How to Beat the Goalie: LaBarbera

(Photo by: Kelly Cox)

Being a backup most of his career, Jason LaBarbera is looking to show the entire world that he can still play in the NHL well. LaBarbera has found himself playing for four NHL teams–New York Rangers, Los Angeles Kings, Vancouver Canucks and Phoenix Coyotes–and  has been back and forth in the minors. However, in the past six seasons, LaBarbera has been a reliable backup in the NHL.

At 33 years old currently, LaBarbera isn't as quick as he once was. His prime is over and should be looking ahead at retirement pretty soon.

Coyotes starter Mike Smith has secured his job with the performance he displayed towards the end of the 2011-12 season and the playoffs. Smith led Phoenix to Pacific Division champions and all the way to the Western Conference finals.

With that being the case, LaBarbera is in a tough situation for ice time. The biggest weakness of LaBarbera is his movement. He tends to get lazy and reaches for pucks, instead of making that slide to take room away from the shooter.

Here is how to beat Jason LaBarbera.

  • Force movement: The Nashville Predators need to force LaBarbera to move from left to right. His movement is a weak point in this game and has a tendency to go the easy way out by reaching.

  • Shoot: Nashville needs to just throw pucks on net. Some goals that go past LaBarbera are ones that really shouldn't. Remember, you can't score without shooting the puck.

  • Traffic In Front: A good number of the goals scored on LaBarbera is a player either screening him or deflecting the puck. Nashville needs to put numbers in the slot.


Jason LaBarbera's 2012-13 stats

#1 Jason LaBarbera 1 2 0 0 ,897 3.25

Jason LaBarbera's career vs Nashville

#1 Jason LaBarbera 5 4 0 1 .906 2.77