Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Columbus Blue Jackets Unveil 3rd Jersey

Posted in Pro Stock, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 29, 2010 by prostocknation

The Columbus Blue Jackets unveiled their brand new 3rd jerseys a few days ago.  As a jersey collector I have always been impressed with the designs of the Blue Jackets’ uniforms and I am really liking the new styling.  I like to see third jerseys standing out from the regular home and away jerseys and Columbus has done so by removing all traces of red, adding the tie downs at the front and utilizing a new logo.

Something that we didn’t like about the Vancouver Canucks’ 3rd jerseys was they simply looked like their home uniform with a tweaked logo on the front.  The stripes were also a bit different but to this day the casual fans are still confused as to which jersey is which.  It would be nice to have a third jersey mean more than just for the sake of having a third jersey.

Since the red has been removed from this color scheme, the Blue Jackets will be wearing Blue pants with a single vertical white stripe on the sides to match these beauties.

Sad to say, it doesn’t look like the Jackets have the same design team for jerseys and mascots because regardless of whatever uniforms you throw on them they still look outrageously horrible.  Who do you guys think is the worst looking of the two mascots?  Stinger or Boomer?

 

 

Photos screen captured from the Columbus Blue Jackets Website (http://bluejackets.nhl.com)

– M

RapidShot: Revisited

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on November 8, 2010 by prostocknation

The next time your team scrimmages and you’re short one goaltender, strap on a shooter tutor at the other end instead of shooting at an empty net.  I’ll explain later.

We were down at Rogers Arena for the Canucks/Red Wings game and I just couldn’t resist another showdown with the RapidShot.  For those unfamiliar with the RapidShot, please check out our post on it a little while back: https://prostocknation.wordpress.com/2010/10/24/rapidshot-hockey-training-system-rogers-arena-vancouver-bc-canada/

Professional players getting paid millions of dollars to play the game are getting scores of around 300; I’m not making as much as they are so I’m not expecting the same results either.  I shot a disappointing 49.1 at our first session.  My goal for this second time around was to improve on my original score.

I remember often times back in minor hockey we’d shoot on an empty net at one end during scrimmages because we didn’t have a second goaltender.  Of course it wouldn’t be fair if one team could score on an unmanned net so you were told to hit the posts or crossbar.  Ever since that day, shooting at an empty net didn’t feel right unless you heard the ‘ping’ of the iron.

This doesn’t translate well to the world of the RapidShot because if you hit the posts you get a score of zero.  About 4-5 shots of mine rang off the iron and it reflected in my score.  You also get a zero if you hit the white areas on the net.  8/16 (50%) of my shots were zeroes so the next time around I’m going to try to get 80% or more of my shots on target to pull my average up.

It’s also interesting to see where I was the most accurate, the corners I never like shooting at.

November 6, 2010 - Rogers Arena RapidShot

(Click to enlarge image)

The upper-right corner, glove side on most goalies, is the go-to spot for most players to snipe but my mindset was still stuck in scrimmage mode and I was getting nothing but iron.  What even surprised me more was my hit percentage was the highest for the bottom right.  Going bottom glove side would probably be my least favorite corner to aim for but judging from these results I should shoot in that area more often.

If I were to hit the targets consistently I think I would be able to get in around the 140-150 point range.  We’ll see next time, shooting pucks in this contraption is way too addictive and if I’m not too careful I’ll be declaring bankruptcy pretty soon.  I’ve been shooting pucks in the backyard all summer long but there’s just something about the RapidShot that makes you want to keep shooting.

 

– M

Latest Player To Wear Cascade M11 Helmet

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on November 3, 2010 by prostocknation

Keith Ballard of the Vancouver Canucks recently returned to the lineup sporting a Cascade M11 helmet after he suffered a concussion.  Cascade has been the leader in helmets in the lacrosse world and have been trying to tap into the hockey market in recent years.  The brand is starting to pick up and Cascade could turn out to be the prescription for players returning from head injuries in the near future.

Ballard has gone back to his CCM Vector for games but perhaps he’s just sticking with what he’s used to that’s comfortable right now.

The one piece shell construction and the unique shaped foam inside the helmet will help disperse the impact compared to traditional two piece construction models.  Cascade claims it “performs better on successive impacts than EPP foam” (Ex.  Helmets like the Bauer 5000.)

Photo screenshot from Canucks.com

Willie Mitchell of the LA Kings also began wearing one this year after missing almost half of last season due to a concussion from an Evgeni Malkin hit.  Mark Messier has also traded in his signature Winnwell helmet and partnered up with Cascade for “The Messier Project.”

For more information on the Cascade M11, check them out at www.CascadeIceHockey.com

– M

RapidShot Hockey Training System – Rogers Arena, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on October 24, 2010 by prostocknation

We had the privilege to use the RapidShot at Rogers Arena after hours.  The RapidShot system advertises themselves as “The Batting Cage of Hockey” and that is exactly what it is.

How does it work?  The shooter is fed a series of 16 pucks by the computer.  It’s important to keep your head up as you’re shooting because there are four amber colored lights that flash briefly at the corner you’re supposed to aim for.  If you’re not paying attention you can easily miss it.  The closer you are to the corner, the higher your score will be.  The computer measures the speed, accuracy and reaction time of your shot,  plugs all those numbers into an algorithm and dishes out a score based on those three factors.  Your final score is an average of all 16 shots.  You get no points for missing the net.  The speed of the passes and the interval between passes are adjustable to accommodate for different skill levels.

You begin by stepping into the cage and standing on a platform to emulate the height you would be at on skates.  As soon as you’re ready to start, white colored pucks start coming at you.  As the puck travels towards you, it passes by a laser and the clock starts ticking.  As you release the puck it runs by the laser again stopping the clock and that is how your reaction time is measured.    We didn’t notice any radar guns to measure the speed of the puck but we think the computer takes the distance between the shooter and the net and dividing it by the time it takes the puck to travel from the stick (when it travels across the laser the second time) to the moment of the puck hitting the net; your simple “Speed = Distance/Time” formula.

The Vancouver Canucks are using this as a valuable training tool but any fan attending home games at Rogers Arena will be able to use the RapidShot, $5 for 16 shots.


Here’s our PR Manager, Fanny, shooting in the RapidShot.

The top 10 scores are posted on the leaderboard.  Unfortunately we only had enough time to shoot 16 pucks each so our scores are relatively low compared to the more experienced shooters.  Harvey Jones, VP and GM of Building Operations for Rogers Arena, and Rod Brathwaite (yes, he is Fred’s brother) have been in there much more than us, hence the higher scores.  We’re told Ryan Kesler shoots at around 300.

Out of our own group I went first but got dethroned towards the end and finished at a respectable second place.  There were lots of bragging rights up for grabs.  At least I can say my reaction time was the fastest.

We can’t wait to go back and use the RapidShot again.  Currently, there are only three facilities in the Lower Mainland with this system installed and we’re hoping there will be more very soon.  If you haven’t tried it yet, you’re definitely missing out.  Until next time!

– M

RapidShot – Just 5 Days Away!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 17, 2010 by prostocknation

The RapidShot is advertised as “the batting cage of hockey.”   The Vancouver Canucks recently installed one of these units and players are incorporating this as a part of their training routine.  We are going to Rogers Arena and giving this a try Wednesday Night and comparing our scores with Canuck players.  Pictures and video are sure to come!

For those of you unfamiliar with the RapidShot, check out these videos:

– M

BASE Hockey – Part 3/3

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on October 11, 2010 by prostocknation


We were greeted by Al Iafrate and Cliff Ronning of BASE Hockey when we went to pick up our stick a few weeks ago.   If you missed our last couple of posts, the white BASE Hockey hat (autographed by both players) Cliff is holding in the picture will be given away to one of our lucky readers or followers sometime before the end of the month.  Be sure to keep checking our blog and Twitter account (www.Twitter.com/ProStockNation)

So here is our finished product, the BASE Savoy Special.  A variety of custom options can be chosen when ordering your stick so we’ll run through what we chose for ours.  The first thing you’ll notice is the red graphics package.  These sticks come in a variety of colors or you can choose to go all black like Mike Green and Paul Gaustad’s sticks in the NHL this season.  If you don’t want to choose a custom color then you’ll get the standard Red/Orange package.


This is the bottom stripe of the stick, very ONE95-esque if you ask us.

So the blade is what really sold me on BASE sticks.  The blades feel softer and it really dampens the puck when giving and receiving passes.  You don’t get any of that ‘ping” feeling like other composites I have used.  On the other hand when you’re shooting the blade feels soft here as well, similar to a wood blade.  I don’t feel the same ‘pop’ I would with a ONE95 or a Dolomite but this is merely a personal preference sort of thing.  I’d like to compare it to a similar idea as the Easton Synergy Si-Core, but it actually works.

The sandpaper texture, BASE calls it “Sharkskin,” is the default finish for the blade; naked being the other choice.  I prefer the sandpaper finish because it gives your blade that extra little bit of protection, especially if you’re the type of player that doesn’t tape the entire blade.  It’s similar to the Z-Tac coating Easton has been using on their blades for the longest time as well as the coarse coating you’d find on many pro stock sticks.  I’ve heard of people spraying on some sort of a flooring texture (like the silica sand people sprinkle onto stairs for extra grip)  on their blades to try and emulate the same effect.  Most sticks you see in retail will have the much glossier “naked” finish.

Just like the Pros you can get your own name on these sticks.  I already have “M. NG 2” on my custom Eagle CP94 gloves so it’s only fitting that I get it on the BASE stick to match.  The “75” beside the name is the flex.  I believe the pattern number will be listed if you don’t want to pay the $8 for custom color and name.  Ours is a BM12 (Iginla Clone) in case you’re wondering.

Towards the bottom of the shaft there is an oval for your jersey number or team logo.  You can send them a .jpg and they can screen it onto the stick, very cool!

In case you haven’t already seen it, here is our video with Al Iafrate and he tells us a bit about BASE Hockey.  For more information please check out their website at www.MyBaseHockey.com

– M

ProStockNation.com Contests

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2010 by prostocknation

Congratulations to the winner of our first pair of Row 6 Canucks Open Practice tickets on Twitter, Ken L. (hockeyfan1992)!  The next draw will be on Wednesday, September 29, 2010.  Remember to follow @ProStockNation on Twitter and RT to win!

We’d also like to thank our friends at BASE Hockey (www.MyBaseHockey.com) for supplying us with a few prizes for our readers and watchers.  Stay tuned to our blog and on Twitter to see how you can win an Al Iafrate and Cliff Ronning signed BASE Hockey poster or hat!

– M

Stick Testing at Base Hockey Labs

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 22, 2010 by prostocknation

Now that your stick is ready for the cameras it’s time to go to Base Hockey’s shooting room. Inside the room is a large sheet of artificial ice so you can shoot with your skates on to exactly replicate on ice conditions. Just a heads up, the artificial ice will feel odd your first time on it.

On either end of the room are tarps with the outline of a net and targets. This makes it easy for both left handed and right handed shooters to position themselves with enough room for all their shots.

Prior to shooting you will be asked to rank your shots from best to worst. Snap shot, slap shot, and wrist shot. Once all the pucks are in front of you will be shown a rough spot on the ice from which to release your shots. This is to better allow the high speed cameras to capture your shot and how the stick responds.

The area is well lit to allow the cameras to better isolate the puck and it’s release off the stick. Don’t trust us? These lights don’t lie.

As you go through the order of your shots, from best to worst, Cliff will give you hints and pointers as to your technique and how to improve your shot. Make sure to listen, because it’s not everyday you get a lesson from a former NHLer.

Throughout the process the Base crew will analyze your stick set up and offer other choices in sticks to try. With their great selection of shafts, blades and lies you’ll definitely be able to find one to improve your game.

Once you’ve gone through all of your shots and found a stick you like it’s time to go to the video room for a debriefing. While you watch slow motion footage of your shooting you will be given more in depth information about your style and how to improve. Stay tuned for more on the post shooting breakdown in part three.

While we were there we got a few extra shots in for fun. Remember, no skates, no ice.

Check out our video with Base Hockey’s Al Iafrate: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yyQEA4IjC2g

Stay tuned to our blog, Twitter and Youtube pages as the kind folks at Base Hockey have supplied us with a few items to give away to our readers.  You definitely don’t want to miss out!

– E

Vancouver Canucks Open Practice Ticket Giveaway!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on September 20, 2010 by prostocknation

We have a few pairs of Canucks Open Practice Tickets on Sunday October 3, 2010 @ 2:00pm to give away.  These seats are 6 rows from the ice and you definitely don’t want to miss out on the great view!

How do you win?

1.  Follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/prostocknation

2.  Retweet

3.  Tell others to do the same!

Make sure you Follow us AND RetweetYou must do both in order to be entered into our draw.

*Winners will be contacted by October 1, 2010 at the very latest with instructions on where to pick up their tickets.*

First pair of tickets will be drawn on Saturday, September 25, 2010 in the evening.  The lucky winner will be contacted through Twitter with pick up instructions.

Canucks Open Practice Tickets Giveaway

– M

ProStockNation.com Visits The Vancouver Canucks

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2010 by prostocknation

Sorry for the quality of the pics, we didn’t have our DSLR with us this time.

Not much explaining needed.  I’m sure Canuck Fans have seen these doors plenty of times.

View from the Best Buy Club on the 500-Level at the Rogers Arena.  Not only did the ice get a new paint job but the floor in the bowl did as well; white with a blue and green scheme going on.

Back to the Canucks room.

Looks like Rypien’s skates are getting some attention.  We didn’t want to step foot in this room without the Equipment personnel present out of respect because we know how much pride goes into their work.

To clear up any rumors about the Sedins allegedly wearing an “11K” helmet, looks like they’re still using the 8K.  They’re  giving Bauer X:60 gloves a try and still skating in Supreme ONE95s after testing out Total ONEs at the end of last year.  We were surprised to see no Total ONEs in the room.

Sergei Shirokov is back in town and skating; we hope he earns a full time spot on the roster this year.  His gear remains pretty much unchanged since last season; Bauer 4500 Helmet, Bauer XXXX Pro Gloves, X:60 Skates.

Side note: On top of being a skilled player he is also willing to go out of his way for his fans.  He came out to find us after the Moose played the Heat in Abbotsford last year and signed my authentic Shirokov Moose Jersey.

 

Thanks again Sergei!

– M