Tuesday, December 9, 2008

How to Deke a Goalie

How to Deke a Goalie in Hockey

Here’s a shootout tip from Sportsnet color commentator, John Garret mentioned during the Canucks game Monday night against Colorado.

Deke or shoot?

Whenever you’re on a breakaway, if the goalie is way out of his crease, you have a better chance at dekeing, rather than shooting. The Goalie has cut off the angles, and there’s not much open net to shoot at.

If the goalie is deep back in the net, there will be more open net to aim for, so you’ll usually have better luck with a shot, rather than a deke.

John Garret played goalie for
the Canucks in the early eighties.

Goalies will Back Up

As soon as a goalie realizes the forward has a breakaway, he will quickly skate out in front of the crease, then back up as you move in closer. On a breakaway during the game, the forward is likely to be moving pretty fast, so the rate the goalie backs up is fairly similar for most breakaways.

A Shootout is NOT a Breakaway.

During a shootout, it’s a different story. The shooter has all the time in the world with nobody chasing them down. Most players still come in pretty fast on a shootout, just like during the game. They are exited, nervous, and their adrenaline is pumping. The goalie will then back up as his typical pace as well.

Slow Down.

If you decide to shoot, rather than deke the goalie, slow down as your approach to the net. Not only does slowing down give you more time to aim and shoot, but most goalies will continue to back up at their usual pace. This will open up more of the net than if you come in at breakaway speed.

So the next time you find yourself in a shootout or a taking a penalty shot, slow down, pick a corner and shoot!

Another option is to fake your initial shot, then shoot. Your fake will either freeze the goalie or get him moving the wrong way.

Here's a nice fake by Samuelson:

More Shooting Tips
Shooting Tips: Wrist Shot
Shooting Tips: Backhand Shot
Alex Kovalev Shooting Tip

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