We’re down to the last series of the season, where the best of the best duel it out on the cold, hard ice to determine who has the honor to hoist Lord Stanley’s cup. As hockey players and fans, we have the opportunity to watch the players and smile when we notice these incredible players using the same equipment as us. For others of us, it saddens us to realize the full potential of our gear and how our sticks or skates will never perform that way… Anyways, IW took a look at all of the players with ice time during game one of the Stanley Cup final. Looking at the 18 New York Rangers and the 18 Los Angeles Kings that stepped foot on the ice last Wednesday, we see some shocking and not so shocking trends in gear usage.
While most are awaiting the return of the legendary CCM Tacks name that will be reincarnated in the form of new skate and stick lines, the CCM Resistance Helmet will be there sharing the spotlight. During these 2014 NHL Playoffs, many of the top players have been rocking the new bucket; LA King’s captain Dustin Brown, Philly’s Vinny Lecavalier and Chicago’s Marian Hossa are just a few of the many.
Marian Hossa & Duncan Keith in the CCM Resistance Helmet
The CCM Resistance has done quite well being adopted and accepted by NHL’ers, especially since the previous Vector shell was the most popular shell in the whole league. The shell shape is an evolution of the previous Vector but it has a clean, updated and aggressive look. The ventilation has been significantly increased with the use of more ventilation ports with strategic placement. The vents on the top of the helmet show off the protective Impact Pods in the liner, giving it a distinct look that really stands out on TV after you’ve see it once.
We’re a little under a month into the playoffs now and my bracket is completed busted. I hope that yours is faring better than my own. Why I ever thought that the Sharks would– Anyways, enough about how the teams are doing. Let’s move on to how the sticks are scoring. So, I took the top 50 scorers (as goal scorers, not counting points) in the playoffs thus far and took a look at their weapons of choice. This first pie graph shows the percentage of the top 50 goal scorers’ sticks by brand.
Percentage of Sticks by Brand (of the top 50 scorers)
The 2014 WinterOlympicsin Sochi present us with the best hockey in the world, and with the final rosters released from each country participating, there has been speculation as to which country will bring home the gold medal. But what I would love to see is a rematch of the gold-medal game from the Vancouver Olympics in 2010. That would be a sight. And it’s safe to say that the U.S. and Canada have much more talent and skill than the teams from 4 years ago. That beingsaid, lets take a closer look at these rosters and then you can decide who is the better team.
So we’re a little over 2 weeks into the NHL and our 4 blog writers decided to collaborate on some predictions for the season. After a couple minutes of discussion, we realized that there is no possible way to come to a consensus. The reason being that half of us are San Jose Sharks fans and the other 2 are Los Angeles Kings fans who can’t stand the sight of an undefeated Sharks team (6-0, what?)[still no Stanley Cup, what?]. Instead, we decided to each write up our own descriptions and let you tell us who think is closer (smarter). These are some high stake predictions too. The person with the worst prediction loses their job and the person with the closest prediction takes home the loser’s salary. Not really, but for legal reasons we cannot say.
Even being an LA King’s fan and a religious SoCal sports fan, I think there’s a great chance we see Los Angeles bring home their second cup. The Kings look prime for another cup run this year, with an already proven squad that will have hopefully have a healthy Willie Mitchell and the speedster Matt Frattin. We’re off to a slow start but it’s a long season.
I waited too long to write this blog. Just 14 days into the NHL season and we already have 437 goals & 258 goal scorers. My original plan was to research each goal scorer and calculate from there; so instead, I’m taking the top goal scorers (everyone who has scored 4 or more goals this season), and giving you a snapshot of scoring in the NHL. Forgive me for taking the easy way out, but there is absolutely no way that I am going to tally up all 258 goal scorers and their sticks.
Last year, I wrote a similar blog 1.5 weeks into the season and we found that among the top 15 goal scorers, the Bauer TotalOne NXG & Easton Stealth RS II amassed the most goals at 13 a piece. Interestingly, the leaders then and now are both San Jose Sharks, and both blogs were written when they were 5-0 to start the season. Hmm… 6 months ago, I did the same thing for playoffs. That time I accounted for all goals scored and found that the NXG scored almost 20% of the goals in the playoffs, followed “closely” by the RS II at 15%. Let’s see if Bauer & Easton can hold it together for the 2013-2014 season.
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?