Central Coast Rhinos goalie, Jason Polglase. (Picture Credit: Jess Fuller. Graphics credit: Will Cuckson)

When most people sit down to play the NHL video game, they can’t wait to play as their favourite team and score goals for fun, dominating their way through the league as they chase the Stanley Cup.

For the Central Coast Rhino’s Jason Polglase, playing the Be A Pro mode of the game as a goaltender has played a part in developing his on-ice skills in the crease.

“It has a line-tracker of where your positioning needs to be,” Polglase said during his appearance on the Net, Sticks, and Chill Podcast.

“I actually learned a lot through the NHL games.”

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While it is vastly different between watching and playing a video game on a screen, and facing pucks coming at you in real life, immersing yourself in the situation is key.

“When you do immerse yourself into it, and the plays break down in certain situations, even just watching how the goalie moves and tracks the puck,” he said.

“Your line will disappear when there’s a screen in front of the net, and you’ll watch the goalie peep around.

“If you’re really interested in it, and want to develop, you’ll pick up on little things that can transition onto the ice.”

It makes up a big part of how Polglase consumes the sport away from the rink.

“I’ve got a pretty good work schedule where I finish at 1:30 of an afternoon so usually I get to catch the end of the west side of the [NHL] games,” he said.

“And occasionally I’ll get to watch a period or two of the [Philadelphia] Flyers when I’m on my lunch break.

“If I’m not divulging in that, I’m on the PS5 playing some Chel (which is one of the game modes in NHL video games).

“I can’t get enough.”

To hear more from Polglase, including how the Rhinos celebrated their first victories of the season, and getting to play in front of his family and friends, listen to his appearance on the Net, Sticks, and Chill Podcast.

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