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Murray

The Definitive Shooting & Playing the Puck Thread

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Hey gang - I'd like to start a thread on shooting and playing the puck, as I feel that there aren't a lot of good resources devoted to the mechanics and technical know-how available (and I've done some extensive searching). I'd like to start this thread for two main reasons:

1) When I was growing up, puck handling/playing the puck was left out of 99% of the goalie training I took part it... it just wasn't a big part of the game. I only really play goal, too, so I missed out on even learning how to shoot the puck as a player.

2) Being able to shoot and play the puck well is an absolute asset in beer/rec leagues, and I'd like to be able to add that extra dimension to my teams.

Over the summer, I set up a pass/shoot station in my garage, but it didn't really translate to the ice, and after shooting 100+ pucks a day for a few weeks, it just felt like I was giving myself some serious arm/tendon strain.

So! Tips! Tricks! Technique! Discussion! Let's go!

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I love playing the puck! I use the turco grip and just practice all the time. I also learned over time the players read your body and not the puck so I take my time and will face my body the other direction and then I'll turn to the direction I do want to pass the puck. Actually works a lot for me.

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2 hours ago, insertnamehere said:

@MurrayAre you wanting info on how to decide when you will play the puck in this thread or simply techniques for puckhandling? 

Tips, tricks, and techniques. My timing and thought process is pretty good, I just want to be able to dish some sweet, sweet sauce to my D and forwards.

While practicing in my garage, I found that the overhand Turco grip worked best, so that's what I primarily focussed on. On ice, though, something isn't quite translating. I find that my best shots actually come from the one-handed off the knee flick - I can get decent power/height from it, but accuracy isn't great.

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Try using the Turco method that is very common now in the pros. That means the catching glove is turned over pushing down on the middle of the stick as you shoot. Experiment with how high or low your hand is on the stick. In games focus on making smart passes and good decisions over flinging the puck with heavy sauce. If you’re facing the glass take a look in the reflection to see what the attacker is doing. Watch to see if an attacker is cutting and doing a rink turn or coming at you and stopping. Sometimes you can use their momentum against them.

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Playing the puck is a huge part of my game and very important to me as a player. 

I can do both methods (regular and Turco) reasonably well.  I prefer regular grip if I have a bit of time as I find it easier to sauce this way and have it land flat.  The Turco grip gives me a bit more flex and power, and I'll typically use it to rim-around.  The Turco style also opens up a lot more angles to make hard, low passes.  I find that once you get set and ready with the regular/underhand method, you are "locked" to that angle of play.  For me, weight transfer goes to my inside (left) leg.

Being able to tag bars from the slot is great, but has no practical usage when you are trying to hit a streaking forward at the red line.  Likewise, a pass/shot station in a home environment is a good place to start, but unless you are simulating the instability/balance/weight transfer issues once you put on skates, it will not translate well to your on-ice play.

What's most important IMO is reading the play.  Someone who is less mechanically capable with stick and puck but understands forechecking patterns and pressure will outplay a goalie who can fire bombs in the air to the opposite blue line but can't read the play.  90% of the time, the simple play is best.  Communicate with your D and make short passes. I can't tell you how many times I've subbed on a beer league team, raced to a dump in, and had one of my own guys continue to skate in on me to the point that I have the puck and he's literally 2 feet in front of me, taking away half my options.

Mechanically with the Turco grip, I found a video on Instagram of Turco teaching some goalies how to shoot better, and it's crazy simple:
Put your gloves out in front of you; gloves should be farther from you than the puck.  You should form an acute angle between the ice and your stick ending in your gloves at the top.  This lets you get good flex and leverage on your stick.  I'd find the link but it's probably buried on Instagram somewhere.

Roll your wrists to get power behind it.  I was watching this video of Forsberg doing one handed backhands when this idea dawned on me; watch his blade.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vfGdtfZ_uM

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The Turco grip was much easier in my Brian's gloves because the break naturally put my thumb along the inside of the stick shaft with my fingers over top. The Passau glove, with its baseball glove thumb-to-index-finger break, is much tougher because I have to rotate my hand around much farther now. I wish I had a way to practice playing the puck. 

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11 minutes ago, IPv6Freely said:

The Turco grip was much easier in my Brian's gloves because the break naturally put my thumb along the inside of the stick shaft with my fingers over top. The Passau glove, with its baseball glove thumb-to-index-finger break, is much tougher because I have to rotate my hand around much farther now. I wish I had a way to practice playing the puck. 

Ain't that the truth.

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23 minutes ago, IPv6Freely said:

The Turco grip was much easier in my Brian's gloves because the break naturally put my thumb along the inside of the stick shaft with my fingers over top. The Passau glove, with its baseball glove thumb-to-index-finger break, is much tougher because I have to rotate my hand around much farther now. I wish I had a way to practice playing the puck. 

11 minutes ago, coopaloop1234 said:

Ain't that the truth.

@Murray I'm tagging this topic... I struggle for the same reasons you do. Wasn't emphasized when I was in my formative goalie years... and to what @IPv6Freely mentioned... I play w/ a 90 degree 580 break that just isn't meant for Turco style handling.

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Here's a good video from Robb Stauber. He makes it looks so easy.

There's another one with Marty Turco in his post-NHL, European playing time. It's a good one because he explains how he came to shoot overhand and how he does it depending on the situation, forehand/backhand, short or long flip passes. It's about 6minutes long but I can't find it on YouTube now.

Admins -- Is it okay to upload the video here? It's about 20MB.

Edited by KootenayKeeper

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2 hours ago, Chenner29 said:

Mechanically with the Turco grip, I found a video on Instagram of Turco teaching some goalies how to shoot better, and it's crazy simple:
Put your gloves out in front of you; gloves should be farther from you than the puck.  You should form an acute angle between the ice and your stick ending in your gloves at the top.  This lets you get good flex and leverage on your stick.  I'd find the link but it's probably buried on Instagram somewhere.

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12 hours ago, WillyGrips13 said:

Try using the Turco method that is very common now in the pros. That means the catching glove is turned over pushing down on the middle of the stick as you shoot. Experiment with how high or low your hand is on the stick. In games focus on making smart passes and good decisions over flinging the puck with heavy sauce. If you’re facing the glass take a look in the reflection to see what the attacker is doing. Watch to see if an attacker is cutting and doing a rink turn or coming at you and stopping. Sometimes you can use their momentum against them.

11 hours ago, Chenner29 said:

Likewise, a pass/shot station in a home environment is a good place to start, but unless you are simulating the instability/balance/weight transfer issues once you put on skates, it will not translate well to your on-ice play.

What's most important IMO is reading the play.  Someone who is less mechanically capable with stick and puck but understands forechecking patterns and pressure will outplay a goalie who can fire bombs in the air to the opposite blue line but can't read the play.  90% of the time, the simple play is best.  Communicate with your D and make short passes. I can't tell you how many times I've subbed on a beer league team, raced to a dump in, and had one of my own guys continue to skate in on me to the point that I have the puck and he's literally 2 feet in front of me, taking away half my options.

That is exactly what coach at summer camps allways told us - make strong precise pass, read the play and pass puck on the ice. Turco grip for passing, standart in situations, when you don´t have time and need to just fire the puck high and away. You should be able to hold stick on shaft in the air with catcher only, then you have good strong grip. 

I like to play puck, but I´m not good at it. Sometimes I make realy confusing situations :D. On the other side, it is realy about training and sklil - I learned how to lift puck to the air using backhadnd with turco grip - it was about coach shows me and then I startd to try-error until I can lift it.

In my opinion, training at home is good start, but doesn´t transfere to ice much. Exactly like Chenner29 said - balance, skates and ice.. everything is different.

Edited by mik

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18 hours ago, IPv6Freely said:

I'm terrible at playing the puck. I can't get the puck off the ice no matter how hard I try. 

After 30some years of playing, for the first time ever 2 weeks ago I managed to flip the puck up right into the hands (head height) of the ref after the whistle. I didn't show it but this is how I felt inside as I saw what I'd had just accomplished...

Image result for giddy gif

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6 hours ago, mik said:

it was about coach shows me and then I startd to try-error until I can lift it.

In my opinion, training at home is good start, but doesn´t transfere to ice much. Exactly like Chenner29 said - balance, skates and ice.. everything is different.

This is it, though - I've never had a coach show me HOW to do it, and it's pretty hard as a 30-something to find free icetime to JUST practice.

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52 minutes ago, RichMan said:

After 30some years of playing, for the first time ever 2 weeks ago I managed to flip the puck up right into the hands (head height) of the ref after the whistle. I didn't show it but this is how I felt inside as I saw what I'd had just accomplished...

Hehehe. Whenever I scoop up the puck with my stick any ref I have always loses his shit

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There’s a guy I occasionally play against who’s absurdly good at puck handling. I’ve seen him toe drag forecheckers, fire passes through forechecker’s legs, play the puck from his knees after a save with opponents surrounding him. He succeeds most of the time. However he gives away at least one goal a game farting around with the puck unnecessarily. It seems as though he never wants a whistle. Like he’s got a hot date after the game. Granted, these games start at 10pm on a weeknight. 

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1 hour ago, WillyGrips13 said:

There’s a guy I occasionally play against who’s absurdly good at puck handling. I’ve seen him toe drag forecheckers, fire passes through forechecker’s legs, play the puck from his knees after a save with opponents surrounding him. He succeeds most of the time. However he gives away at least one goal a game farting around with the puck unnecessarily. It seems as though he never wants a whistle. Like he’s got a hot date after the game. Granted, these games start at 10pm on a weeknight. 

I lost a shutout last week after dangling it between a forecheckers legs and then whiffing on my pass :(

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10 minutes ago, Chenner29 said:

I lost a shutout last week after dangling it between a forecheckers legs and then whiffing on my pass :(

Well you definitely deserved that one. :giggle:

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