The wide part of the goaltender's stick used to deflect and stop pucks that a normal player's stick shaft would be unable to do.
The paddle of the goal stick can be no longer than 26 inches long and 3 1/2 inches wide. The paddle of the goal stick is used to stop shots along the ice and to stop pucks dumed in that go behind the net.
Some of the best saves are done with the paddle as the goalie tries desparately to stop the puck with only his stick if he has gotten out of position.
In the 2011 Eastern Conference Final, Tim Thomas of the Boston Bruins stopped Steve Downie of the Tampa Bay Lightning with an unbelievable paddle save to keep the Bruins ahead 2-1, and help the Bruins win the game 3-1. They went on to win the series and the Stanley Cup.