The holidays are fast approaching and we know you’re thinking: “what do I get for that hockey player in my life?” Skates & sticks make for expensive gifts (unless they’ve been really good), but you know they would love something hockey useful or simply hockey awesome. Don’t worry- IW is here for you. We’ve compiled a list of excellent stocking stuffers within a reasonable price range. The official IW gift guide can be found here: http://bit.ly/IWGiftGuide. From this list, I have narrowed down the perfect small(er) gifts for your hockey player.
First, the Bauer TotalOne NXG Ice Skates – Kidding… Let’s move the price range down a couple thousand dollars.
1. The Sherwood NHL Team USB drive:
Besides the creepy aspect of pulling the player’s head off and making him hold it while you plug his body into the computer, this USB drive is awesome! Really though, there isn’t a better way to carry information around than with your team player in your pocket.
The NHL Winter Classic gives teams a great opportunity to honor their past and traditions by bringing back some of their iconic looks. We also get to see players rock some nice throwback gear, but goalies in particular really get to take that classic look to the next level with some vintage designs & custom colors.Last month, I got to go to Bauer World, Bauer’s annual sales expo. In addition to seeing some incredible new gear that will hit stores in April, we got a sneak peek at the Bauer Goalie gear that the Bauer-sponsored goalies will be wearing in their outdoor games this year!
First off is a pad that we actually won’t see because this goaltender retired earlier this year. Martin Biron had these Retro Reactor pads made up for the Stadium Series matchup that’s being held at Yankee Stadium. This one will be a fan favorite of the guys that like an old-school pad. It has a super traditional look and even has the leg straps going through the face of the pad.
Biron's Winter Classic Pads
Now for a pad that will actually be seen in the Rangers game, we have Lundqvist’s set. Lundqvist went with the sock design. The sock graphic has become more and more popular lately and I think it has its own kind of retro look to it. As expected, the Bauer Supreme poster-boy will be rocking the latest Supreme pads as the Rangers take on the Devils.We also saw this interesting strapping design on the back of Lundqvist’s set. It appears his testing out a very simplistic design of a nylon Velcro strap. We’ll have to wait and see if this drops down to some of their stock pads in the future.
Friday is almost upon us; but this is no ordinary Friday. This is THE Friday!
What do we have up our sleeve for Black Friday?
Coming to Bauer products in 2014 is a new technology called 37.5™ by Cocona. This new feature will be in select Training Apparel, Team Apparel, Base Layer and Protective Equipment models. 37.5™ dries base layer and protective equipment liners faster and more effectively than the competition, allowing players to put more energy into their game instead of expending energy to keep their body cool.
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.
Eastern Conference Final: Detroit over Pittsburgh
Western Conference Final: Kings over St. Louis
Stanley Cup Champion: Los Angeles Kings
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.
1. The top scoring stick (among the top 20 scorers) is… Read more…
Well, we all know now that Tomas Hertl is much better at the game of hockey than speaking English, but that’s beside the point. The 19 year-old rookie put on quite the show for the 18,000+ fans at SAP Center on Tuesday night, and thousands more watching the game from their living rooms. 3 NHL games in and he has already broken and tied records in both the Sharks franchise and NHL History. He tied the franchise record for most goals in a game (4) and became the youngest player since 1970 to net 6 goals in the first 3 games of the season, not to mention he is now leading the NHL in goals (6). Wow. He has already made quite the name for himself, not to mention his beauty of a goal from a shot between his legs that went bar-down for his 4th goal against the New York Rangers. Some people say that was classless, but I mean, come on, the kid is 19, and stoked out of his mind he is playing in the show. Cut him some slack, eh? But in case you haven’t seen his nasty goal, here it is:
Tomas Hertl’s Fourth Goal vs NY Rangers
Now I’m definitely sure that this is not the last we will hear from Hertl the Turtle, as he is already getting compared to Jaromir Jagr, probably the greatest player to come out of the Czech Republic to date. The rookie has set the bar quite high for expectations for the year, but I’m sure he won’t disappoint. But just to make sure he isn’t cheating or some sort of Datsyukian wizard, let’s take a look at his repertoire:
What does the +1” mean on a leg pad? Does that just mean a 34”+1” is actually a 35” pad?
Vaughn Velocity V5 Pads
The simple answer is no. When you’re trying to determine your pad size you collect three measurements; your skate size, your ankle to knee measurement, and your thigh rise (roughly half way up your thigh). As an example, let’s say you wear a size 10.0 skate, have a 16” ankle to knee measurement and half way up your thigh is 7”. Add all of those together and you get 33”. Now plus sizing comes into play. Most pads nowadays will have +1 sizing as the standard, so you would get a 33+1 pad. That would give you the best fit (your knee lands perfect in the knee stack), but with an additional inch at the top of the pad for five hole coverage. A 34” pad would be an inch too tall at the knee stack, so it throws off the fit a little bit.
Why does my 25” Reebok stick have a taller paddle than my 26.5” Bauer stick?
The simple answer is that each company measures the paddle a different way. The method we’ve adopted to provide the consumer with a universal measurement is measuring from the handle to the point of contact with the playing surface. Some companies measure to the point where the blade starts to curve, some measure starting at the bottom of the handle, and some other variations.
The game of hockey has greatly evolved over the past 10 years and so have hockey sticks. Back in the day, choosing the right stick to you came down to which brand had your curve. These days, kick points are a big highlighting feature to consider when making a purchase so we will be discussing which type of a player should choose low-kick’s and which type of a player should choose mid-kick’s. For those who might not know yet, the kick point of a hockey stick is the location on the shaft that flexes most. Traditionally, hockey sticks had a mid kick point because the shaft had a constant stiffness rating from top to bottom (i.e. wood hockey sticks) but now with advances in composite materials, engineers can stiffen certain places on a hockey stick as well as soften certain parts of the carbon fiber to direct the stick in the desired location to flex. Mid kick hockey sticks flex near dead center between the top of the shaft and the heel of the blade where as low kick hockey sticks flex closer to the heel of the blade rather than the center point of the shaft.
Low-Kick Hockey Sticks
Blade Quick Release Feature
Every single second is critical in a hockey game. If you’re sidelined trying to replace a skate runner, think of how many moments you miss. These are opportunities that could make you the hero, but instead you’re helpless on the bench. No longer. With the introduction of the Bauer Vapor APX 2 skates, Bauer unveiled the TUUK Lightspeed Edge Holder. The new holder upgrades the traditional Tuuk Lightspeed 2 Holders and brings the skate to a whole new level. The new blade quick release feature on the holder is one such upgrade.
Before we go any further, I need to address an alleged issue. When Bauer launched the new Vapor skate line earlier this year, rumors circled that the quick-release Edge Holders made the blades more prone to falling out. A couple of highly noticeable televised instances of the runner falling off Bauer skates at a crucial time in the Stanley playoffs sparked questions of durability. The public immediately began to claim that the quick release feature released the runner too easily. Bauer investigated and found that none of the players were using the Edge holders on their skates.