SHOT ADJUSTMENT

This is a more in-depth analysis of two goals let in by Philipp Grubauer in Game 1.  The first goal came at the end of regulation and sent the game into overtime.  The second came in overtime to end the game.  The goals don't look very similar at all to the naked eye but Grubauer fell victim to a similar move in a different situation.

On the first goal, the pass came from the slot to Seth Jones.  Here, as covered in our Long Distance Tracking breakdown, the goalie must find where the puck is going, square up, and drive straight there.  Grubauer did all of those things but tracking the puck does not stop there.  Jones accepted the puck in front of his body then extended to his forehand before firing it short side.  Grubauer stopped at where Jones caught the puck and Jones' move to his forehand opened up the short side.  See below for a visual on how that move can open up the net just enough for a highly skilled shooter to put it in on the short side.

The goalie must not only find where the puck is going, but also recognize the handedness of the shooter catching the puck.  A lefty shooter here might have just tee-ed up a one-timer.  A righty has to catch the puck then bring it to a position he can get off a quality shot.  A minor adjustment from Grubauer would have covered up that short side.

On the second goal, Panarin drove in down the wing with the puck on his backhand.  The goaltender must honor the potential backhand shot so as to not give the shooter the easiest way to the goal.  At the last minute though, Panarin pulled the puck to his forehand and snapped it up over the glove of Grubauer.  Again, Grubauer must honor the potential backhand but must also know that the more deadly option is for Panarin to pull the puck to his forehand and get off a quicker, more accurate shot.  See below for how that move to the forehand can change the angle of the shot and open up that far side.

One thing to notice is how much more the angle changed on Panarin's shot.  The more in tight you get, the more that shift changes the angle of the shot.  The puck is only moving maybe four or five feet but this will change the angle a significant amount.

Both of these plays are at the highest speeds with some very skilled shooters (the first on the power play as well) so I'm not going to sit here and say that these goals were on Grubauer.  But the most successful, elite goaltenders aren't just reacting to the plays as they happen, they are anticipating what the shooter will have to do in order to get a quality shot off.  This can be a difference maker in a tight, one-goal game as we saw in Game 1.

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