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Virtual reality helps goalies train

November 6, 2020, 4:32 PM ET [0 Comments]
Rick Sadowski
Colorado Avalanche Blogger •Avalanche Insider • RSSArchiveCONTACT
Interesting story by Kevin Woodley, a colleague from nhl.com, on how some goalies, including the Avalanche’s Philipp Grubauer, are using virtual reality to help them train this offseason.

Sense Arena, which launched in July, is a program that enables goalies to feel like they are facing shots by wearing a headset.

Former Colorado Eagles goalie Antoine Bibeau, who signed a two-way contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets in October, is among those using the program.

The program is especially helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic because ice isn’t readily available. It was developed in the Czech Republic by founder and CEO Bob Tetiva.

Here’s a company link showing HOW IT WORKS.

"We have video of real players releasing shots and then we mask the puck and replace it with a virtual puck that comes at you," Tetiva told nhl.com. "I strongly believe the next step in athletic training is not doing more squats or pushups, but working on your brain, and for goalies that translates into your ability to read the release, be clever facing screens, and work on your box control."

The program helps players like Grubauer and Bibeau train in their homes after recovering from injuries.

Grubauer missed the final 13 regular-season games with a lower-body injury and missed the last six games against the Dallas Stars in the Western Conference semifinals because of a lower-body injury.

Bibeau was limited to parts of two games with the Eagles and two with the Avalanche this past season because of hip surgery.

“You put it on and you basically appear in the net in an NHL arena and you look around and it's really like being in an NHL arena,” he said. “I'm shocked by how realistic the whole thing is.”

Sense Arena also has a program for skaters.

Los Angeles Kings goalie coach Bill Ranford and Arizona Coyotes director of goaltending operations Brian Daccord have joined the program in an advisory capacity.

"I've been working on my tracking, box control, with it at home," Bibeau said. "It's a perfect tool to keep working on my game and to keep my brain active without putting any wear and tear on my body and my hips."

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