Archive for January, 2011

Total One Graphics Update

Posted in Gear Sightings with tags , , , , on January 30, 2011 by prostocknation

After watching the NHL All Star Skills Competition I noticed the ever increasing amount of players using the Total One stick. And then I noticed something unique about those very Total Ones. Every player using one has the standard yellow graphics package adorning their stick. That is, except for Eric Staal.

He can be seen above congratulating Michael Grabner after his victory in the fastest skater competition. I took a further look into previous photos of Eric Staal to see if this was a special one time all star stick, or if it had been issued earlier. The following are two photos of Staal. One in a game against the New York Islanders, and the second against the Atlanta Thrashers. The game in Atlanta took place on December 16th 2010, proving that the stick is not a one game special.

This begs the question. Will Bauer start introducing the Total One in multiple color packages for NHL teams, and will this filter down to the retail version? I am inclined to believe they will, as this is exactly how the original Bauer One95 stick progressed. It debuted in one standard graphic package before getting several makeovers in a wide range of colors. Bauer has certain established it’s iconic image with the yellow Total One, helping build it’s customer recognition, it would be a great time for them to introduce more options for both pro stock and retail models.

All images are property of Getty Images and their rightful owners. No copyright infringement is intended.

– E

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Transition to Goalie – Initial Thoughts

Posted in Goaltending with tags , , , , , on January 29, 2011 by prostocknation

I just had my 4th ice time between the pipes and it’s been quite the ride so far.

1st ice time – A pick up game with a group I normally play ‘out’ (as a skater) with:

The first thing I really needed to get accustomed to was getting into a routine.  As a skater I would always pack my bag the same way and put on my gear in the same order every ice time.  My main priority was to develop a routine and throughout the course of my first couple of ice times figure out what works and what doesn’t.

Growing up in the 90’s and watching goaltenders like Kirk McLean and Mike Richter playing the stand up style of hockey really influenced myself in the style I played on the street.  Because of that my initial reaction to blocking shots is to do a kick save instead of the more conventional butterfly style where you try to cover the bottom of the net as much as possible.  I understand how players like Gretzky were able to score 92 goals in a season back in the day because it has to do with how much goaltending techniques have evolved and improved over the years.  Some may think that only the fat kids can play goalie but it’s far from that.  Goaltending has become so specialized over the years that athletes have to be fit to play the position.

It was very difficult to slide on the ice and in total I let in something outrageous like 16 goals but the majority of them were 2-on-1, 2-on-0 or breakaways so my chances of stopping those were already pretty slim to begin with, especially for a beginner.  A couple of the shots should’ve been routine saves but I mishandled them.

2nd ice time – Stick & Puck with a friend:

I strapped on the pads at the Richmond Olympic Oval and whoever thought of having the rink and dressing rooms on different levels obviously never played hockey before.  The elevator was out of order so  I had to walk up a flight of stairs in full gear just to get to the ice, mind you these steps are not extra wide or anything to accommodate for goaltenders with big equipment.

This time I focused on my technique and more importantly, being able to butterfly slide.  One mistake I learned was not to have too narrow of a stance.  The reason behind this is if you have a wide stance and you drop to your knees and close your 5 hole, the pads will rotate and will be square to the shooter.  If your stance is too narrow the pads won’t be able to rotate and the face of the pad will be on the ice.  This is a problem because it exposes your knee and even though there are thigh boards giving you a bit of protection, it WILL hurt if you get shot there.  I learned this the hard way.

3rd & 4th ice time – Morning Hockey Clinic

I faced a lot of shots during these two clinics and I’m already starting to develop bad habits such as playing too deep in the crease.  At the end of the 4th session I’m doing alright with all the far shots and rebound control but shooters are still getting the best of me in close.  I’m also getting beat quite a bit in the 5 hole when I butterfly slide because of poor stick discipline.  I need to be aware of these things during my next couple of ice times but the positive is I am getting better slowly with experience.

Overall the experience has been quite interesting.  I went from a skater with barely 2 ice times per week to a goalie with 4 ice times and the best part is I get to play for free.  I also have a goalie bag with no wheels.  Many have asked how can a guy who is 5′ 9″ lug around such a huge bag but I have always been a firm believer of if you can’t carry your own bag it’s time to hang up the skates.  So I don’t understand why players need wheels for a bag that is half the size of my goalie bag.  You don’t see wheel bags in the NHL either…

– M

REVIEW: Bauer Supreme TOTAL ONE Gloves

Posted in Equipment Reviews, Leaks, Pro Stock with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 23, 2011 by prostocknation

Here’s our much anticipated review of the Bauer TOTAL ONE Gloves.  We haven’t seen anybody else on the internet reviewing, or even grab a hold of, these babies so correct me if I’m wrong… this is the FIRST written review of the Bauer TOTAL ONE Glove, ever.

We’ll work our way starting with the outer construction of the glove and moving inwards.

These are Bauer’s offering for players who want an anatomically fitting glove.  Contrary to traditional-style construction, anatomical gloves are built much like your hand instead of having rolls along the back of the hand.  You will find more, smaller blocks of foam on a glove like this.

The shell is made of a lightweight nylon with synthetic leather towards the pinky and key wear areas like between the thumb and index finger for added durability.  My fingers don’t feel as restricted compared to the last two generations of Supremes when I open up my hand but these don’t go as far to the same extent as the Vapor XXXX Pro.  Personally I’d also prefer a full nylon glove but the Supremes have had a mixture of the two materials ever since the introduction of the Supreme ONE90.

For added protection against impacts Bauer will also include a layer of impact gel and poron foam in key areas (no they haven’t forgot the plastic inserts everyone loves, those are still here as well.)  On the retail versions of this glove it will have a MAX-Sorb graphic on where you see this yellow ‘jewel’ below.  The pro stock versions will be sans graphics or even the entire ‘jewel’ altogether (see our previous post on Alex Edler’s gloves.)

Now onto the palms.  This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a palm with an overlay of a different material but it is a first for nubuck and gecko nash together.  For those unfamiliar with nubuck, think of Timberland boots.  As for gecko nash, this term is probably foreign to everybody, even for us.  It’s a thin and soft, something we’d compare to a digital palm (although not AS thin.)

Piling is a bit of a problem on the nubuck and the gecko nash isn’t too durable since it is a performance material after all but Bauer has definitely come a long way ever since the more futuristic looking palms on previous generations of Supremes.

Thermo Max+ liner on the inside, the same one you’d find on Bauer’s other top end offering, the Vapor X:60 Pro.  It’s antibacterial and it wicks away moisture, what more could you ask for?  It’s pretty standard across the different brands to include a liner similar to this nowadays.  I don’t find there to be too much of a difference with moisture-wicking vs. conventional liners when you’re on the ice playing but where it’s more noticeable is if you are playing in a warmer environment (think Roller Hockey) and when drying your equipment.  If you are on the ice every or every other day I don’t know how you can live without this feature (other than owning multiple pairs of gloves of course.)

Would we recommend these gloves?  Bauer has certainly fixed the fit problem (the older Supremes used to rub against my knuckles all the time) and the palms are much simpler but these just aren’t the gloves for me.  These have improved so much since the previous generations but I just can’t picture myself picking these up over Vapors unless I want a REALLY tight fitting glove.  One of the major deal breakers for me is there is no full nylon or full synthetic leather version of this glove like there is with the Vapor.  I’ve been really impressed with the current Supreme line so far (the sticks and skates I’m using right now are Total ONEs) but these gloves haven’t hit the same home run with me.

I would’ve offered digital palms like the retail X:60 because if I am spending this type of money on a top of the line glove, performance would be higher on my priority list than durability.  I believe the nubuck palms are also what’s holding this glove back a bit.  It would be interesting to see if other manufacturers jump on the nubuck bandwagon or if Bauer even continues to use this material in future models but I’ll happily stick with my MSH2, Nash or Digital.

– M

FIGHT THE FAKE: Canucks 40th Anniversary Jerseys

Posted in Counterfeit Jerseys with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 12, 2011 by prostocknation

Despite being a self proclaimed “Glove whore,” I am a jersey aficionado of more than 10 years and also having worked in a couple of jersey stores myself.  With a recent spike in counterfeit jerseys during the holiday shopping season and the Canucks starting their “Fight The Fake” initiative it sparked me to write a post on what to look out for if you’re planning to buy a 40th Anniversary Canucks jersey. You don’t want to get suckered into buying a fake do you?  Being familiar with what you’re buying is the best way to avoid counterfeit jerseys.  Knowledge is your best weapon against fakes.  Read on.

Above: Some photos we found after 5 minutes of searching on Craigslist offering 40th jerseys for sale.

First off let’s go over the three different types of Reebok jerseys available: (If you haven’t read our post on Edge 1.0 vs 2.0 it may help you better understand the materials used.)

Glossary:

Premier: Also known as “Replica” jerseys these are the fan’s equivalent of the ones the players wear on the ice. They are made overseas with a 100% polyester two-way stretch pique fabric. All the front crests will be glued onto the jersey, there are slits on both sides of the jersey and there is a Reebok vector logo on the left sleeve. The Men’s Premier jerseys come in Small to XX-Large (up to XXXX-Large in some cases.)

Retail Authentic: These are all made in Canada with Reebok’s X-trafil four-way stretch water repellent fabric (“Edge 1.0”) Everything, and I do mean everything on this jersey is stitched, it has a fight strap, and overall is a much heavier jersey than their Premier counterparts. The only sizes made for retail are 46, 50, 52, 54, 56, 58.) Please note Reebok DOES NOT make a size 48. If you see a size 48 it is 100% fake.

Game Issued/Game Worn: They are as they sound. Game Issued jerseys are done up for a player who may play for the team but never got around to and Game Worn jerseys are well, worn by the players in a game. There is an option for Edge 1.0 (X-trafil) or Edge 2.0 (Air Knit.) The smallest size we’ve ever seen was a 54 with the largest being 60.  These do not have the black Reebok tag inside the jersey above the size tag like the Retail Authentics.

Your 40th Jersey will either have the 40th Anniversary patch or it won’t. Many reputable sporting goods stores or specialty jersey shops will carry the 40th Jerseys without the patch but only the official Vancouver Canucks Team Store will sell it with such patch. All the counterfeits we have seen of this jersey include the patch so that’s what I’ll focus on.  Also keep in mind these only come in white.  If you see a blue jersey with the 40th patch it’s safe to say it’s fake.

THERE ARE NO RETAIL AUTHENTIC JERSEYS WITH THE 40TH PATCH. I REPEAT, THERE ARE NO RETAIL AUTHENTIC JERSEYS WITH THE 40TH PATCH!  Retail Authentics (made of Edge 1.0) do exist but they will not have the 40th Anniversary patch.

Since the patch is exclusive to the Canucks Team Store, they only sell the Premier jerseys, NO AUTHENTICS! If you are buying a 40th Anniversary jersey with a patch and fight strap it is most likely fake! Why do I say “most likely” and not “for sure”?

The only legitimate 40th Anniversary jerseys with the fight strap and patch are Game Issued/Game Worn jerseys. The 40th Jersey only came in Edge 2.0 so if yours isn’t Air Knit it’s fake. If you wanted one the only way to obtain one is to be one of the 24 lucky fans on December 18, 2010 when Vancouver played Toronto and won one off a player’s back OR buy a game worn directly from the Vancouver Canucks’ Director of Retail Operations. If you got one with a fight strap and 40th patch by any other means then I can assure you it is a fake.

Are you unsure about the authenticity of your jersey? Take some pictures and drop us a line and we can help you out. Stay away from buying your jerseys on eBay, Craigslist or anywhere online unless you absolutely know what you are doing.

What do you do if you happen to buy a fake?  In previous years the Montreal Canadiens offered a program where consumers can trade in their counterfeit jerseys for a discount on a legitimate jersey.  The Vancouver Canucks should be following suit soon.

Also check out the Canucks’ Fight The Fake page: http://canucks.nhl.com/club/page.htm?id=66864

– M

Bauer Total ONE Gloves!

Posted in Equipment Reviews with tags , , , , on January 7, 2011 by prostocknation

We got our hands on a pair but what do we think of them?  I absolutely hated the Supreme ONE90 and ONE95 so will this one be any different?  I’m currently using the Total ONE skates and stick so will I go all decked out in this new line?

Here’s a little teaser for our review next week:

There are currently no reviews on this glove anywhere on the internet yet so ProStockNation.com will be the first to do so.

 

– M

Gear Sighting: Missing Jewels

Posted in Gear Sightings with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2011 by prostocknation

First off the staff at ProStockNation.com would like to wish all of our readers a happy new year and thanks for all the comments and support we received in 2010.  We have high expectations for 2011.

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For those of you who don’t already know, I’m what you might consider a “glove-whore.”  In regular, everyday terms that simply means I love everything to do with hockey gloves.  Two Vancouver Canuck players also fall into this category, I like to refer to theme as the “Two E’s”; Edler and Ehrhoff.  These guys burn through about a pair a week and they are always after the latest and greatest models with high performance palms.  (To give you an idea of what some of the other players go through, Pavol Demitra used the same pair of Warrior Franchises in two seasons with the team AND during the Olympics.)

Edler recently switched over to the new Bauer Supreme Total ONE gloves from the Vapor XXXX Pro he’s been using for the last little while and it’s no surprise.  Ever since the influence from teammate Mikael Samuelsson to tape the cuffs of his gloves it looks like Edler wants a tighter fit and is there anything that fits more snug than a pair of Supremes?

Why didn’t he make the switch to the Supreme line sooner?  Our only guess is because the Supreme ONE90 and ONE95 were terrible gloves from a fit perspective.  We’ll dive more into the details when we review the Total ONE but the older model Supremes were the only gloves to constantly scrape my knuckles whenever I opened and closed my hands.  The Total ONEs don’t have this problem.

One aesthetic change we noticed is the signature golden ‘jewel’ on the glove has been deleted from Alex Edler’s more recent pairs.  These aren’t just glued on (stitched to be exact) so it’s impossible for them to simply fall off or to remove it with no traces of it being there previously.



It’s a minor cosmetic change to note but it would be interesting to see if he is the only player with this option or if more players follow suit.

I’m currently testing out a pair of Total ONEs right now and they’re definitely better than previous generations but how do they stack up against other offerings from Bauer and their competition?  Keep posted to our blog to find out.

All of the photos above are property of Getty Images (www.GettyImages.com)

 

– M