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As the 2013 Stanley Cup championship rolls closer to the end, I wanted to briefly highlight and compare the final two Cup goaltenders, Tuukka Rask of the Boston Bruins and Corey Crawford of the Chicago Blackhawks. Rask and Crawford come to the playoffs with two vastly different playing styles proving that both styles of play are extremely effective. Crawford’s stereotypical butterfly style goaltending primarily focuses on form and positioning, consistently dropping down into the butterfly position as the primary line of defense. Rask’s hybrid style of
play however is more reactive, making a majority of saves from the goaltenders athletic talent, quickness and mobility. Differences in goalie gear and more specifically the goalie leg pads clearly define the goaltenders playing style. Crawford’s Reebok Premier goalie pads are designed specifically for butterfly goalies, providing a large flat-faced design and stiffer construction ensuring maximum coverage. Rask’s Vaughn Velocity hybrid pads features a dramatically softer construction with multiple breaks throughout the internal construction ensuring maximum flexibility and mobility.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are coming down to the wire with the final two teams almost decided. We have 169 goal scorers thus far in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which begs the question: what sticks are putting the puck in the back of the net? Instead of naming off each of the 169 players and their twigs, we’ve listed the sticks and their percentages (but yes, I did count every single player and their stick). NOTE: These are the goals per stick, not the stick use by goal scoring player. Below is the distribution of goals scored by each brand. And before yelling at me, know I had to round up or down on some of the percentages, so the grand total may not be exactly 100%.
The Assistant Captain of the Boston Bruins, Patrice Bergeron, was the obvious hero from last night’s pair of game sevens. Boston was down 4-1 mid-way through the third period and miraculously emerged victorious. During Boston’s unbelievable comeback, Bergeron scored the tying goal with 50 seconds remaining and then finished off the Toronto Maple Leafs five minutes into overtime. He finished first star of the game with 2 goals and 1 assist, amassing all his points on the last three Bruins goals. Clutch.
So what gear helps you achieve first star in a Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs?
Nazem Kadri is among the NHL’s top ten point leaders in this 2013 season. Nazem Kadri is only 22 years of age and has totaled 34 points in 32 regular season games, which places him ninth overall among the NHL’s elite. This past week, the Toronto Maple Leafs utilized their star player as he collected a career-high three assists game (+3 rating), third three-point game performance, and fourteenth goal of the season. This exciting rookie has proven capable of hot streak performances and is tied for first on the Maple Leafs in goals and assists.
Lets take a look at Nazem Kadri’s gear, as he embodies the CCM brand.
If you follow the NHL at all, you probably saw or at least heard of the Erik Karlsson incident. For those who have no idea what I’m talking about, Erik Karlsson of the Ottawa Senators suffered a season ending injury against the Pittsburgh Penguins when Matt Cooke stepped on the back of Karlsson’s leg lacerating 70% the Achilles Tendon. Check out the video and then read on.
Anaheim Duck’s goaltender Viktor Fasth is off to an impressive start, nabbing his first shutout after just three games in the NHL. Fasth stopped 31 shots allowing the Ducks to win over the Avalanche with a 3-0 game. Fasth was signed as a free agent in the close of the season, making an effortless transition from the Swedish Elite League to the NHL. Now with a 5-0 record, Viktor Fasth is the first goalie in eight years to win his first five starts, two of the wins coming from overtime shootouts.
Let’s take a closer look at what gear makes our Goalie of the Day so impressively Fasth and accurate! Read more…
So we’re a week and a half into the shortened NHL season and it’s time to break down which sticks are the weapons of mass production thus far. While it may be the players’ talent that puts the puck in the back of the net, one can always dream that his or her twig has the potential to be a top scorer in the NHL. For time purposes, I’m just going to include the top 15 scorers in the NHL which includes all players with 4+ goals.
Patrick Marleau and His Warrior Covert DT1
1. Patrick Marleau – 9 Goals
This man is a scoring machine. Marleau has led the San Jose Sharks to a perfect 5-0 start to the season and in the process became the second player in NHL history to start the season off with 4 consecutive multi-goal games. His streak broke on Sunday with his single goal night against Colorado. And of course his stick… The Warrior Covert DT1!
Let me start this off by saying that the New York Rangers top line is ridiculous. The Richards-Nash-Gaborik combination may very well be the most formidable line in the NHL this season and they sure made a good argument for it last night. The trio put up 5 points, fifteen shots, and numerous scoring chances as they topped the Boston Bruins in overtime. While they all played phenomenally, Marian Gaborik was the clear first star with a hat trick that included the game winner in OT. Below is a video of his heroics last night.
So let’s take a look at the stick and skates that helps Gaborik do what he does.Read more…
With the NHL lockout still underway you may be wondering what the players and more specifically the goaltenders are up too. Many of the NHL goaltenders we’ve come to love and idolize are now showing off their amazing skills overseas for teams I can barely pronounce and in leagues some of us have never even heard of. Some of these leagues include the KHL, ESBG, DEL, Czech Extraliga, and SM-Liiga.
Goaltenders currently playing in Russia’s (KHL) Kontinental Hockey League are Anton Khudobin of the Boston Bruins now playing for the Atlant Moscow Oblast, Semyon Varlamov of the Colorado Avalanche now with HC Lokomotiv, Ilya Bryzgalov of the Philadelphia Flyers is now playing with CSKA, Niklas Backstrom of the Minnesota Wild is now with HC Dinamo Minsk, Sergei Bobrovsky of the Columbus Blue Jackets is with SKA St. Petersburg, and Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators is with the HC Dinamo Minsk.Read more…
Jonas Hiller. Need I say more? Out of all the helmets in the NHL, I choose Jonas Hiller’s designs because of their simplicity, cleanliness and aesthetics. Let me start out by saying that I am NOT an Anaheim Ducks fan (in fact quite the opposite), but it was his simple matte black mask that first caught my eye back in 2010.
A lot of the goalies‘ masks today seem too busy and leave the viewer reeling and confused about where they’re supposed to look or the meaning behind the design. Hiller’s mask, on the other hand, had a fresh and clean look to it. The gold metal of the cage and screws contrasts the matte black perfectly for questionably my favorite mask of all time.