Ice hockey is a 5-on-5 game (not including the goalies). Each team has six players on the ice, five skaters and one goalie.
REMEMBER: The same five skaters on an ice hockey team play both offense and defense.
Each player has a unique role to fulfill on the ice in both offensive and defensive situations.
In this chapter, we will learn about the goalie and his role on the ice.
Meet The Goalie (G)
Also known as a goaltender, goalkeeper, and netminder, the goalie is the last line of defense for a hockey team for keeping the puck out of the net. Goalies are responsible for making saves and periodically playing the puck by passing it to teammates on the ice.
Goals And Job
The goalie's jobs on the ice will change depending on the position of the puck on the ice. However, a goalie's core jobs are to:
- to stop the puck from entering the net
- to block and catch shots on goal
- to pass the puck to teammates
The good goalie accomplishes these goals by constantly shifting and changing his position on the ice based on the location of the puck.
He must anticipate where the puck is going at all times. A good goalie will only leave the goalie crease to play a puck if offensive players are not near by.
The bigger a goalie can make himself, the larger the portion of the net he blocks and protects.
Goalie Playing Styles
There are three main playing styles used by ice hockey goalies:
Butterfly is the most common playing style used among present-day goalies. In this technique, goalies play crouched down, which helps block more of the net.
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.
A hybrid goaltending technique takes portions of both the butterfly and stand-up styles and blends them into one.
There are few important statistics that define a good goalie:
- Saves (S)
- Save Percentage (SV PCT)
- Shots Against (SA)
We'll learn more about ice hockey statistics in future tutorials.
Top NHL Goalies Of All Time
Here are some of the best goalies to ever play in the NHL that you should know:
2017-18 NHL Goalies
Here are some goalies in the NHL currently that you should know: