As you may know I’m working on an Art of the Shootout story which is scheduled to appear later in the month. I still have to talk to Johan Hedberg again before I write it, but after Monday’s 3-2 shootout win over the Rangers I had to share a little bit of what I have so far.
His stop of Marian Gaborik on the first shootout attempt brought me back to something Hedberg said when I first talked to him for the shootout story. Did you see how far Hedberg came out of the net as Gaborik rushed in?
“I want to come out and take away his space,” Hedberg told me of his shootout strategy. “I don’t want to have too big a gap between the shooter and myself because then they have too much room to move around. Ideally, he can make one move sideways and then he doesn’t have any more room to move around in. Usually my guiding point is if he’s at the hashmarks, I want to be on top of my crease. No further in or out at that time. If I’m at the top of my crease when he’s at the hashmarks, I know I have a pretty good gap.”
I don’t want to give too much of the story away, but I had to share that insight from a goalie who is 15-3 all-time in shootouts.
Looks like Hedberg has the hot hand right now. He had career highs in saves (46) and shots faced (48) in the win over the Rangers. You have to figure he’ll start again in Florida on Wednesday, but we shall see. Ondrej Pavelec will most likely play one of the back-to-backs with Florida and Dallas at home on Thursday.
What are your thoughts about the goaltending situation?