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bl4 last won the day on February 28

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  1. A6 (or at least dressed as A6). Timing is a little tough - I played with them once and then was off the ice for a while due to an injury and then the pandemic. But, I'd say that neither of them lasted more than a few dozen skates.
  2. I bought a pair of used Marner pro stock sticks off of SLS a couple of years back. (I'm assuming that they were the real thing, although on SLS there's always a possibility that they weren't.) They were in good shape when I bought them and seemed pretty lightly used. I liked them a lot - super light and great feel. The one knock on them for me was the durability. I broke both pretty quickly - the blades went soft and then broke. All of which is to say that my experience sounds similar to BruinDust's
  3. I tried out the new twigs at pick up. At the outset, it's worth noting that I tried very different sticks - different flexes, patterns, and builds - so it's impossible to offer an apples to apples comparison. Some thoughts: Ovie Redline 85 Flex: this one felt great - super light and nice balance. I've played with other Ovechkin clones before, and this one struck me as having a bit less mid/heel - i.e., starting the curve and huge flare a bit further up the blade. The result was something that felt a little more like a juiced p28 than I would have preferred. That said, I've never used a true Ovie pro stock, so it's certainly possible that this is a more accurate rendition. And, the difference I noticed is miniscule anyway. I'm kind of finnicky when it comes to puck feel, and I miss my two-piece setup and/or wood blades for puck handling. But, I was really impressed with this one. Shooting was great, too. The wacky curve has it's pros and cons, so I'm pretty comfortable chalking any complaints up to user error, but the puck felt great coming off the blade, particularly on wrist and snap shots. Nicklas Pro Model E 75 Flex: I've always loved the Lidstrom/Leetch/Getzlaf pattern. This was a good rendition. For my money, I think it was a tiny bit less open than some versions. And, given that I also picked up an Ovie, it should be clear that I like open patterns and would have preferred a bit more of a twist. But, still good, and felt very comfortable and familiar. The same goes for the overall build, which reminded me of some old Easton shafts. I kept switching between this and the Ovie, and this build definitely felt a bit clunkier, which is probably less an indictment of the stick than a reflection of how great the Redline build feels. Puck feel was still good, as was shooting. Lidstrom is my favorite pattern for slapshots, and even with the slightly lower flex, I felt like this one was very good. Overall, I was very pleased with both, although I think the Redline build was better. The price point for these sticks is great, but the Redline felt more like a steal at this price, whereas the Pro Model E felt more like a good, but not great stick that I might have expected to find at this price point. While I like the "Nicklas" pattern and the shaft dimensions of the Pro Model E, I probably wouldn't buy another Pro Model E build. Instead, I'm thinking that I might shell out for some custom Redline builds, which is to say I came away impressed w/Prostockhockeysticks.com.
  4. I finally bit the bullet and ordered a couple of these - the Ovie clone in the "redline" build and the Lidstrom clone. They just arrived and look and feel great. Will add notes once I have a chance to try them on the ice.
  5. I'm with you in missing the heel curves. I'd check out pro stock options (Sideline Swap, Prostockhockey, etc.) or try Prostockhockeysticks.com, which (last I recall) was selling both a Drury and a Lidstrom clone (and also allows for custom orders). As others have noted, I think the turn to toe curves is a product of shifts in shooting styles, and - as time goes by - perhaps also a shift in what people grew up using or what they see the pros using. To me, it's not dissimilar to what's happened with stick flexes, where shops used to stock 85, 100, and 105/110, and now those numbers have gone down markedly, with sticks in the 70s all over the place. I'd say try out the toe curves, whippy sticks, etc. and see if you like them. If not, it's gotten a lot easier to find pro stock options online that offer specs less common at retail. (With the important caveat that more options online also means more sellers who might not be trustworthy.)
  6. It's been a long time since I've worn Grafs, but my recollection is that they took a while to break-in. My last pair were 705s that I got about twenty years ago. Once they were broken in, they were very comfortable (one of my all-time favorite skates), but it took a while to get there....
  7. I believe that Ice Warehouse advertises a "lowest price guarantee" or some sort of price matching program. Calls couldn't hurt, and I'd be curious to learn what you find out. That said, my experiences w/Hockey Monkey, Pure, etc. lead me to think that there's not a ton of discretion or play in the joints when it comes to policy. My sense is that large, national chains' organizational structure means there isn't much of a "let me talk to my manager and see what we can do" dynamic at work.
  8. There are also companies that claim to have incorporated wood into their more modern stick designs (e.g., the old Louisville Tricore or the Verbero Cypress). My sense is that those experiments met with little success. The reason I had asked in the first place was that I don't care about a gimmicky paint job but worry if there's a gimmicky addition to the stick structurally. And, there's precedent for such gimmicky additions.
  9. That's what I guessed, but many thanks for the confirmation
  10. Has anyone tried one of the "Wood Grain" or "Wood Line" sticks? https://prostockhockeysticks.com/collections/pro-stock-sticks/products/limited-edition-wood-grain-pro-stock-hockey-stick-right?variant=42235366146294 I'm wondering if they're the same as the usual models but with different graphics or if there's any non-cosmetic difference.
  11. Agree w/boo10 completely. Different curves definitely make different objectives easier or are better suited to different techniques. But the big open heel curve or the closed toe curve and everything in between can be great shooter's curve. The challenge (or fun part) is figuring out what you like to do and which curve makes that easier. One of the big things I miss about the days of wooden sticks or 2-piece combos was that experimenting with different patters was such an easy thing to do and was such a low-cost proposition. To the OP's question, I think that cost makes us all more reliant on that gobbledygook - it's harder and more expensive to try out new patterns, kickpoints, etc., so we lean on descriptions. (One reason that this site and all of the thoughtful or knowledgeable folks who post here are such a boon!) On the p88 v. p28 question, I don't love either of them but prefer the P28 for shooting because I find that a more open curve works better for my shooting style and makes picking the top corners easier.
  12. By way of clarification, I think that a reference to "black sticks" in this context could mean one of a few things: 1) A stick from prohockeystickes.com, as suggested by krisdrum. Check out the recent thread - the reviews seem to be pretty strong and my sense is that the big selling point is access to hard-to-find curves. 2) A "blacked out" or otherwise graphics-free stick from hockeystickman, prostockhockey, or some other retailer. My sense is that these can be a bit of a crapshoot in terms of quality. I've never purchased one of the sticks, but I have purchased "blacked out" shafts and blades in the past and found them to be relatively disappointing, even at a lower price point. 3) A stick from "Allblackhockeysticks." These are budget-friendly (~$90) sticks that have no graphics or branding and are marketed towards beer league consumers. I tried a teammate's at some point in the past and found it serviceable, but not anywhere near as good as a pro stock or older model high-end stick. In other words, it played like a budget-friendly stick. My sense is that you're talking about #2, but I hope that these descriptions help w/the confusion
  13. Unfortunately, heel curves have gotten much harder to find over the years. I've had better luck finding these patterns (Drury, Lidstrom, etc.) among the pro stock offerings on SLS or ebay. Also, the recent thread on prostockhockeysticks.com might be worth checking out - I haven't tried their sticks yet, but the prospect of easier access to a range of unusual or hard-to-find curves is a big draw.
  14. Yes. Like xstartxtodayx, I have pretty consistently for many years
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