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Wroclaw Times - Fatigue setting in for Eagles


Greg_Di
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The Vancouver Wolves started their morning pre-game skate during a recent game vs Malmo, with a steady stream of rush drills at both ends of ice designed to get the players feet moving and their hands warm. However the Wolves players were only able to use one net on one side of the rink.

 

Wolves goalie, Greg Eagles, was using the other net with the Wolves goalie coach to do lateral recovery pushes from his knees into controlled shots instead of getting swarmed by point blank shots from teammates.

 

Amidst a busy VHL season, where 2 new teams were added, and with less practice time due to traveling, Eagles and his coach believes it more important than ever to make sure he gets his position-specific practice done whenever he gets a chance, even if that means extending his game-day practice or taking over one net that the rest of the team can’t use.

 

"I think I've had one regular practice with the whole team in maybe 2 weeks” Eagles said “ The coach just needs me to focus on my play and yeah while it sucks I can’t practice with the team, I know in the long run this will be better for the team as a whole”

 

The Wolves coaching team know that it is necessary to get position-specific work done during game day skates this season but does this come at a cost? Are the goalies following this training regime getting more fatigued? 

Others around the VHL believe that making your starting goalie spend extra time in practice is decreasing the save percentage, causing fatigue and a few uncharacteristic slumps from proven goalies. There has been no stats or proven facts correlating to this but it is just something being seen around the VHL.

 

"It's been a weird season," Eagles said. " I started off great and now all of a sudden I can’t stop a beach ball but it seems to be happening throughout the League. I think there is a little bit of fatigue setting in with certain teams and certain players, and it is important to be able to manage that. If we don’t manage it goalies and players will get tired and that’s where you will start seeing slumps and losing streaks"

 

Managing rest sometimes comes at the expense of spending extra time on the ice managing the fine details of a goaltender's game. It's a balance goalies often have to find for themselves, especially when they make the transition from backup to being the starting goalie. This has been the change for Eagles in this season where he went from starting 19 games as a backup to now being the only goalie on the team.

“ It’s been a tough transition but I am starting to feel more comfortable, I appreciate the team giving me the opportunity to be the starter and having patience while I work out all the kinks to my game “ Eagles said after the most recent loss to Malmo.

 

"That's probably the biggest challenge for every goalie in this league when you are playing a lot is to get good quality practice" Wolves goalie coach said. "They have to think about resting their body physically, but also mentally. They need to save their energy for a game, so you can't drain yourself in practice and then have nothing left. It's something that as a coach I have to help manage”

 

We are hoping Eagles and the Wolves can help recover their form as the recent 3 games losing streak has seen them drop in the standings.

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