Hockey Goalie

Ice Hockey Goalie

The goalie, also known as a netminder, is a position in hockey who protects the goal from scores by the other team.

Goalies wear special equipment and padding because their job is to stop shots on goal from the opposition. This can be dangerous, which is why goalies wear gear like neck guards, goalie helmets, goalie pads, and more.

There is a thin margin for error as goalies typically see 20-35 shots on goal per game, and amazingly only let in a couple of goals in the net.

Being a goalie requires flexibility, dexterity, and the ability to focus for long periods of time. The same goalie often plays the entire game and is rarely substituted.

Some of the most famous active goaltenders include Carey Price, Henrik Lundqivst, and Marc-Andre Fleury.

Roles and Responsibilities

Goalies are the last line of defense for a hockey team for keeping the puck out of the net.

The goalie's jobs on the ice will change based on where the puck is on the ice. The goalie is responsible for stopping the puck from entering the net, blocking and catching shots on goal, and passing the puck to teammates in the defensive zone

Types of Goalies

There are three types of goalies in modern hockey, mostly determined by their stance and technique. They are called butterfly, stand-up, and hybrid goalies.

Butterfly Goalies

Butterfly is the most common playing style used among modern goalies. In a butterfly stance, the goalie crouches down and has his legs shaped like a butterfly flapping its wings. Whenever a shot on goal occurs, the butterfly goalie will force his legs down towards the surface of the ice to block the puck.

Stand-Up Goalies

Stand-up goaltending is not used as often as it was in hockey's earlier history. In this technique, goalies would make saves from a standing position.

Hybrid Goalies

A hybrid goaltending technique takes portions of both the butterfly and stand-up styles and blends them into one.

Goalie Statistics

A strong hockey goalie is defined by their performance. As a statistician you can evaluate a goalie based on Saves (S), Save Percentage (SV PCT), and Shots Against (SA).

Goalie Equipment

Goalies are equipped with both a goalie stick and a goalie catch glove. Both tools are important to the success of a goalie. The goalie stick is used to block pucks that stay on the ice. It is also used to pass the puck to teammates. The goalie catch glove is used to catch airborne pucks that fly towards the goal. A strong goalie will also use the goalie catch glove to cover the puck on the ice and prevent opposing players from hitting it into the net.

Goalie Strategy

Shifting is an important part of being a good goalie. Based on where the puck is on the ice, a goalie will shift his positioning in the goal crease to cut off the angle of the shot.

Goalies must anticipate where the puck is going based on the formation of the opposing team.

A good goalie will only leave the goal crease to play a puck if offensive players are not nearby.

It is often said that the bigger the target the harder it is to miss. This strategy applies to playing goalie since spreading yourself out allows you to cover a larger portion of the net.

Top NHL Goalies

The following lists some of the top goalies in the National Hockey League by team:

Martin BrodeurNew Jersey Devils
Patrick RoyMontreal Canadiens
Dominik HasekBuffalo Sabres
Henrik LundqvistNew York Rangers
Martin JonesSan Jose Sharks
Matt MurrayPittsburgh Penguins
Carey PriceMontreal Canadiens


What is pulling the goalie in hockey?

A team will pull their goalie off the ice in exchange for an extra attacker if they are losing late in the third period. Having a sixth skater allows a team to control the puck in the offensive zone and make more shots on goal. When deciding to pull their goalie, a team must decide if it is worth the risk of leaving the net open for the opposing team to make an easy goal.

Why do hockey teams pull their goalie?

Having an extra skater on the ice is a huge benefit as it allows the team to cycle the puck to an open skater who is not being guarded by an opposing player.

When should a team pull their goalie in a hockey game?

A team won't typically pull their goalie until the final minutes of a hockey game.