When facing shots from far out, the goalie should use a reactive butterfly. When facing situations from close range the goalie should use a blocking butterfly. The timing of the goalie’s descent and the positioning of the hands will depend on the situation. Against a play from close range (less than the length of a stick) the goalie can afford to go down slightly before the shot is taken. In addition the goalie brings his hands in tight along his body in order to create a big “wall.” This kind of butterfly is referred to as a “block.” In all other situations the goalie needs to be more patient. For example, when facing a shot from the slot, the goalie does not want to drop down into a blocking mode before the shot. Too much net would be exposed to the shooter. Instead the goalie needs to identify where the puck is going before he does down. He reacts to the shot. In addition the goaltender needs to keep his hands high and be ready to react in case the puck is directed toward the upper corners. In both cases there are 3 steps the goalie should always follow in order to achieve a successful butterfly.
1. Drive your knees towards the ice. It is important that the goalie recognizes that there is a difference between dropping the knees on the ice, and driving them down. When you drive your knees down you actually give them momentum towards the ice, which is much faster.
2. Push your hips forward. This is important for 2 reasons. By pushing the hips forward the goalie actually uses his core strength which creates more speed. The second reason is that it allows the goalie to be tall in his butterfly. When down on the ice the goalie should be in a position whereby the knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line.
3. Elbows into ribs with forearms close to the goalies thighs. Although this may not be as important to the execution of going into the butterfly, having elbows in tight helps eliminate holes under the arms. If the goaltender has his arms up in the butterfly there are more decisions for the goalie to make a save. The fewer the options the easier the save for the goalie.