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Osorojo
05-21-2010, 09:37 AM
What change in equipment or equipment technology in the last few decades has most changed college hockey, and what was this change?

blockski
05-21-2010, 09:48 AM
What change in equipment or equipment technology in the last few decades has most changed college hockey, and what was this change?

I'm kinda in the Don Cherry camp that the improved pads (shin, elbow, etc) with the harder plastic shells make it much safer for players - but it also makes players much more likely to step in and block shots. That's been the single biggest change in the game in my opinion - much improved team defense and shot blocking.

Cherry also talks about increased injuries stemming from this sort of arms race. You hit a guy with hard plastic pads, and you're more likely to be safe - but the guy on the other end of the hit isn't so lucky.

Nick Papagiorgio
05-21-2010, 10:04 AM
It's tough to say that equipment has changed the game. It hasn't really changed the game a ton or the way it is played that much.

Skates and sticks are the most notable pieces of equipment that have changed. They are both lighter as a result of the technological advances in carbon composite materials in the skates and sticks.

Sticks went from wood to aluminum shafts to carbon composite shafts to one piece carbon composite sticks. They break more but clearly have added mphs to slapshot and wristshots. And they cost a ton.

Skates are now heat moldable and made of carbon composite and texalium. Break-in times are minimal with the baking process. They are lighter. They are stiffer. The steel hasn't changed a whole lot... CCM had a runner that was a good idea but people just didn't know how to sharpen it so that died and now Bauer has run with the idea in their new Total One skate in fusing steel to lighter materials (aluminum I think?) on the top of the blade where it will really help reduce the weight while never being a problem for actually touching the ice. New skates also COST A TON.

The rest of the equipment... yea it's gotten better but not enough to really say it has changed the game much. Even helmets (particularly the foams, VN foam is still preferred by many) have been largely unchanged with very few advances in technology to protect the head more against concussions... the most notable is the recent M11 Messier Project with Cascade and that's tough to measure because it's new and is probably only a minor improvement. Jofa did some good work with their JDP stuff on protective but again nothing drastic that changes the game.

Maybe... one could argue the protective side is better and as a result you see guys able to jump in front of pucks more often without injury.

The worst part of the whole thing is the cost of this new stuff (particularly skates and sticks). You could debate it's a budget buster and hurt smaller programs in the college game and led to their untimely death. But outside of the college game, I truly believe the cost of equipment has hurt the sport and it was already costly before.

CLS
05-21-2010, 11:01 AM
Kinda dating myself, because probably most of you havenít ever played without them, but IMO, it Ďs the sticks generally and the curved blade specifically.

The curved blade made it more feasible to lift and control slap shots while making stickhandling and executing and receiving passes more difficult. Prior to that, the Hulls and Geoffrions were notable because they had good slap shots. Some players didnít use them at all, and some coaches actually discouraged them, even for shots from the point. Now, Iíd say theyíre the most common type of shot, and almost exclusively the shot from the point, unless the shooter doesnít have time to wind up. Now passes to the backhand side are often made by twisting the body and using the forehand.

One side effect of that was that it used to be feasible to play without a helmet, and now it isnít. I donít think that the players (especially the goalies) of the helmetless era were any stupider or braver than todayís players; they just weren't subjected to so many shot at head height that could kill or maim them.

Which brings me to one of my pet peeves Ė entry level player sticks with curved blades. They have absolutely no advantage to the player, they make learning stickhandling and backhand shooting more difficult, and they force players to choose left or right long before they should have to.

LynahFan
05-21-2010, 11:37 AM
Well, if you're talking 2-3 decades back, I think some consideration should be given to an entirely different kind of equipment: computers and video technology. I think a pretty strong argument could be made that these technologies have changed teams' preparation and approaches to the game far more than putting different padding in the helmets.

FlagDUDE08
05-21-2010, 11:52 AM
I would agree with LF on this one, especially if you consider the concept of video goal review. Granted I do not have statistics about how many goal decisions have been reversed because of this technology, but it takes away the "What did you see?" issues and having the game be solely determined on what a ref happened to notice in a split second. With the video replay, time can be taken to get the call right, and the games are more fun for all parties concerned.

unofan
05-21-2010, 11:58 AM
they force players to choose left or right long before they should have to.

Maybe it's cause I didn't pick the game up til college, but I knew right away that a right-handed stick felt wierd and was a natural lefty in hockey. Took me all of about 2 minutes on the pond with a stick to realize I needed the other one.

The bigger issue is parents forcing their kids into one because they think it's right - ie I'm right-handed in everything but hockey. Had I picked it up as a kid, my parents probably would've gotten a right-handed stick and I'd have been stuck with it.

jcarter7669
05-21-2010, 11:58 AM
The change from chain link fence to seamless glass

beaverhockeyfan
05-21-2010, 03:52 PM
The size of the goalie equipment. Look at video clips from the 80s and early 90s and compare them with clips from today, today's goalies look like the Marshmallow Man.

The NHL keeps talking about wanting to increase scoring. Well, shrink the goalie pads and gloves back to what they were. You can still use all the modern fibers and fillers, but if you cut the size back, there will be more net to shoot at.

Ralph Baer
05-21-2010, 03:53 PM
The size of the goalie equipment. Look at video clips from the 80s and early 90s and compare them with clips from today, today's goalies look like the Marshmallow Man.

The NHL keeps talking about wanting to increase scoring. Well, shrink the pads back to what they were. You can still use all the modern fibers and fillers, but if you cut the size back, there will be more net to shoot at.

agreed

pinch
05-21-2010, 04:03 PM
size of goalie equip, and the quality of it. You used to be able to drill them in the shoulder/ collarbone and make them think about the next one.

Nick Papagiorgio
05-21-2010, 04:08 PM
size of goalie equip, and the quality of it. You used to be able to drill them in the shoulder/ collarbone and make them think about the next one.

I like your style...

Even with kevlar helmets they are still going to think twice if you get them up around the head/neck nowadays.

There's a reason I shoot high and go headhunting in the first period when I'm on the ice! :D

FlagDUDE08
05-21-2010, 04:11 PM
Maybe it's cause I didn't pick the game up til college, but I knew right away that a right-handed stick felt wierd and was a natural lefty in hockey. Took me all of about 2 minutes on the pond with a stick to realize I needed the other one.

The bigger issue is parents forcing their kids into one because they think it's right - ie I'm right-handed in everything but hockey. Had I picked it up as a kid, my parents probably would've gotten a right-handed stick and I'd have been stuck with it.

As a natural southpaw, I'm definitely in agreement with this. Take athletes even in other sports, like Phil Mickelson. Swings left, but writes right. I think that that is also a bit of a change over the last quite-a-few years, in that sports are starting to become more accepting of left-handed athletes (of all ages), though it's still quite tough. You rarely see right-hand-catching goalies, mostly due to the equipment availability. Same with hockey sticks, as previously described. They're there, but not all that available. Heck, even in Polo, left-handed people are barred from playing professionally due to passing patterns.

blockski
05-21-2010, 05:04 PM
As a natural southpaw, I'm definitely in agreement with this. Take athletes even in other sports, like Phil Mickelson. Swings left, but writes right. I think that that is also a bit of a change over the last quite-a-few years, in that sports are starting to become more accepting of left-handed athletes (of all ages), though it's still quite tough. You rarely see right-hand-catching goalies, mostly due to the equipment availability. Same with hockey sticks, as previously described. They're there, but not all that available. Heck, even in Polo, left-handed people are barred from playing professionally due to passing patterns.

Golf is different, due to the difficulty and expense involved in getting lefty clubs back in the day.

I think Robert Redford, a natural lefty, golfs right handed due to the fact that those were the only clubs available to him when he learned. He's pretty good, too, I gather.

FlagDUDE08
05-21-2010, 05:20 PM
Golf is different, due to the difficulty and expense involved in getting lefty clubs back in the day.

I think Robert Redford, a natural lefty, golfs right handed due to the fact that those were the only clubs available to him when he learned. He's pretty good, too, I gather.

Tell me about it, this is why I don't golf. I stick to official Norwegian sports.

Osorojo
05-21-2010, 05:31 PM
The change from chain link fence to seamless glass

Me and the left side of my face concur.

ts8801
05-21-2010, 07:02 PM
Me and the left side of my face concur.

the right side not concurring explains a lot.

UncleRay
05-21-2010, 10:01 PM
Golf right, bat right, play hockey lefty. What's that say about my brain. Yeah, I know, dumb question.

Patman
05-21-2010, 10:31 PM
The size of the goalie equipment. Look at video clips from the 80s and early 90s and compare them with clips from today, today's goalies look like the Marshmallow Man.

The NHL keeps talking about wanting to increase scoring. Well, shrink the goalie pads and gloves back to what they were. You can still use all the modern fibers and fillers, but if you cut the size back, there will be more net to shoot at.

add to that the equipment doesn't weigh a ton in this day and age. If hockey were to get serious they'd still pare down the goalies back. Change the nature of the goalie and you change the tactics.

The one thing I've noticed in my decade of college hockey is that everybody got faster... I don't think that's so much equipment because I don't think much has changed in the last 10... the players are better conditioned and you can't undo that.

Osorojo
05-22-2010, 01:00 AM
the right side not concurring explains a lot.

Your cute insult reveals your pedigree. I'm guessing you played without a helmet or a face mask. They would have been a waste of money.