shots, which are tougher to stop as you're moving.  So in his method it seems like you're going D->A->S

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