Friday, February 26, 2010

Goalies and goalie equipment

Picture-heavy post.

Goalies get saddled with a lot of unfair assumptions. It's a position which heavily relies on equipment, and as a result, most people see skill as secondary to equipment. It's unfortunate, because the strategy behind goaltending is fascinating, particularly as you watch the progression from standup to butterfly to profly over the last 100 years. While watching the women's Beanpot over at Harvard, it was interesting watching the equipment progress as well, from the original dark leather pads to modern flat-face box pads. The fact is, though, that Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, and Ryan Miller are all good goalies because they are positionally sound and extremely fast, not because they wear enormous pads. But that's a discussion for a later date, because I just wanna catalog my equipment.

Items arranged in reverse order of personal preference...if I don't like it, you see it first.

Mission Boss Glove (2008, new)

It's hard to describe how bad this glove is. When I first bought it, it wouldn't open, so I would keep it open with a 15 pound weight in the pocket whenever I wasn't using it. 6 months and 25+ games later, it still doesn't open fully, but now it won't close properly either. Splendid. Purchased largely because it was cheap, it's a great example of "get what you pay for." It's the second thing I plan on replacing behind the leg pads, only because it's new.

Bauer Reactor 6 Leg Pads (1999?, used)

These pads are actually perfect for a learning goalie. They have intrinsic faults which demand added attention to technique, including their inability to seal properly to the ice. This means that your stick needs to be in position in front of the pads if you want to make a five-hole save. There is no knee landing gear of any sort (although I added some, check for duct tape in this image), so there's nothing to stop the puck there either, and before adding that foam, dropping down was discouraged unless absolutely required. These faults, of course, are some of the reasons I'm buying new pads as soon as I have the required income. Other reasons: really heavy, too many straps, about an inch too short.

These pads, incredibly, were worn by a couple NHL goalies in the late '90s. Similar pads were worn by a couple others, as these were made immediately after Nike bought Bauer, and were essentially re-branded Cooper Reactor pads. Found for $50 on Craigslist.

Unidentified CCM Pants (19??, used)

I mean, they're pants. They're hard to screw up, but who ever has pants they really like? Their best feature is that I don't notice them when playing, making them better than my glove and leg pads. And for $15 on eBay, it's hard to complain.

Bauer Vapor XIX Skates (2006, used)

These skates have been better than expected. Purchased at the last second when I realized that playing goal in player skates would lead to broken feet, I was forced to settle for skates about a half size too large and with about a year less of blade than I wanted. I added Overdrive blades, which helped a lot in my first few games, and changed the insoles after getting massive foot cramps during my first game. The cowlings are great, I can take pucks off the foot without getting hurt, and they aren't a constant burden, which is nice. They'll need replacement soon.

Sherwood 9950 Stick (2007, used)

This stick, along with my preferred but falling apart Montreal stick, was a $20 throw-in with the skates. It's definitely better than the skates, though. I discovered why you don't tape a goalie stick handle while screwing around with the stick during a roller game, and have subsequently learned that I prefer a little tape above the paddle and just a knob at the top, no handle. There's probably a little too much curve (Lalime, I think) on this stick since I rarely play the puck, but it's perfectly sized and in good shape, unlike most of my equipment. The black/white tape on the bottom is mostly aesthetic, although it reminds me to keep the stick centered.

Bauer Supreme One55 Chest/Arm Protector (2008, used)

Another cheap ($70) eBay purchase, this C/A has been a lifesaver. I've seen some pretty hard shots into the solar plexus and off the elbow, none of which have hurt. It's not huge, either, and the protection is definitely a class above the entry-level TPS and RBK pads I was looking at. Again, its best feature is that I don't notice it when I'm playing.

TPS Summit Blocker (2008, new)

Most of the time, a blocker is a lot like goalie pants. Nobody ever really gets excited about a blocker, because they're generally all the same. This one, though, is particularly nice. This isn't actually the blocker I purchased for $30, this is the blocker they sent me, and it costs closer to $130. It features player glove-like finger protection, relatively uncommon in blockers, and has a little bevel on the end that makes it easy to go paddle-down or scoop up a dropped stick. The hardest shots I've seen have hit me in the blocker, and I feel nothing except a little pressure as the puck gets directed into the corner. I will own this blocker until the palm gets completely worn out.

Hackva 2608 Mask (2009, new)

This mask is a thing of wonder. Forwards, during warmups, generally try to avoid hitting goalies in the head. I don't really mind it. I've gotten hit with ice pucks, roller pucks, roller balls, sticks, and skates, and nothing ever makes my ears ring or my head hurt. It is an advanced mask, the best that can be bought at its $300 price point, and should be a replacement mask for every single goalie wearing an Itech 1200, the mask known as the "Widowmaker" to many goalies.

I added, obviously, the bricks with electrical tape, something I've discussed before, and the back plate has a California decal. I also added the Vauhgn throat guard after getting hit with a roller ball almost immediately.

1 comment:

LEA O said...

These are gift suggestions? Unlikely they'll become yours. <3 Mom