As I type this my knees are two lumps of hamburger and it hurts to wear pants of any kind. This is the result of some hard lessons learned over the past week in my transition to the butterfly technique.
How loose is too loose?
Just to be clear, the idea that pads rotate is a confusion. Watch any modern goalie demonstrating butterfly -- and almost any other -- save movements: the pads stay facing the puck at all times. What really happens is that the patella rotates 90 degrees behind the pad: from facing forward, through back of the pad, to facing down at the ice through the knee-block.
If your knees are missing the knee-block when you butterfly, it is probable that they are too loose *at the knee*. The biggest mistake many people make in strapping pads is to tighten and loosen every strap proportionately. The next time you're going on the ice, drop into the butterfly in the dressingroom and see if you can 'wiggle' your knee off the knee-block. If you can, tighten those straps (Velcro elastic, leather, whatever) in various combinations until you can no longer 'fall off' the knee-block.
Armed with this knowledge and a new pair of Bauer goalie knee pads, I returned to the ice this past weekend and finally began to see some improvement in my technique.
|Left: Old School drop down w/ Heatons Right: Butterfly with newer Vaughns|
I've also improved my stance by widening my skate position and loosening up my old back muscles and getting into a better (poopypants) crouch. I've still got miles and miles to go towards getting skilled in the butterfly but I can now report my first progress.
|Left: Heaton pads too small, very little crouch Right: Wider stance, better crouch|