Wednesday, October 21, 2015

When goaltenders attack

The Montreal Canadiens are off to a great start. They’re the league’s only undefeated team at 7-0-0, just about everyone on the roster is playing well, and they’re on top of any set of power rankings you can find.

But all of that pales in comparison to the undisputed highlight of the season: Carey Price doing this to Chris Kreider.

It’s worth remembering that there’s some history here. Two seasons ago, Kreider ended Price’s season in an ugly collision during the conference final. So was this payback? Price denied it, but nobody believes him. It’s just more fun to assume it was on purpose, because goalies attacking players never fails to be awesome.

So today, we’re going to flip through the pages of history and offer up some advice for those goalies out there who might want to exact a little revenge of their own. We won’t include any goalie-on-goalie violence, partly because it doesn’t fit the theme, and partly because goalie fights deserve a post of their own someday. No, today is about goalies lashing out at everyone else — especially those big shots in their fancy skates and comfortable pads, always scoring goals and sucking up glory and getting hats thrown at them. They could use a stiff trapper upside the head.

And luckily, history has provided us with plenty of examples of just how a jilted goalie could go about it. There are a dozen distinct ways for a goaltender to go on the attack, and we’re going to review them all.

The “Accidental” Bodycheck

The move: Skate behind your net. Wait for an incoming opponent to try to cut by, knowing he’s not allowed to touch you. Then drop your shoulder into his chest and send him flying.

The master: Carey Price, apparently. Who knew?

Let’s watch it again, this time in GIF form:

So good. But you have to wonder: Wherever did an upstanding young Montreal goaltender learn this sort of anti-Ranger behavior? Oh. Oh, right.

Pro tip: The hit itself is nice, but I think we can all agree that it’s the stare-down afterward that really makes it.

The Retaliatory Punch After a Collision

The move: It’s one of those unwritten rules of goaltending: If a player collides with you, even accidentally, you’re legally allowed to do pretty much anything you want to them for a period of five seconds.

The master: Literally everyone. I don’t care who the goaltender is — as soon as he’s knocked over, all bets are off. Anytime a player goes hard to the net and you hear a whistle, there’s a good chance the next thing you see will be an enraged goaltender awkwardly crawling on top of him with arms flailing. It appears to be an instinctive territorial thing. If you strapped a set of pads on Mother Teresa and somebody accidentally slid into her and nudged her legs, she’d be all “%&#*@#$% needs to eat some blocker!”

This rule applies outside the crease as well, by the way. I’ve always been partial to Don Beaupre’s swinging backhand.

Pro tip: Don’t feel like you have to aim for the face. Remember, this is a free shot; it’s OK to get creative.

>> Read the full post on Grantland


  1. As a female goaltender in an almost all-male league, this is very helpful. I will strive to take your tips seriously and I appreciate that you have added links for video study. I always strive to better myself and I believe this article will aid me greatly this season.

    Thank you Mr. McIndoe.
    J.L. "Kitty" Colt

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