Puck play is still one of the most underrated parts of a goalies game. Goalies who do play the puck are considered aggressive and risky. While those who do not have been described as timid or lacking in proper puck management. The question here is not are you a puck playing goalie or not. The question is how well can you play the puck when the moment arrives.
Casey DeSauce or DeSmith whichever you prefer; rose to the occasion when met with an opportunity last week during the Penguin vs. Capitals game. With the Penguins shorthanded 5 on 3, DeSmith gloves down a far side dump intended to set up the Capitals power play in the offensive zone. DeSmith is able to quickly set the puck down to the ice and send the puck over the Capitals heads landings on the redline and creating a breakaway chance for his teammate that ended up being a very important goal in a game that the Penguins would eventually win in overtime.
Three major keys come from the play of DeSmith.
Casey DeSmith knew where his teammates were on the ice before he sent the puck down ice. By reading the ice DeSmith was taking advantage of the Capitals going for a change in the second period where the change is farther away from your own net.
The quick ability of DeSmith to catch the puck and bring the glove immediately to a lower area on the ice. Allowing him to settle the puck quickly turn the play around into an advantage for his own team.
Most important is that DeSmith kept his composure under pressure. At the highest levels goalies practice puck play on a regular basis. The confidence in DeSmith's ability to play the puck is the backbone behind the first two keys.
Discussion: Does your coach allow you to play the puck? How can you show your coach and teammates that you are confident in using your stick and what other ways can a goalie playing the puck benefit their team.