Marty Turco Vs The Short Side (Stars vs Rangers)
Jan 6th 2010.
Marty Turco shows that even the greatest goalies still need to work on their positional play. In the article “The Most Important Part of Goaltending” I emphasize the importance of always being square to the puck as opposed to the player carrying the puck. Turco lets in two very soft goals short side because he is square to the player instead of the puck. When viewing the highlight pause it at the 1:11 mark into the clip. You will see that Avery, a left handed shot, releases the puck from a few feet above the faceoff dot. When paused, we can see how Turco is completely off angle nowhere near being square to the puck. Turco is unfortunately lined up with Avery’s body giving him the entire short side leading to the goal.
On the Rangers 3rd goal Turco’s positioning is again horrid. Kotalik, a right handed shot, is carrying the puck near the right side boards when he releases the shot from close to the blue line. When pausing the clip at the 2:28 mark we see that Turco is not even square to the Kotalik, let alone the puck. Kotalik had the entire trapper side open to score on an easy shot.
I am the number one defender of goaltenders but Turco is an elite goalie who should not be making these fundamental mistakes. Being in the proper position would have allowed him to make two easy saves giving his team a chance to win the game.
Goalies and coaches take this opportunity to truly appreciate how important positioning can be. Highlighted are two goals to the short side that are easily avoidable by simply being square to the puck and not the man. Goalies have an opportunity to work on this skill in every practice. Any time a player is coming down the wing either on a one on one or for a weave drill make sure you know if the player is a right handed shot or a left handed shot. To simply this just notice if the shooters stick is closer to the boards or the middle of the ice. If the stick is closer to the boards you should be covering more of the short side, lining up close to the face off dot (see image). If the stick is closer to the middle this means the puck sees more net and the goalie should be lined up more towards the middle of the crease or a few inches left or right depending on the player.
Understand the game, master the position, own the opposition.