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.