Two teams left: the best of the best. We have done quite a few blogs that break down NHL players’ equipment choices. Granted, these players could be wearing mittens, playing with pieces of firewood and skating on shoes with knives taped to the bottom, and still skate circles around us. So, what’s the point of doing these blogs? There are a few reasons. Aside from the players with brand contracts, players generally choose their equipment. So for a player with free or relatively inexpensive gear at their disposal, players have the opportunity to find the best possible gear for them. That said, their gear choice is completely dependent on the players’ preference and therefore rather irrelevant to us. By taking a step back and looking at teams as a whole, we can start to see trends and tendencies of players. When you see many players or a type of player shifting toward one glove, stick, helmet or skate, then we have a statistic worth seeing. Also, it’s interesting to see if NHL players use the same stick that you do.
*Note: Players dressing in any one of the first three games were recorded*
Back in 2012, CCM presented us with a radically different stick now known as the RBZ. It was followed by its successor, the RBZ Stage 2 in 2013 and the RBZ SuperFast in 2014; but 2015 is the year of the RBZ SpeedBurner. Each of the first three generations of RBZ have featured a new internal blade design but this year we’ll see the big change in the hosel.
Here we are in the middle of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs. For some of us it has been a stressful month rooting for your team; while for others it has been simply a relaxing time spent watching hockey played at its finest. Whether or not you still have a vested interest in the outcome of the playoffs, here’s a little something that all hockey players can relate to no matter the playoff situation, hockey sticks.
In the past we’ve done a lot of breakdowns of stick usage depending on the number of goals scored. This time we stepped back and broke it down a little differently. Don’t worry, we’ll still total everything up for you. See? Here you go.
- 55.4% mid-kickpoint sticks
- 44.6% low-kickpoint sticks
Just note that these percentages are for the “top” players in the playoffs right now. By “top” we mean players who have acquired 4 or more points in the course of the 2015 Stanley Cup playoffs.
As the best hockey retailer out there, we often get a lot of questions about which stick you should buy. Way too many times, people assume that they need a certain kind of stick depending on what position they play. While it plays a factor, the real deciding variable is simply the shooting style (for more information about the different kickpoints in hockey sticks, check out this blog). So, we decided to break down the stick usage first by player position, then brand, stick line, and finally kickpoints.
With the first round of the playoffs over, goaltending has once again been the most important factor in determining who goes on and who goes golfing. Let’s take an objective look at the top 5 starting goaltenders and I will attempt to rank them based on their career statistics and current play, while also highlighting some of the gear they wear.
Honorable mention: Jonas Hiller
Hiller has always been a good goaltender whom, despite posting a very solid .917 SV% in 350 starts, has managed to fly under the radar. Hiller has been dominant in his limited postseason experience, posting a .932 SV% in 32 games played. As a goalie who spends 99% of the game in the butterfly position, every team should follow the lame advice that Eddy Olczyk spews ad nauseam, and “elevate the puck”! Read more…
Coming late 2015, we’ll see the debut of the third generation Nexus Stick Line, with the Nexus 1N leading the charge. Players such as Anze Kopitar, Jonathan Toews, Marian Hossa, Dougie Hamilton, Chris Kreider and Brad Richards have been caught with the 1N in their mitts. The Nexus 8000 is one of my current favorites in my rotation, there’s a lot to like about such a well rounded kick point. The Tru-Mid Kick Point, as Bauer calls it, provides a low-kick-like quick release because it doesn’t take much to load it up, but then it still supplies more than enough power when you really need to crank out a hard shot.
Last year I wrote a blog about socks, thinking that it was a once per employment blog topic. So here I am nearly a year later, eagerly (actually not sarcasm) about to write another sock blog. The sock that we’re taking a look at is the Swiftwick Cut-Resistant Comp Socks. Swiftwick designs and manufactures socks for a variety of sports ranging from running to skiing. Though you may not have heard of them prior to a few seconds ago, these socks have found their way into all 30 NHL locker rooms. Let’s take a look.
Swiftwick’s Cut-Resistant Socks set themselves apart from the competition by their light weight and low-profile fit. Hockey is already a dangerous sport without thinking about the fact that we are essentially skating with knives on our feet. The highest profile incident ocurred last year when Erik Karlsson took a skate blade to the achilles tendon, severing it for a season-long injury. Of course, there is also the Drew Miller skate-to-the-face incident last week. Swiftwick believes that players should focus on the game rather than sharp objects; also that this additional protection shouldn’t come at the cost of comfort and performance. Some other cut-resistant socks are known to be bulkier and heavier, meaning that there is a little less skate feel and a decrease in comfort. Swiftwick’s socks to an excellent job reducing the bulk for a thinner sock thanks to their HG fibers. Where some socks use Kevlar for cut-resistance, Swiftwick uses their HG fibers in the achilles and tibial tendon areas. You can see it in action here.
The NCRHA (National Collegiate Roller Hockey Association) finals are going down next week and IW is flying out to get in on the action. Every year, over 100 college teams from all over the country battle it out to qualify for this championship tournament.
All participating players and coaches will be able to come to our booth and purchase any necessities that they may need throughout the tournament.
In case you are in need of a chin strap or blow out a wheel during a game, IW has you covered!
If you would like to check out what we will be selling in order to plan ahead, go ahead and check out our Inline Warehouse Tournament Proshop.
After countless years, the signature Pump™ feature will be making its big return home to CCM, meanwhile Reebok’s RibCor Skate Line was sent to CCM in a blockbuster deal just before the trade deadline. It looks like CCM has the “win-now” mentality, aiming to go deep in the postseason. They were looking to add another powerhouse name next to their already stacked lineup; consisting of legendary, veteran presence in the Tacks and the rookie-sensation, JetSpeed skates that will be making their professional debut sooner than later.
Okay all jokes aside, you’re here to read about the CCM RibCor 50K skates. I’ll start with my overall thoughts and impressions after having used them for a few months, while interweaving the tech aspects at the same time.
CCM’s next line of protective equipment launches in April and it’s going to see some pretty innovative technology! This is going to pick up where the Reebok KFS protective left off (yes, yet another Reebok line moving to CCM) and moving alongside the CCM RBZ protective. The new line will be the CCM Tacks protective, featuring the CCM Ultra Tacks as the top-of-the-line model for gloves, elbow pads, shin guards, shoulder pads, and ice pants. The biggest feature in the Ultra Tacks lineup is the introduction of D3O® smart foams.
D3O® produces smart foams for many different industries including medicine, law enforcement, and more. So why is it considered a smart foam? Artificial intelligence. Only kidding. That’s still a couple years out.At its normal state, the D30® particles flow freely and absorb low-force impacts. At this stage it’s soft and more or less flexible. Then, when it is hit with a high-energy impact, the particles immediately lock and the foam hardens. Read more…
All sale pitches aside, the Bauer Vapor 1X Skates are Bauer’s most advanced, retail skate to-date. Their 3D lasted Curv® Composite Quarter Packages have always been a cut above the rest because they allow Bauer to form skates that are as anatomically correct as they get. (This essentially means the quarter package is as correctly shaped to fit around an actual foot as closely as possible). Besides how the Curv® material is 3D lasted; it’s just lighter, stronger and more rigid than anyone else’s, so you’re basically getting the ultimate trifecta. But wait, there’s more! *Billy Mays voice*. Let’s start with technology that is totally new, to even Bauer, before we get into technology we’re all familiar with.