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Braden Holtby RVH Technique

Punisher Goalie

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I’ve noticed that when he is in the RVH on the stick side and the puck is behind the net, Braden Holtby often looks over his left shoulder (his glove hand shoulder) threw the back of the net to follow the play. By contrast, it seems most goalies wrap their neck around the post (best way I can describe it) to look behind the outside of the net.

Holtby’s technique seems like a good way to “pre-position” your head facing the glove side post so that in the event of wrap around or quick play to the glove side, you can more quickly initiate that slide. I’ve always struggled with wrap arounds, feeling like I am whipping my head/shoulders around to get to the other post, so thinking I may try this technique. Just wondering if anyone else does this or has any thoughts about it.

Haven’t found a pic or video of him doing this yet, but seems like Holtby does it all the time.

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So the FuturePro reply would be "Well if the puck is behind the net then you shouldn't be in RVH anyway!" :P  Looking around the post does help keep your upper body leaning towards the play like is intended in RVH for that tight walk out.  

In general though, I like what you describe Holtby doing if the puck carrier is behind the net (mostly static) looking for a play.  I find it better to be anchored to my stick side because my stick is then already outside of the post and I don't have to worry about it getting stuck in the net moving to that side.  Then looking over your glove shoulder gives you a big window to look through the net knowing you're effectively covering the side you're not looking at already.

The other scenario being a quick play behind the net (puck carrier keeps moving whether it's a wrap or a walk or a pass), I generally play a step by step position.  

1. On post, looking around the post until the puck carrier crosses behind the post.

2. Once the puck carrier is behind the net so they can't bank the puck off you, transition to a modified normal stance, post skate still anchored to post but you are able to look over your post shoulder to see if the player stops up to come back or if they continue to the rest of the way around.  Depending on your size/mobility, this is generally a little bit past the center of the back of the net.

3. Then I either RVH to the far post if I can read wrap or something similar.  Or just transition to another post hug if it looks like they are taking it wide.

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