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Law Goalie

Member Since 27 Apr 2007
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#986941 2013-2014 Goalie Gear Sightings

Posted by Law Goalie on 10 December 2013 - 08:25 AM

Awesome G2s: love the look of that extended landing area.  It's like a perfected 'Lehtonen knee'.


And, of course, MORE TIMMY:




Why yes, Virginia, that is a Maltese gel collar with a 1/2" scoop in the neckline; looks to have a full clavicle pad too...

#985922 Ex-players sue NHL over concussions

Posted by Law Goalie on 27 November 2013 - 03:25 PM

Yeah, in an ideal world, I think it would have been nice to see the league and the PA come forward to do something for these guys voluntarily, or at least for the PA to have made it part of the bargaining.  On the other hand, maybe they were advised not to tip that particular hand too early; the league was pretty intractable, and asking for even a little, totally reasonable, more or less morally imperative concession might have put everything in jeopardy.

#985798 Warrior Ritual G2 extensive write up in InGoal Magazine

Posted by Law Goalie on 26 November 2013 - 02:02 PM

It's fantastic stuff, but IG, as usual, misses some of the most important aspects of the gear...


On the blocker, the Velcro 'mechanically separable fastener' palm means that relative hand position on the blocker board is now fully selectable.  Hand position relative to the board has been, historically, one of the major brand and model differentiators on the blocker, a piece of equipment that many goalies claim cannot possibly be improved: 'a blocker's a blocker' and so on.  It's bloody genius.  (There is an issue with the implementation, but I suspect it'll be remedied in the production models.)


Thin sidewalls are, I think, a hangover of the period when they were introduced, when thin blocker boards were increasingly common-- for no bloody reason, being neither lighter nor more useful.  The G2 sidewall looks *exactly* like a sensibly thickened version of the Brian Heaton-designed CCM Gatekeeper, which is one of my favourite blockers of all time. (I still use one from time to time.)  I also like that this design is reflected in the refined lateral wedge on the pads.


On the glove, I'm not sure exactly how "the InGoal testers didn't know about the clean construction" (that is, the bindingless perimeter and the segmentation and pocket-sewing of plastics) -- whether that means they didn't see its benefits, or were totally ignorant of it -- but it's one of the most important aspects of the glove.  It is, incidentally, one of the great unheralded features of the legendary TPS Bionic and Vaughn T5500, two of the premier catching gloves ever made; as TPS 'dumbed down' the Bionic in successive versions, leading to its final, slightly dismal incarnation as part of the SWD R10 line, this was one of the things that vanished.


On the pads, the 'Profile Lock' relies rather brilliantly on changing the relative tension in the material of the face and back of the pad, rather than by how the foams are glued together (per Reebok/CCM's pad cores) or by making slots for foam inserts (Bauer's MyFlex).  The review does mention the degree of control this can give (you can select the angle of the upper break manually), but neglects to mention that the mechanism for it is entirely unique.  Take any pad and bend it significantly at the top break: the material on the face will be tightened, and the material on the back will loosen and pucker like a bulldog's face.  If you then hold the rear fabric (which is typically 420-600D nylon, possessing minimal stretch) bunched up, the pad stays bent.


The extended knee (Knee Drive System) has a clear precedent in the Vaughn 'Lehtonen knee', which is itself the inheritor of a long line of pads, going back to Smith's original 'box pad' designs and beyond, of an extended medial gusset at the knee to provide a longer, stiffer landing for the knee.  The NHL's Rule 11 requires that knee- and calf-wings be sewn to the pad in a particular way, but does not specify anything other than a maximum total depth of 10" from the face of the pad to the trailing edge of the medial protection.  IG mistakenly claims that the extension ("all the extra room") was made by "thinning out the thigh rise," which is in fact above the knee, when Warrior clearly *thickened* the medial edge of the pad to push the available landing area closer to that 10" maximum.


The elastic toe and boot straps are, again, not so much new as newly and uniquely refined.  I've been using various attachments of elastic toe-ties for five years, and I was by no means an early adopter.  Smith's design looks like it solves *most* of the problems associated with traditional designs, which were anchored through the toe-bridge, rather than across the bottom of the pad as on the G2s.


That said, it's ridiculous that IG claims "not a single InGoal tester noticed any resistance with their skate [sic] dropping to the ice" in butterfly transitions.  Elastic material is by definition resistant; it would be impossible for the elastic toe-ties to 'pop' the pad back to the center of the foot without resistance.  In fact, anyone who has used elastic toes (or has a rudimentary grasp of physics) would tell you that elastic toes *add* resistance over appropriately slack toe-ties (or no toe-ties, obviously).  This is not a bad thing, since that resistance means that the toe of the skate is pulling the medial edge of the pad with more force toward the ice in the butterfly, and securing the boot atop the foot in upright movements.  There is no delay in engagement with the pad until the length of the static toe-tie is hit; the elastic toe-tie exerts force geometrically, and with a much longer (effectively nonexistent) upper limit on stretch, as opposed to the absolute limit of static toes.  IG's review doesn't get it, reflecting the same kind of stupid language that has people talking about 'pad rotation' (over-rotation, under-rotation, etc.) when pads obviously do not rotate; legs rotate behind pads, which remain facing up the ice.


The sewn breaks in the Ritual calf-wing are not, contrary to the review, an "innovation"; they're a slight change from the original Rituals and the SP6000s.


As an aside, including proper standalone knee-pads with the G2 pads is, as far as I know, a first in the goalie business.  It's the first time a company has NOT cheaped out on knee protection by trying to design some half-assed, easily-sewn flap (a thigh board by any other name) that will save them a few bucks.  Warrior deserves to be seriously commended for being the first company to take knee protection this seriously.

#983903 Hip Injury

Posted by Law Goalie on 05 November 2013 - 12:21 PM

Meant more generally than specifically for you, DKM, but glad to hear things are progressing!


Just don't wear your Blueshirt in enemy territory, or you'll wake up with a stomach full of shoulders or a hundred ears sutured onto your back...

#983818 Hip Injury

Posted by Law Goalie on 04 November 2013 - 09:26 AM

This is going to sound really, really obvious, but I would generally suggest putting a little time (and money, if need be) into getting checked out by a dedicated sports medicine clinic.  One major difference between an active athlete (i.e. with staff trainers) and a lay athlete is the amount of attention to soft tissue issues; put simply, very few of us will go get a massage (pah, indulgence!) but every serious athlete will have several a week.  Stretching plans are good (especially with foam rollers) but specific and thorough attention to tissue tightness and inflammation is something that few people really get, even after major surgery that is, speaking broadly, a gigantic assault on the body.


The other advantage to 'catching it early' is the hip resurfacing option, which is considerably less invasive than replacement.

#983816 Football Body vs. Hockey Body

Posted by Law Goalie on 04 November 2013 - 09:10 AM

I would introduce one other issue: the duration and intensity of the season and playoffs.


It's not uncommon for players to drop a bunch of weight over the season (Oct. to April), but even more in the Apr.May/June playoff period; they just can't eat enough to maintain.  If you start with a terrifically lean body and a high metabolic rate, the amount of food you'd need to take in to maintain healthy function during periods of peak exertion and intensity, with minimal recovery and maximal stress, is astronomical.  If you've got a little weight salted away -- not enough to really slow you down, but something -- you'd presumably endure those peak periods better.  The case I'd point to here is Brodeur, who has been 'soft' his whole career, yet put together a ridiculous run of season and playoff success while playing more or less all the time; he played more games in effectively longer seasons (and correspondingly shorter offseason recovery periods) than anyone in those two decades, except maybe Roy and Hasek for brief stretches (and even they, while comparatively tall and stringy, were by no means lacking in BF%).  Tim Thomas fits the same bill.  Then you look at a guy like Ryan Miller, who has from a technical perspective the ideal body for a goalie (like a lightweight rower, all angular strength, reach and flexibility), but who wears down noticeably in every playoff series he enters, and over the course of even his best seasons, even when protected by a good backup.


I'm not saying you need to be chunky to be a good NHL player, or a good NHL goalie, but that there may be a balance to be struck between the peak moment-to-moment performance of a body on the razor's edge of fitness and a body that makes some compromises between that kind of performance and a more durable consistency.

#983570 pick up hockey (shinny) pet peeves

Posted by Law Goalie on 01 November 2013 - 11:55 AM

I've seen a few guys bring stick-bags in the car for cleanliness/organisation, but take the sticks out and leave the bag in the car for the game.


Even as a goalie, I sometimes get crap about the wheel bag.  I usually just pick it up, knock a few children down, and then ask, "Wouldn't these 250L be safer on the ground?"

#983514 2013-2014 Goalie Gear Sightings

Posted by Law Goalie on 01 November 2013 - 07:11 AM

The original Mage (and the prototypes and productions for T^2) didn't have the chin as part of the overall shell structure.  I think the integrated, very low-profile chin came in with the Mage II, now the Mage RS.  You're right, though, that this does appear even less substantial than his earlier shells -- although I can almost guarantee the EQM wouldn't mess with a mask shell; they'd just order a new one.


As for the cage, as 'Atom 1982' as it may look, the newer Bauer wire-shape does disrupt forward vision much less, and is way, way lighter.  He'll just have to replace the cage practically every time he gets hit, but for a pro, that might actually be more effective at mitigating impacts.  Sportmask's FAQ has a decent explanation of the theory:



Q - Are cages supposed to dent? Are dented cages covered under warranty?


A - Denting plays a HUGE part in overall safety. Our logic, is to follow the same method used in the automotive industry and the "crumple zone." The crumple zone has become industry an standard for safety. The front end of the car is designed to crumple upon impact, absorbing the majority of the impact's energy. Even though the front end is demolished, you walk away with your life. We think that is a fair trade for something that can be replaced. The cage on a mask acts much like a crumple zone. Sure we can make cages that do not dent, however a cage that does not dent transfers energy straight back to the brain. We choose safety above and beyond anything else. Dented cages are not covered under warranty. 
Always remember, the cost of replacing the cage is peanuts compared to the cost of replacing your head.


Now, most goalie cages are way stronger than this, but most goalies don't have a massive replacement budget, nor are they able to travel with a guy who carries a supply of new cages and can swap them on command, during a game, without a word of protest from the refs or opposition.


I would also counter the 'crumple zone' theory by suggesting that:


1) that the risk of catastrophic failure due to a major (Chara-esque) impact to those thinner cages is way, way higher, and people lose eyes that way;

2) the NHL's rules don't speak to dented cages, however severe, so Thomas would have to remove his mask in order to get a stoppage -- and voluntary removal is a DOG penalty;

3) a heavier cage adds hugely to the mass of the helmet, and there are suggestions (per omegagoalie) that the weightier inertia of a mask protects against sub-clinical impacts far better than a light mask.


Thomas would probably reply that the whole point of a combo-style mask is that the impact is directed up into the clips, rather than back through the screws into the shell, and the great masque of masks dances on...

#982170 Steve Yzerman calls for game misconduct penalty for fighting.

Posted by Law Goalie on 18 October 2013 - 11:59 PM

And I shouldn't have characterised concern about brain-safety as 'hand-wringing'; that was lame of me.


I'm very suspect of my thinking on fighting; I know a lot of it's coloured by the fights I've been in, of several of which I'm unduly proud (well, one's deserved in an absolute moral sense).  I cannot, however, escape the feeling that fighting is necessary to the hockey culture I know.  Removing it from the game would be like trying to keep moose from locking antlers during mating season.  We could go around trying to put giant Nerf covers on all the antlers, or helmets and neck-guards on the moose, or station millions of park rangers to break up fights as they start, and exile aggressive moose to remote and exotic regions, and offering animal therapy sessions... and it would be an exercise in futility.


I honestly think the only way we'll lose fighting is if the game becomes so fast that the act is rendered impossible -- for example, if the game didn't stop during a fight, and the teams just played 4v4.  If there was a line-brawl, there would be a huge incentive to dodge out of the fracas, grab your stick, and zip off on a breakaway... Not unlike what Marchand did to Cooke.

#982150 How to 'slow down' a game.

Posted by Law Goalie on 18 October 2013 - 04:48 PM

One of the major ways to 'slow' the game is to know how much time you actually have: whether it's two or three strides for the defender to close on you, how quickly could the winger get a stick on you, etc.  I always teach goalies (when they're of the right age/stage) to deliberately screw with shooters' time and space to force and hurry decisions.  The classics are to delay the initial challenge a little more than usual, then rush out; to take a very conservative depth, then do the same; or to take a very aggressive depth and then quickly give it up.  Respectively, those will tend to A/B) invite rushed shots, or C) rushed passes, while placing the goalie ideally to deal with the result.


The two major screw-ups I see constantly (from the blue-painted armchair with the red frame) are guys over- or under-estimating how much time they have.  Even if they aren't supremely skilled, they could usually have made a better player by either listening to their teammates (auditory awareness) or taking a moment to look around (temporal/visual awareness).  The latter you can develop on your own, but the former is all about team communication and trust.

#982124 Steve Yzerman calls for game misconduct penalty for fighting.

Posted by Law Goalie on 18 October 2013 - 11:13 AM

Show me a league where the introduction of game misconducts for fighting alone has A) measurably decreased fighting, and B) not increased other, more dangerous offenses.


The solution to 90% of this hand-wringing is simple: eliminate take-downs.


Take-downs are a relatively recent phenomenon in hockey fights.  They are also by far the most dangerous moment in a fight, and in hockey generally.  Every other sport that has take-downs employs a padded or suspended shock-absorbing surface; our guys do it on ice over concrete.  None of them make the combatants stand on knives while wrestling.


Once upon a time, fighting was about a delicate balance of honour and embarrassment.  Everyone knew that you could hurt another guy way, way worse with your stick, your skate-blades, or with a brutal hit than you could with your fists, but the single greatest danger to everyone on the ice is -- the ice.  The point of fighting was simply to say, 'OK, you think you're a tough guy; let's even the playing field, go toe-to-toe, and see how you hold up.'  *Anyone* can spear or blind-side a guy who is minimally aware of the threat, but sparring with someone is a very different experience.  These fights did not end in take-downs; then ended in exhausted standing breakups, often leaning against the glass for support, or in a strange sort of mutually-protective falling down.


At some point (my guess is the early 90s), the *language* of take-downs began to enter the game; people began to talk about 'winning' a fight through a take-down, and take-downs began to happen more often.  Suddenly, *most* fights ended with two guys standing on knife-blades trying to flip each other over onto a sheet of slippery concrete.  This has been the single most reckless and stupid development in the history of hockey.


The solution is simple: add punishment (in whatever form) for take-downs during a fight.  If you engage in wrestling with an aim to take-down, rather than a struggle while sparring, you're assessed an additional penalty of some kind; if the other guy is hurt, or the take-down attempt is egregious, you face suspension.


Once we've eliminated this most stupid, dangerous, and pointless aspect of hockey fighting -- in fact, of *any* combative sport on the planet -- then we might be able to have a sensible discussion of what remains.


I don't necessarily think that fighting is proper to hockey, but as long as it's in the game, allowing take-downs is disastrously stupid.

#981836 NHL'ers - No Carbs?

Posted by Law Goalie on 15 October 2013 - 11:14 AM

Yeah, that'll happen -- right around the time someone produces a 'recovery drink' with a proper sodium content.  :wink:


Neo, part of your confusion is that you're starting from the assumptions that A) those off-season 'reports' are accurately reporting their diets, rather than a staged fantasy of how 'disciplined' they are, and B) that even if they are accurate on diet, that the players are working with the best information available.  They're a lot better than they used to be, arguably (although UGlasgow has some interesting data on pre- and post-concussion alcohol consumption!), but they're relatively unfocussed compared to a lot of the high-performance athletes out there.


P.S. Thanks for the buried hint re: ketosis and cognition, Q; lead me to some interesting stuff rather quickly.  Been fighting a bit of a caffeine/carb bounce cycle recently.

#977762 5th Annual MSH SummerJam

Posted by Law Goalie on 24 August 2013 - 12:41 PM

And, at long last, the NetCam footage:



I only had one, so I only got the Gold net.  I kept all of Lemieux's movement drills, since he was trying out a set of new pads.  For future reference, all goalies need to adopt omega's Lundqvist-esque wide-leg resting stance so that we can see the action at the far end better; my Esposito pose ended up totally occluding most of the other action.

Credit to Goonsquad (I think) and The Mills Brothers for the perfect ending, created by a combination of perfect timing and *very* weak front/backside knee switching and seal on my part.

#977722 PadSkinz: adhesive pad graphics

Posted by Law Goalie on 23 August 2013 - 12:42 PM

A while back, a company called Chameleon Sports (based out of Caledon, Ontario, north of Toronto and not far from the home of the legendary mask-maker Jerry Wright) got in touch about their PadSkinz product, and sent me a few small samples to play around with.  I regret that I didn't get to them as quickly as I might have, but I've finally had a little time to check them out, and I'll be posting a full review once I've had a chance to test a few pieces under fire.  Since this is the time of year when kids of all ages are joining new teams, it seems an ideal moment to talk about changing your stripes, so to speak.


The company's new owner, Mark Philipps, is on MSH to answer any question you may have.


Basically, PadSkinz are the only viable alternative to cutting and sewing new graphics onto pads that I've encountered.  I've seen guys mess around with various paints and dyes, and with coloured duct tape and other adhesive surfaces.  The colouration methods are generally the worst kind of semi-permanent: the dyes are very hard to balance to the right shade, and fade over time (often rubbing off on the ice and smearing onto other gear), but will never fully come out; once you use them, you're stuck with a patina of faded, smudged dye forever.  With duct tape and the like, you're A) going to look like you put tape on your pads, and B) the surface never lasts when abraded on the ice, and C) you're left with a horrible mess of adhesive to clean up.


Thus, the first point about PadSkinz is their pressure-sensitive adhesive.  It appears to hold exceptionally well to polyurethane-based synthetic leathers (generally, in goal gear, under the Ennis trade names 'Jenpro' and 'Robocop', aka weave), and I've even tested it on some old Sofrina and true Clarino.  The remarkable thing is that it *removes* equally well, based on my initial testing.  Simply by getting a fingernail under a corner, you can peel it off relatively easily, even though pushing on the edges of the material or even pulling at it with anything less than careful precision won't move it a bit.


The application process is pretty simple.  PadSkinz comes with a set of good quality tracing paper, which you use to trace the graphics on your pads, or to design the graphics you want.  You then put the tracing paper over the PadSkinz sheet and cut away.  Scissors work well, but a skill/Exacto knife works even better, as long as you keep the sheet in place.  Naturally, the more careful you are, the closer you can get to clean, die-cut looking edges.  You then peel off the backing from the adhesive and stick the shapes on the pads.


Of course, you needn't use PadSkinz only with pads: it'll work equally well for goalie gloves, player gloves, skates, whatever.


Generally, I was pretty impressed with the stuff.  It's thin enough (under 1mm) that it doesn't add perceptibly to the thickness of a graphical overlay; in fact, compared with cut-and-sewn Jenpro, it's decidedly low-profile.  It's easy to handle, and applies well.  The surface seems sturdy enough that I can well believe it can hold up for years even on the sliding surfaces of pads, though I'd be leery of using as at the medial boot area, which rubs on the ice almost constantly; this is, however, simple prejudice on my part, and not borne out by any experience as yet.  My sense is that you could probably use a layer of PadSkinz to repair a shredded knee-wing, and certainly a calf-wing, without any tools or repair know-how: enough to get you through a season at least.


PadSkinz currently come in 17 colours, including some relatively uncommon colours like powder blue, pink, teal, purple, and orange; generally, these are only available as custom-order options.  Mark is in the process of adding some Robocop/weave patterns in the next while, but they're not ready for prime time just yet.  The one word of warning I'd have is that the colours and the finish of the material are NOT a 100% match for Ennis Jenpro, or any other synthetic leather: they work as contrast-pieces, not as full cover-ups.  In other words, if you try to apply a piece of, say, white PadSkinz material to an all-white Jenpro pad, the PadSkinz piece will not blend in especially well.  However, if you took the same white piece and applied it to any other colour of Jenpro, the effect is pretty convincing; if you apply PadSkinz with a non-weave finish to weave-based pads, it's even more compelling (and vice versa, I would assume).



Current pricing is $29.99 for one 26" x 15" sheet, $49.99 for two sheets (any two colours), and $79.99 for two 52"x15" sheets, which is enough to do two full-size pads, top to toe.  Compared with what it costs to have a new leather shell made, this is pretty competitive.  They're available through the company's website, and through Sara at Protective Athletic Wear (PAW).


Frankly, I see more potential for this stuff outside the crease.  How nice would it be to re-finish a pair of gloves in your new team's colours?  Beyond the end-user, it could also give some real flexibility to any retail store that stocks goal gear but isn't a specialist.  If you can't afford to carry pads in 30 different colours, you can do a bulk order of, say, white and black pads, then use PadSkinz to customise them for buyers.  It's a niche product with some really interesting potential.


I'll try to grab some pics in the new little while, as I get the review going.

#956354 Right Hollow - Debunking a Myth

Posted by Law Goalie on 21 February 2013 - 02:14 PM

And, conversely, a better-trained skater with stronger legs can drive the edges into the ice with greater precision and greater force -- and resist the opposing forces -- better than a weaker, well-trained skater or a stronger, less capable one.


The two hollows missing from that sharpening table are illuminating: Marc-Andre Fleury, one of the most technically proficient goalies in his footwork ever to have played the game, uses a now-unheard of 3/4" hollow, when most goalies in the world, including his then-teammates Brent Johnson and John Curry, are using 3/8".  Why?  Because it's a hell of a lot easier to perform backside pushes in and out of the butterfly with deep, steep edges than shallow ones.  Fleury's superior skating technique and leg-strength let him use a shallower hollow, even though he's a *much* smaller, lighter guy than that lunk BJ.


Flip, glad you liked pedipulation; I think I'm sending that one to the OED... haha.