Here is a article that helped me a lot. For those of you who like the snake shot or are indifferent about it, you will just have to wade through the characterizations like “namby-pamby” shot. It is the price you pay for knowledge.
Thanks again to the author of the article, Tim Dudra.
I’m posting this in response to a number of requests for “Hints on Snake Defence”. This is just a few points that I’ve noticed apply to many (if not all) shooters of the namby pamby roll-over.
These points come from years of shooting the roll-over (I are namby-pamby too). Some of this stuff I’ve figured out myself, some I’ve learned from other players. One point Evan Stacheluk was nice enough to point out to me AFTER he whooped my butt in Open Singles. Thanks Ev!!!!
Initially I wrote this to one person so forgive the first person style narrative.
This may not be the be all and end all of how to block the roll-over but much of this stuff works and I’ve applied it successfully to improve my blocking percentage against purveyors of the limp wrist flip shot.
————— THE NOTES BEGIN ————–
As for the things to look for about the snake there are a number of simple things (easy to explain via e-mail) that you can look for. Rookie/Amateur players almost always have these problems (half of winning at Semi-Pro is not losing to those categories).
What I recommend is take this list (or memorize it) and study a bunch of local roll-over shooters. See if you can figure out what I mean (much easier to do this visually).
Since no good players have posted stuff like this I’ve taken it upon myself. Then again, perhaps I know more than the good players. After all, you play more matches on the loser’s side of the bracket. 😉
In general, when defending the flop-over, keep your men moving (not too quickly). NEVER cross the men over. When I was on my game the instant I saw a cross-over happening I fired BLIND to whatever post I was thinking of at the time (usually a push). The cross-over has to be really quick and it doesn’t do that much good (most roll-over shooters don’t read a D anyway — shoot like a monkey, think like a monkey).
TELEGRAPH 1: How they hold the rod:
1. If their hand hangs down, their best shot is a push. Their pull will be the weakest – make them beat you with pulls.
2. If their hand hooks underneath the rod, best is a pull so make them beat you with good accurate pushes.
The above rule is accurate for about 98% of roll-overs. This rule doesn’t seem to apply to Terry Moore so don’t look at him. It does work with Robert Mares though (at least last time I saw him shoot – Besides, at your rank you want to worry about pros, semi-pros and this rule is very consistent for them). To beat the pro-masters everything must be working at once OR you have to get really lucky.
When encountering either of the above two situations (points 1 and 2) I generally make them beat me around the two bar on their strong side and leave the “perfect” hole on their weak side (i.e.: if the person hooks their hand underneath I will give them the two bar out around dead man on the pull side (don’t use the two-bar man that will go dead, use the other one – that way the shooter knows you CAN go past dead man and it will make him nervous – in fact, I never move that man to dead man at all, just let them think I will). A good way to make this “dead man” hole look even smaller is to keep the foot of your two bar forward to cut down the angle (hockey terminology).
FIGURE 1: D for a strong pull-shot shooter. Note the two-bar particularly (which man is being used).
Legend:  – The ball O – A man on rod
| Goal |
——–O——-O——–O—==== Three bar
By leaving the “perfect” hole on their weak side (for someone hooking their hand under this would be the push) I mean to make them beat you to a clean 1 to 1.25 ball width hole. Most shooters are not accurate on their weak side (a “fire for effect” thing where you shoot into an area). Under pressure these holes look tiny on the shooter’s weak side because they (more than anyone) know they are inaccurate there.
Don’t worry about middles as MUCH as you might think. They are actually kind of hard to hit accurately (but if the hole is big BAMM!!).
TELEGRAPH 2: (Courtesy of Mr. Stacheluk)
Once you’ve established the player’s weak side, watch for ball positioning. In order to hit their weak side well, many players start to cheat on the ball. They line their foot up off center of the ball (the rock will even seem a little off-center).
e.g.: Assume weak side is push shot. Following shows my recommended D and how shooter will cheat to improve their push shot.
FIGURE 2: Cheating to the weak side.
Legend:  – The ball O – A man on rod
| Goal |
——–O——-O——–O—==== Three bar
Problem is that when they do this cheat to improve their push then the pull gets weaker. Sometimes this cheat is small but usually it is noticeable as anywhere between about 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch of cheating.
When you see them start to cheat then shift your D about 1/2 inch towards their weaker side. Some guys are tricky though and change the positioning of the ball under the foot often, keep your eyes on the ball and where the man is relative to the ball.
The reason the strong side gets weaker is that their is now MUCH less ball to roll across when executing the strong side.
TELEGRAPH 3: Change of speed.
Here is one I’m guilty of and I know others are too. Before trying to shoot their weaker side a lot of players have to “rev-up” to shoot. Watch for a change in how fast they are rocking the ball. If the wiggle seems to be getting faster (this will be about 1/2 to 1 second of “revving-up”) then make sure you have good coverage on the weak side – leave a bit more middle – middle is hard to hit when rocking quickly.
If you find someone with this fault you can often OWN their butt. Ask some of the local goalies around Vancouver. Many of them brick my roll-over badly.
TELEGRAPH 4: The Slicer/Dicer Problem
Have you ever noticed how some roll-over shooters seem to slash back on your D more often? Some of them even try aiming this irritating shot (others are just lucky). One of the things some slicer/dicers do to enhance their slicing ability is to pin the ball a little bit further back than they normally would. In other words the ball is positioned closer to their own goal than it would normally be. By doing this they gain the ability to slice but at the expense of slowing down their long post shots. When you see the ball being pinned a little bit further back, try tightening up your D and DON’T cover the extreme posts until the shooter proves they can hit them.
Another good trick in this case is to reset them a little, if you can get that ball backwards a bit more they might just lose it backwards (and hopefully score on themselves ;)). Don’t reset hard or you’ll get called on a jar. Just a very slight reset should be sufficient to cause some problems for the shooter.
TELEGRAPH 5: The Dribblers
Often roll-over shooters dribble. This is because their brains are not well developed and they can’t control their salivary glands.
Other roll-over shooters dribble the ball around by tapping it all over the place. The key point here is that MOST dribblers cannot shoot long while tapping the ball (they have a range of 1 to 1.5″ from the where the ball is). Keep your D tight and concentrate on keeping your D centered with respect to the position of the ball. Ignore the man, just look at the ball and make sure you cover the 3-4 inches of space in front of it.
I hope this helps you new up and coming goaltenders. As I said, it is hard to explain with words but take a look for some of these things and if you spot them, take advantage of them. If knowing this doesn’t seem to help, send me an e-mail and try to explain to me what you were trying – maybe I didn’t communicate my point well.
Personally, I think most roll-over shooters have problems but you need to study them and be aware of the variety of little problems roll-over shooters have.
The key point is that the shot is NOT unstoppable. It has its weaknesses and these can be used against the shooters. Usually to learn these rules you have to learn the shot but fortunately there are still many players out there with too much pride to shoot the “donkey toe”. Oooops, mispelled that one …
I have other rules I look for but I’ll let you digest the big ones above. Once you think you know what i mean on those or if they aren’t working, let me know and I’ll drop some more.
One other point, if a roll-over shooter is crushing your team’s five-bar then they may be so overconfident that none of the above helps. These rules are best for when games are close. Solution, play with a forward so good that the roll-over shooter never gets the ball. I’ve almost blocked 100% of three bar shots under those circumstances.