I don't know about the folks that sit by you at the games, but for 4 years, invariably the folks by me don't like the idea of Carruth playing the puck. Of course it can be an adventure, as like most things in life there is a balance of risk/reward, but if it didn't work he'd quit doing it. The Blackhawks certainly like the way he plays - they have invested in him.
During the Kamloops series, Drinnan reported:
Charron admitted that Carruth’s value to the Winterhawks comes from more than just stopping pucks.
“Carruth is becoming too effective for them,” Charron explained. “Part of the game plan is to make their defencemen work, and forecheck and finish our checks. But our dump-ins are always handled by Carruth and he has that ability to handle the puck and use his body as a screen. We really can't forecheck aggressively against that.”
Kamloops forward Brendan Ranford lit up the Kelowna Rockets for nine points in a four-game second-round sweep, but has yet to get even a point against Portland. He credits Carruth for at least some of that lack of success.
“Mac's been playing really well,” Ranford said. “He's battling hard. We have gotten our chances, and I feel he's been a little bit lucky. He's made some saves that not too many goalies can make. He's working hard and playing well and we have to get to him and get in the crease to score tough goals.”
“Whatever we're doing now isn't working in our favour,” Charron added, “and we have to make some changes and get some confidence. Our frustration is coming from not scoring.”
I'll give Guy Charron credit for knowing the game better than the average 'Hawks fan.
I spent several hours looking for a video clip explaining the concept of goalies playing the puck - and could only find this loosely related clip. Seems like I've seen many intermission / post-game breakdowns of guys playing the puck well - but if you find video of such, let me know.
I found some interesting instruction from a goalie coach in my old stomping grounds: USHL country.
This video of Kevin Weeks working with kids briefly touches on why you play the puck, but is valuable to demonstrate some of the pitfalls that you can encounter.
Not very instructional, but here's a list of the top 10 puckhandling NHL goalies.
Ice Hockey Goalie: Playing the Puck
However, the single most active thing a goalie can do is play the puck. A goalie who can accurately pass the puck can effectively begin the breakout, and create a strategic mismatch for the other team. If a goalie is capable of making the first pass, he turns the game from a 5-on-5 situation into a 6-on-5 situation, effectively ensuring that someone on his team will be left open for a pass. It’s a slippery slope, though, as misplaying the puck often leads to goals against.
I would, however, love to see Carruth join this club: