hockey – The Most Underrated Team in the NHL

October 22, 2009

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Unbelievable Hockey Fight

Many of the goalie drills that you see being practiced focus on positioning within the crease. This makes sense because if a hockey goalie cannot get into position to cut down the angle or make the save, then the odds are not in their favour to be successful.  

This year, they’re having one of the best starts in a really long time. It didn’t start out the way they wanted with a loss. But, they would end up taking the next 6 games and being tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins for the best record in the NHL.

But, why are the Rangers starting this season so much better than the last few?

Before going over a few of the goalie drills I use for training hand-eye coordination, let’s consider what we are training. Hand-eye coordination requires the athlete to track the puck with his eyes, then those impulse travel through the nervous system to be interpreted by the brain which will then send out response impulses to the muscles which cause you to move laterally and reach for the puck with your glove or to poke check the puck off the skater’s stick or any other response your brain deems necessary.   

Although we cannot really increase the speed of our nervous impulses, we can improve the speed of interpretation and reaction. Think of the first time you played your favourite video game. When I was a kid the game was PacMan and I remember starting out chomping the little dots on the screen and dodging the ghost for about eight seconds before the ghost got the best of me and my PacMan character was disintegrating before my very eyes. But then as I played more and more, my fingers learned how to control the movement with more skill – it was as though I did not have to think about what I was doing – my hands just reacted. This is what I am trying to do with the following drills – expose you to numerous blocker and glove saves training your body how to react.  

My Conclusions

Out of the teams I mentioned above, I think that the Rangers are the only “shoe-in” to the playoffs. The Kings are going to have to fight for a spot, but you could see them coming in 6th-8th.

As for the cup, it’s too early to tell. I’ll make sure to let you know what I think later on in the season

 

Resource Author Francisco Rodriguez Higueras
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