NHL goalies trying to stay sharp during break

FILE - In this Feb. 10, 2020, file photo, Columbus Blue Jackets goalie Elvis Merzlikins, of Latvia, makes a stop against the Tampa Bay Lightning during an NHL hockey game in Columbus, Ohio. The Blue Jackets have signed rookie goaltender Merzlikins to a two-year contract worth a reported $8 million. The 26-year-old Latvian became a fan favorite while successfully filling in for an injured Joonas Korpisalo in the second half of the season. (AP Photo/Paul Vernon, File) (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

TORONTO, ONT – Vancouver Canucks goalie Jacob Markstrom is using a tennis ball machine as part of his training to stay sharp.

Columbus Blue Jackets counterpart Joonas Korpisalo doesn’t have that technology at his disposal during the coronavirus pandemic, so a wall has had to do the trick.

Toronto's Frederik Andersen is self-isolating with teammate and 47-goal man Auston Matthews.

“I have a pretty good shooter here,” Andersen said.

No matter the setup, NHL puck-stoppers are, at least on the surface, at a disadvantage when it comes to maintaining most of their physical skills during the lull since the season was suspended March 12.

Unlike skaters, who might have a net in the driveway or the ability run through a stick-handling drill, goalies are having a hard time mimicking situations that even loosely resemble practice or game situations.

“We’re doing our best and working a lot on hand-eye,” Markstrom said. “Don’t let your eyes fall asleep is a big thing.”

Winnipeg's Connor Hellebuyck said: