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Axxion89 last won the day on February 16 2015

Axxion89 had the most liked content!

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About Axxion89

  • Birthday 10/20/1989


  • Skates
    CCM Supertacks
  • Stick
    Bauer Vapor 1X
  • Gloves
    Eagle PPF / Brians Subzero 3
  • Helmet
    Easton E600 / Bauer Profile 961
  • Pants
    Bauer Quinnipiac Pro / CCM Premier Pro
  • Shoulder Pads
    STX Stallion / Bauer Pro
  • Elbow Pads
    Reebok 7k Pro
  • Shin Pads
    Bauer Vapor APX / Brians Subzero 3
  • Hockey Bag
    Reebok / Grit

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  1. When I had mine done at SJ they had a lot of burs but the hone they had was able to get rid of them. I can say I am not a fan of the SB steel, will likely get step steel sooner than later
  2. Thanks Steve for bringing the machine, it was nice talking to you about Sparx & the future of the machine. I tried the 9/16 ROH since that is pretty much what I do on my personal Blademaster. The finish off the Sparx was perfect, it does leave much more burs on the edges off the machine than off my Blademaster but that's taken care of with the hone. On ice they felt great, it felt like they dug into the ice a little more than my sharpening but that is likely due to the ice. I would need to compare on both sharpenings on the same ice to get a perfect comparison but I would feel 100% confident skating on a Sparx sharpening. I will say for sure that the Sparx sharpening is better than about 60% of the sharpenings I've had done by shops & at least equal to the other 40%. If I didn't have a Blademaster, I'd seriously consider a Sparx unit, for the price & convenience you really can't beat it. The only advantages that the current portable units have on the Sparx currently is longevity of the machine & cost of switching hollows (redress of wheel vs buying rings). However, if the Sparx continues to be a reliable machine, I think the Sparx will be beat any competition for the personal use market
  3. Your last point is pretty much what I think will be the biggest barrier. I agree 100% with you that most people won't know their hollow or even tell the difference between a sharpening but if you sharpen one guys skate by hand & another on the machine, I'd bet a lot of people are going to say either; A- Hey whoa I don't wan't that glowing toaster touching my skates, you sharpen them like the other guys or I'll go elsewhere B- Hey if that lunchbox is going to do my skates its gonna be cheaper right? Education really is going to be the crucial aspect of this because customers will need to be educated on the benefits of the machine & stores will need to be educated on the costs / ease of use / revenue potential as a supplement or potential replacement of a freestanding unit
  4. Very interesting & good examples. The consignment store is, IMO, the perfect scenario for a Sparx machine as it creates an all new revenue stream for them. For larger use, I am curious to see if there is a negative reception from customers who are having a machine do their sharpening vs a person & if those customers request different hollows (which require changeover, stocking multiple wheels, etc). I understand that many of us see the machine as a good source for skate sharpening but your avg customer paying the same for a sharpening might not. I am by no means trying to be a debbie downer or hoping it doesn't succeed, one of the reasons I bought my own sharpener (A blademaster triple head from ~1980) is because I was tired of getting inconsistent sharpenings & having to spend about 1hr total getting my 2 pairs of skates sharpened. I think a lot of shops would benefit from a Sparx unit due to the consistency of sharpening / ease of use. If i was a rink retailer that derived significant revenue from sharpening, I would for sure try one unit if I had the volume to support it but would still rely on my traditional sharpener as the significant revenue driver. PS - If there was a way to make a free-standing Sparx unit that customers can use without an operator (self use at a rink in booth or something) you would pretty much print money since a lot of ice time is outside of normal business hours and a lot of people would pay to be able to get their skates sharpened for those 10:00PM ice times (if this ends up happening let this be proof that I am owed a royalty!)
  5. There are plenty of reasons why the Sparx unit as it stands isn't ideal for high volume / professional use; - Speed of the machine - Inability to change hollow without a significant changeover compared to current tabletop machines - Longevity & costs of a grinding wheel - Expected maintenance & replacement costs - Inability to perform profiling and other specific tasks As I've said before, Sparx is pretty much Keurig since it operates on the same principle. Its marketed to consumers as an easy at home option. You pay for the machine & the company makes its long term revenue on the wheels / cups. Keurig has some use in low - mid volume applications like car dealers & waiting rooms but you will never see a Keurig in a restaurant or drive thru. I expect that Sparx will likely follow the same market, you may see Sparx machines in a low volume pro shop but I will go out & say you will never see a Sparx machine replace a Blademaster / Blackstone machine at a store or rink that sees volume or pro usage (NHL, AHL, etc.).
  6. Easy make sure your foot is planted perpendicular to the direction you want to do and your leg is pushing the center mass of your body. If you are pushing in front or behind the mass then you spin. It can feel awkward at first but practice will get the muscle memory
  7. Although pushing to the top of the crease would have been the technically correct move, it would require a lot of strength & precision to get the right position. As a beginner playing in a lower league, it is easier & just as effective to slide directly across to get centered to the puck. You will need to move less distance which is easier & faster for you & the chances of the shooter in that level picking a corner from that distance is slim. Hell, the shot that went in went parallel to your pad so had you even slid a little bit in position, you would have likely saved it.
  8. To add, same thing for me, I always get a dent in the same spot within a few months either by luck or design. I never change cage for just that but if it got worse I would. Nothing wrong with changing the cage, keep it for a spare & don't try & bend it back, it will actually make the metal weaker
  9. I have a slow day at work so I gave a look and here is my not so professional opinion; Warmups - Tell your team to take shots from the point to help warm up your angles & ability to track the puck. If they want to take breakaways all day, they should earn them in the game or find a pickup Goal 1 at 2:34 - Yea it was deflected but you should have your stick covering 5 hole & close in the butterfly. Also from that angle you could hug the post in the butterfly & have your right leg extend right to take away the low area Goal 2 at 2:52 - Seems like you misread this, if I remember right you looked left but puck went in right. You tucked your right pad in & let it in. Kick out your right pad & its a save Goal 3 at 5:20 - First you are off angle cheating left, shooter had your whole right side to score. Your chest should always be in center line with the puck, not the skater. He shoots it into you & there is a rebound but you didn't get your pad kicked out / flush in time for save Goal 4 at 7:35 - Knocked the puck up right, not terrible but not ideal. Your mistake was trying to reach to grab the puck, you should always move you body & pads to the puck & try to cover for the scenario that happened to you (missed the puck with glove). It was a nice play by the skater for the rebound but you were caught planted in the center with all your weight behind you as you reached Goal 5 at 9:27 - I could drive a semi through the 5 hole you had on that goal. As with goal 1, stick on ice & close the butterfly. I'm not saying you need to have an NHL butterfly where the tops of the pads seal it, but if you see that puck coming dead on or you expect the puck to go 5 hole, jam your knees together & your knees / thigh / knee stacks will help seal the 5 hole. Even if the puck is off ice around groin high, it should hit your chest at least & then you hold it there / cover if it falls to ice I didn't see any 6th goal Overall, focus on closing the 5 hole & kicking out the legs to make saves. Focus on keeping the whole pad flush to the ice, you will need your hips, legs, & core to do this effectively. Also when you move while down (butterfly slides) practice keeping the leading leg pad kicked out & flat to take away more net. Angles weren't bad & try & come out a little more but it all takes practice so don't worry about it As for the mental aspect. you can't worry about what your offense does. If they can't score they can't score. Your job is to stop the puck so focus on that. If you go into a game & say if I let in 2 goals we lose, you already lost. In the games I play we've won games where I needed to hold the team to 1 goal & I've won games where I had to not let in the 6th goal. Every game is different but when I play each of those games I go into as "I'm gonna get a shutout & everyone else just needs to build me a nice lead to make it easier for me". Sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't but just worry about what you can control (and this advice applies to any goalie reading this of any skill level)
  10. Ok I know what you mean now. Yes it is an interesting model from that point because end users are for sure going to expect these machines to last quite a while & the only profit source are the rings. If I had to guess, I am assuming that Sparx is banking on users sharpening their skates often & users sharpening multiple pairs of skates with different hollows (families, friends, etc.) to burn through the most rings. I can for sure say that since I got my Blademaster, I've sharpened my skates much more than I used to but the main beneficiary of that will probably be the steel industry
  11. There's nothing wrong with comparing the business model of one company to another & scaling it up. There are plenty of industries out there where the initial investment is breakeven or small profit but the support / accessories make most of the profit. If Coffee machines don't suit you, car sales is a much bigger ticket item & work the same way for dealers. The Ford dealer doesn't make much selling you a Ford Focus but he makes a lot with the services & accessories that go with it (floor mats, oil changes, warranty work, etc.) The main reason I compared it to a Keurig is because it's basically the same premise, its an easier / more convenient way to do something. A Blademaster or Blackstone machine with a competent sharpener can do a better job than a Sparx with the flexibility of doing any hollow you want when you want but the Sparx will let any Joe Schoe sharpen their skates at home that's good enough for a majority of people & all they need to do is buy Rings (K-cups) after X amount of sharpeners & that's it
  12. I agree 100% with most you said except the Graf name part. Graf is not dead & gone if they keep the name. If they keep it they want the brand equity behind it because there is a pedigree to that name & it has its pros & cons. If Vaughn wants all of us to forget the past they will chose a new nameto have the public oooing and ahhing the newest iteration of skates from a new company but the general public will need to be educated on this new brand as it will compete against the established Bauer & CCM skates at likely a similar price point. You are 100% right that the old management & culture will be gone, but that doesn't change a brand's image. If they stick with the Graf name, they will need to overcome the past history and convince the public to give the brand another shot. If they change the name, it will be as if it has a new start but that also means building up a reputation to convince buyers to give the new kid on the block a try.
  13. I don't see why, probably like Keurig I'd be willing to bet the machine itself isn't the money maker for the them but the rings and other parts / accessories are. Not like you can buy any of them anywhere else so its smart business model that ensures anyone with a Sparx will spend money with them to maintain / keep using it. Also wouldn't be a smart business move to have a $900 machine last such a short time to have to buy another one, if that were to happen I wouldn't be surprised if users make a jump to a portable manual sharpener since the price would be similar
  14. Sounds like playing goalie is a humbling experience for you. In any case, getting some time to just work on ice will do a lot to help you. Spend about half the time just moving around, sliding on the ice, post to post moves, shuffling, up & down, etc. Then spend the other half facing shots of all kinds, low shots, slap shots, glove, blocker, in close far away, etc. Also, don't overanalyze things too much. Watching yourself on video is good but if you let it consume you by nitpicking everything you will brick yourself mentally. At this level, you will make mistakes and have bad games but the best thing to do is put it behind you & focus on the next game & the next save
  15. I'm not going to go into super detail as most people have already covered the details, I just want to throw in my 2 cents. First, playing in lower level games suck, always has always will. You can't expect your team to play well in front of you or expect predictable play. You will be screened, you will see fluttering shots, you will see 2 on 1s and uncleared rebounds / turnovers in front f your face. As you are an older & newer goalie, you will also be expected by your teamates to let in some soft goals, trust me. What I'm saying is you need to set your expectations & be ok with the reality. I play Tier 4 / Tier 3 goalie in games & pickups and while having a bad game sucks, you gotta get over it, its only a game. Sometimes its your fault, sometimes its the teams, sometimes the best thing to do is have a good attitude. 2nd is practice. Not playing games or pickups, I mean open ice and practice. The best thing you can do is get a friend or 2 and find some open ice and just work on angles, moving on your skates, going u & down, etc. You won't work on it in a game & this is your chance to. Worse case is rent a sheet of ice at the cheapest rate you can find & really just make the most of the time. Hell you can even suit up in your house and practice going up & down to work on your butterfly. You don't need lessons you just need time. Last is know your limits. If I remember right you have a bad knee and other ailments. If your body can't allow you to perform certain techniques, don't try and do it. There is one goalie I play with who is in his 60's and his knees are shot. He plays like an 80's stand-up goalie with very little butterfly & more pad stacks and aggressive play. He knows his limits & plays his style. You need to evaluate the same. If your hips or body won't let you do a butterfly then don't try & do it too much. Try other techniques and get better at them. You're only playing mens league and at the level you are playing I don't think anyone is expecting you to be Patrick Roy. Assess yourself and work out a style that works for you. I'm not saying any of this to be mean or to put you down, I'm just saying you might be trying to hold yourself to a level that isn't there at the moment or maybe might not ever be there. Just go and have fun, as long as you do that you will be fine
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