How To Do A Butterfly Save In Hockey

Hockey goaltenders frequently use the butterfly save technique to protect the lower portion of the net. Here are five supporting facts on how to execute a butterfly save in hockey:
1. Starting position: Begin in the ready position, which involves bending your knees slightly with your feet shoulder-width apart. This stance allows for quick movement and provides a stable base.

2. Timing is key: As the shooter approaches or releases a shot, drop into a butterfly position. This means rapidly dropping to your knees, with both legs extended toward the sides and your feet facing outward.

3. Paddle down: While dropping into the butterfly, make sure to place your goalie stick flat on the ice, with the blade (paddle) positioned horizontally along the ice surface. This helps cover the bottom part of the net and blocks low shots.

4. Pad stack for added coverage: In situations where the initial butterfly save does not effectively block the shot, goalies will sometimes bring their leg pads together vertically, stacking one on top of the other. This technique creates additional coverage and can be deployed as a last-ditch effort to save a goal.

5. Recovery and rebound control: After making the butterfly save, it’s crucial to quickly recover to your feet and regain optimal positioning. Additionally, focus on controlling the rebound, directing the puck away from dangerous scoring areas to limit second-chance opportunities for the opposing team.

Now, let’s explore seven frequently asked questions about the butterfly save in hockey:

FAQ 1: When should I use the butterfly save technique?
The butterfly save is commonly employed when facing low shots, as it provides substantial coverage to the lower portion of the net. It is especially effective against wrist shots, snap shots, and shots close to the crease.

FAQ 2: How can I improve my lateral movement for the butterfly save?
Practicing lateral movements is essential for mastering the butterfly save. Incorporate drills that focus on shuffling and sliding efficiently from side to side, as this will allow you to align your body correctly and execute the butterfly save effectively.

FAQ 3: Are there any common mistakes to avoid while doing a butterfly save?
One common mistake is failing to seal off the bottom corners of the net properly. Ensure that your legs are extended outward and your feet are pointing toward each post to effectively cover these areas. Additionally, avoid dropping too early or too late, as mistiming can leave open gaps for the puck to pass through.

FAQ 4: Is the butterfly save the only technique goalies use to block low shots?
While the butterfly save is highly effective, other techniques such as the pad stack, kick save, or even a desperation dive might be used depending on the situation. Goalies should adapt based on the shot location, velocity, and angle.

FAQ 5: Should I use the butterfly save for high shots as well?
The butterfly save is not typically recommended for high shots, as it leaves the top portion of the net exposed. For shots aimed at the upper part of the goal, goalies generally rely on different techniques such as glove saves or blocker saves.

FAQ 6: Do I need specific gear to perform a butterfly save?
Having proper goaltending equipment is crucial to ensure your safety and effectiveness in executing saves. You will need well-fitted leg pads that allow for swift movement, as well as a high-quality goalie stick with a flat blade for solid paddle down saves.

FAQ 7: Can I practice the butterfly save on my own, or do I need a shooter?
While practicing with a shooter is beneficial, you can still work on perfecting your technique without one. Set up targets in the corners of the net and practice dropping into the butterfly position quickly. Additionally, incorporate lateral movement drills to enhance your overall mobility.

The butterfly save is an essential technique for hockey goaltenders to effectively block low shots. It requires proper positioning, timing, and attention to detail in order to provide optimal net coverage. By practicing this technique and focusing on recovery and rebound control, goalies can significantly enhance their ability to stop shots.