Sports

The puck definitely stops here: Goaltenders relying on more athleticism, tougher to beat

  • FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2015, file photo, Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne, left, of Finland, blocks a shot by Winnipeg Jets right wing Blake Wheeler during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Nashville, Tenn. Today's netminders are relying on size and agility to stop shots instead of just subscribing to a certain style of goaltending. These aren't your typical butterfly goaltenders anymore, a traditional style where netminders spread their goal pads and hands to resemble a butterfly’s wings.  (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File)

    FILE - In this Feb. 12, 2015, file photo, Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne, left, of Finland, blocks a shot by Winnipeg Jets right wing Blake Wheeler during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Nashville, Tenn. Today's netminders are relying on size and agility to stop shots instead of just subscribing to a certain style of goaltending. These aren't your typical butterfly goaltenders anymore, a traditional style where netminders spread their goal pads and hands to resemble a butterfly’s wings. (AP Photo/Mark Zaleski, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this April 5, 2015, file photo, Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) blocks a shot by Detroit Red Wings center Stephen Weiss (90) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit. Today's netminders are relying on size and agility to stop shots instead of just subscribing to a certain style of goaltending. These aren't your typical butterfly goaltenders anymore, a traditional style where netminders spread their goal pads and hands to resemble a butterfly’s wings.  (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

    FILE - In this April 5, 2015, file photo, Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) blocks a shot by Detroit Red Wings center Stephen Weiss (90) during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Detroit. Today's netminders are relying on size and agility to stop shots instead of just subscribing to a certain style of goaltending. These aren't your typical butterfly goaltenders anymore, a traditional style where netminders spread their goal pads and hands to resemble a butterfly’s wings. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2014, file photo,  Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, right, blocks a shot by Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Denver. Today's netminders are relying on size and agility to stop shots instead of just subscribing to a certain style of goaltending. These aren't your typical butterfly goaltenders anymore, a traditional style where netminders spread their goal pads and hands to resemble a butterfly’s wings. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

    FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2014, file photo, Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, right, blocks a shot by Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Denver. Today's netminders are relying on size and agility to stop shots instead of just subscribing to a certain style of goaltending. These aren't your typical butterfly goaltenders anymore, a traditional style where netminders spread their goal pads and hands to resemble a butterfly’s wings. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)  (The Associated Press)

As the NHL playoffs arrive, it's become quite clear that keeping the puck out of the net has evolved into an art form.

Goalies are spending more time on their knees, using their pads to cover more space than ever and, maybe above all else, becoming more agile. It's working, too, as the save percentage around the league in 2014-15 was a combined .911, which is among the best dating to 1982-83.

Not only that, but goaltenders stopped 875 of 1,253 shots in shootouts this season, the highest percentage since it was first instituted for the 2005-06 season.

It could make for some low-scoring playoff games once games begin Wednesday.

Said Winnipeg forward Drew Stafford: "These goalies are definitely raising their game and making it harder for scorers."