NHL 15 Goalie Guide:
By: Deffer and SmellyKickButt
Introduction to the Position:
Playing goalie is little more than stopping the puck, but to do so, you have to know about the position.
A goalie wears skates just like the rest of the team, but that’s where the similarities end. Leg pads, arm pads, off hand glove, primary hand blocker, chest/torso pads, neck guard and a full helmet with face shield. Your goalie, much like a baseball player, will have his glove on his ‘bad’ hand – so if you are right handed, the goalie will have his glove on the left side and the stick on the right. This is important to know when you are creating and modifying your player.
Top 3 Keys to Playing Goalie:
1) Memory: If your opponent has been attempting cross creases all game, when they come down on a 2-on-1 then cover the pass. If everyone is a puck hog, play the shot. Take it a step further by trying to remember exactly who are the puck hogs and who are the passers and you’ll have the advantage.
2) Communication: If you have a headset, use it. Let your teammates know whether you would prefer them to play the pass or the player. Let them know if you are planning on leaving the net. Let them know if you would prefer them to trip the opponent on the breakaway to set up a penalty shot or let you try and top him. Additionally, as a goalie you have valuable insight to lend on how the opposing goalie is playing. The difference between a good goalie and a great goalie? A good goalie is good in his own net, a great goalie is good in his own net and lets his teammates know the weaknesses of the opposing goalie.
3) Tracking the Puck. Let’s face it, if you can’t track the puck, you can’t play goalie. Keep your eyes glued to the puck when it’s in your zone.
Introduction to the Controls:
– Moves the player from side to side, forward and back. You will use this a lot.
– Anticipation Stick.
– high glove
– low glove
– high blocker
– low blocker
– poke check (good for one on one encounters with a close puck carrier.)
– five hole (between legs) save
Click – shove
/ (hold) – free skate. Used to gather puck in the side boards or in the trapezoid behind the net. Or when the opposing team takes a penalty and they have yet to obtain possession of the puck, this is called a delayed penalty. You can use the A button to run off the ice to the bench and replace yourself with an extra skater. Also works late in the game when deciding to pull the goalie when down by 1 or 2 goals.
/ – Gather/hold puck.
/ – Positions the goalie into the butterfly stance. This leaves the upper end of the net vulnerable.
/ – Hug post (without puck), Pass (with puck)
/ + / + – Increases the movement speed of the goalie, but decreases the ability to set up into your stance. You should only use this during cross crease passes.
/ + – This button combination slows the movement speed down. You stay in a better save stance using the button combination, but you move much slower – only use this when you are confident that you are in the proper position for where the puck is on the ice (more on that later.)
/ + (flick) – Desperation save. This is fun and flashy to use, but it hardly ever works. If you’re facing a 3 on 0, you might be in a situation to use this button combination, but other than that it only hurts your positioning.
/ + or (hold) – Stack pads – similar to desperation save, you should hardly ever use this – it creates a vulnerability in net (high) and places you out of proper position.
+ (hold) – Spread Pads “V” save – good as a last resort if you’re beat on a breakaway and the skater moves to the side. Will create poor positioning, and leaves the upper area of the net wide open, but covers most of the bottom of the net if you’re not out too far.
+ (flick & hold) – Lunging poke check. A good tool for breakaways when the skater hesitates. Pretty much all or nothing – if you don’t get the puck it’s probably going to end up in the net.
Playing the Position:
1. The left stick is your best friend. You use this to get into position to cover the angles while the other team possesses the puck. If you are in good position, you will only need to use LS to make most of your saves.
2. The right stick is your anticipation stick. There are only two scenarios when you would want to use the right stick. Scenario #1: A puck has been fired from the point and is clearly coming to your top right side without any traffic in the way. Flick the right stick to the top right corner to increase your probability of making the save. Scenario #2: Your opponent has passed it from your right side to your left side and you have no time to get square to the puck. Flick the left stick to the left to perform a desperation save.
3. Left trigger is to be used sparingly – mostly in very close quarters or they’ll roof the puck on you every time. (More in offline BaP, but online as well.) Only go into butterfly if the puck is within a few feet of your player – this cuts off the angle to the top of the net, but leaves you vulnerable to a ‘chip’ in, where the player lifts the puck over you.
4. Be 100% sure you’re more than 60% towards the post you want to hug before hitting RT – anywhere near the middle and you’re flipping a coin as to which post you’re trying to hug.
5. Cover the puck (Y button) when you can, but don’t go for the ‘dive’ if it’s more than a few feet from you. Pass if the other team isn’t above the hash marks (see next section for where the hash marks are.)
6. Play the angles – if they’re at the top of the slot, move out to cut off the angles they have, but be aware of the other players. Cutting off the angle of the shooter is pointless if you’re leaving an empty net for the crasher.
7. Stay in the net if you’re not experienced with; when to go get the puck, when to know when to turn back, how to pass.
8. You’re not going to get a shutout every game – don’t beat yourself up.
9. Desperation saves are to be used in desperate times (3 on 0) – not in scrums in front of the net.
10. Keep your eyes on the puck, not the player. If the players have any deke ability, they will burn you every time if you watch the player and not the puck. If you’re in proper position, the skater will always have to make the first move, giving you the advantage.
Where to Position the Goalie During Play:
The above picture shows the different areas in a hockey rink, and some of the terminology used by players.
This picture shows the position your goalie should be in when the puck is at the point – the position of the goalie changes with the position of the puck, and is dependent on whether or not there are players crashing the net. If there are players crashing the net, the goalie should not be out at the top of the crease, but rather near the ‘ticks’ or closer to the middle of the crease in preparation for a pass.
The dreaded cross-crease possibility. I’m going to describe these as if there is no defender. If there was a defender, and he was competent in his position, he would know to play the pass – or cover the non-puck controlling player – but, especially in EASHL, we can’t 100% trust the defensemen to be in position, so we’ll prepare as if there wasn’t one at all.
In this scenario, we want to be out of the net, but only about 25% of the way to the top of the crease. This covers the short side for the most part, and still allows us to have enough time to slide over to cover the pass (hopefully.) If the players drive the net further than in this image, the chances of scoring (without a defenseman) increase the closer they get – they gain the ‘angles’ advantage on you.
If they pass (seen here:) then you need to move your goalie (LS) to the appropriate side to cover the new angles. With cross crease passes, there’s a likely chance that it will be accompanied by a one-timer, so you’ll need to be quick on the buttons to have a good chance at the save.
This image shows you where you want to be when a player has the puck in the slot – near the ticks. The teal lines are the only areas the puck can go if you have the proper positioning. If there are other skaters open for a pass, obviously you want to keep that in mind when positioning your player.
Everyone likes to keep the play moving. A wise goalie doesn’t care about what everyone wants. Pass the puck only when there is a clear lane between you and your teammates. Even then, watch to ensure that there are no opponents nearby. Nothing is worse than having to listen to your teammates yell at you because you tossed it to a teammate and watched helplessly as they were steamrolled by a defender nearby. The puck skitters perfectly onto that same defender’s stick and he buries it top cookies all because you wanted to “keep the play moving.” Your job is simple. Keep the puck out of your net. Freeze the puck as often as you like in order to execute on your objective. The only exception is when you are losing and there is not much time left on the clock. Then, the risk of giving up a second goal is less important than the need of picking up the tying goal. Pass that puppy out as fast as you can.
Leaving the Net:
1) If you’re down by two and there are 3 minutes left in the game, or when you’re down by 1 and there is a minute and a half left in the game. Wait until the puck is on your teammates stick in a safe area, leave the net and make a bee line for the bench. This will provide your team with an additional skater to try and tie the game.
2) If the puck has been dumped along the boards, you can rush behind your net, to pick up the puck and pass it to a teammate. Never pass it up in front of your net while you’re not in your net, if your pass doesn’t go as planned you won’t be there to stop the inevitable goal. Also, never hold the puck outside the trapezoid, this will result in a penalty.
3) If the puck is dumped in the center of the ice and an opponent is racing down the ice to pick it up and start his breakaway. You must gauge the distance and determine whether or not you think you can beat him. If you can, hold A and use the left stick to start charging up the ice to get the puck before the opponent. Be careful though, this leaves you and the net very vulnerable. So make sure to pass that puck safely away from the net or use RB and right stick up to dump the puck right back into the opponent’s zone. Be careful though, if the puck leaves the ice over the high boards, you will be called for a penalty.
If you fight when you are playing 6s, you just took your RW off the ice for 5mins. But if a forward on the other team slashes you and it gives you the pop up to fight the forward. DO IT. I am saying this because you take one of their forwards off the ice, but you keep all of yours.
Tips to Fighting:
People like to spam, so i suggest that you try to dodge their punches by hitting the Right trigger (RT) at the right time to dodge. Don’t hold Right trigger as you will stay in a defensive stance and take a lot less damage from punches, but you’re also pinned down. If you are pinned down you should push Left stick up to push him, then get a few good punches in then go back to dodging.
Being Realistic as Goalie:
I’m sorry, but you are likely not the Patrick Roy of video game hockey. You’re going to let in goals. It’s important to keep this in mind, especially when you first start playing. If you practice more and more, and keep your angles in mind, and always keep a small portion of your brain focused on positioning, you’ll get better.
Proper Sportsmanship While Playing Online:
If you own a microphone – use it. Communication is key, especially in a team game, and most importantly, if you’re playing goalie. Some people know exactly how to play, so when you tell your defensemen “if there’s a 2 on 1, please cover the pass” some will know what you’re talking about, and others may have questions – having a mic makes it easier to explain exactly what you want/need. The reverse is true as well – if a teammate has a pointer like “hey, the Center likes to shoot high glove side from the slot” you want to be sure you get that so you can be prepared.
Know when to throw in the towel. If you’ve given up 5 goals on 7 shots and it’s half way through the first period of a drop-in game, it’s time to back out and start over – it’s more a common courtesy for the players on your team. Explain to them that you tried, but just didn’t have it and wish them good luck on their way out. Once you back out – forget that game even happened, because if you don’t you’re going to run into a situation where you start over analyzing the plays, and you’ll end up a step behind the play and the score is going to reflect that.