Saturday, April 24, 2010

High Sticks are becoming more frequent

Over the past handful of months, I've taken a lot more high sticks than normal. I know part is that I'm playing with players that are less advanced skaters, but there are times when I get them playing with more advanced players.

With the recent improvement in my skating and balance, I wonder if I'm putting my self lower to the ice. I'm already a shorter guy compared to other players, so when I get lower is it possible I'm putting myself too low?

I do wear a full cage, so for the most part, high sticks aren't a big deal. They're just a good wake up call. I get very pissed when I do receive them though because there are very few reasons I can think of where the player isn't being reckless with their stick. I believe that you should be in control of your stick at all times. Now if someone comes around and lifts your stick, of course it is going to go up, but very rarely have I seen players lift the blade of their stick up to the level of my head.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Easton S7 Stick

My sticks are something that I’ve always felt touchy with. The weight of the stick, the balance, the pattern, I can really tell a difference in them when I’m using them. I’ve used a variety of sticks over my short career. Wooden ones, cheap two piece ones, with a wooden blade. I made the jump to one piece sticks a while ago, and up until recently, I haven’t found one I fell in love with.

Until I played with the Easton S7. I love this stick. I have the S5, and it just feels really heavy to me. I’ve learned though, I should be using an intermediate stick and I think that goes a long way. With my S5, I had to cut a few inches off. With the intermediate, I cut off two or so. At 130 pounds, I’m not really suited for a 100 flex stick. But what’s interesting is I also had a Warrior 70 flex in my hands (the s7 is a 65 flex). I can drastically feel the difference in stiffness. I checked Easton’s 85 flex S7 to CCM’s Octogun 85 flex, and the Easton felt much more flexy. I wonder if this is a kick point issue.
Anyway, I broke the S7 on the blade which seems to be common. I tried a few different sticks from my stockpile, picked up a new one, and I just had to have the S7 again. It is much lighter than the S5 and S3, and is still affordable at $80. Yes there are lighter sticks, but I am not good enough to get the benefits from them. I’m probably not good enough to get the benefits from the $80 one, but it sure does feel nice in my hands.
I’m using the Sakic pattern, on the Easton S7 intermediate 65 flex. I also tape the shaft to increase the grip along it for my bottom hand. Ever since I switched to Ice, I’ve had a hard time keeping a strong grip on my sticks. The tape helps.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Easton S19 Helmet Curiosity

I’ve always kind of watched the newest technologies that come out in hockey equipment. When I heard about the Easton S19 helmet, I really was curious because it was new, the recent problem of head shots in the NHL, and I’ve loved every Easton product I’ve had.

The S19 is the first one piece helmet. That’s right, there’s no adjusting to it, no screws, no nothing. Well – it does have a little adjustment in the back of it to tighten and loosen it, but only very little. The thing is damn impressive. It was light as hell, and there’s no give in it. I tried to crush it with my hands and it really didn’t budge. I tried that with a normal two piece helmet and was shocked how much you could move it in comparison.

I question how comfortable it will be. Because it is a helmet, and has very little in terms of adjustments, I have to imagine that there are going to be a lot of people who hate the thing. On the inside, the parts where it makes contact with the head, it has this tough little gel. I’m curious as to how it will perform in a game. Instead of the traditional foam that is inside the helmet, it is this strong black Styrofoam stuff.

At $170, it is difficult me to really want to pick it up, but I am excited about this. I think it is going to change how helmets are made. Once a few more are released, and problems are fixed, I will probably pick one of these up based on reviews.

More on the helmet: