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Fanned On It 03-30-2012 02:43 AM

Open-Faced Blades
 
So I've been looking at a lot of NHL'ers curves both on Youtube and looking at Prostock sticks we sell at my Pro Shop and some that my friends have, and almost every single one of them is open-faced. Think the new Bauer Ovechkin curve (which is an extreme example). They all seem like mid-heel curves with an open-toe and I was wondering why this seems like the default curve for the Pros. I know they obviously have superior accuracy so they don't have to worry about shooting over the net as much as say I would with an open-faced blade, but what advantages do these type of curves offer them? Easier handling? Quicker release? Better "snap" on the snap-shot? What's the deal?

And if you use one, give me your experience. The reason I'm asking is because I'm thinking about trying one out. I know it'll take a crap-load of getting used to but I'm willing to work through it.

dwreckm 03-30-2012 02:48 AM

When I started playing, everyone warned me away from open curves, with the reasoning that although it's easier to get some loft on your shots, you won't learn proper technique. So, I've never used one to really gauge how they play.

jazz4all 03-30-2012 04:40 AM

open blade for me is great for quick snapper, especially in front of the net if u want to roof it quickly and somehow i can shot harder with it. Closed blade is much better for puck handling, passing. however, its better to learn using closed blade first with mild curve.

AIREAYE 03-30-2012 10:47 AM

It is a bit easier to shoot higher and to dish saucer passes with certain open faced blades. Other skills are dependent on the player obviously. I've found that many younger players can get a bit of a boost in height using curves the the Sakic/Hall and P92, which I suppose is a reason as to why they're so popular.

Many NHLers use P91A/Parise equivalent curves as well as P92/Hall.

hockeymass 03-30-2012 10:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jazz4all (Post 46973295)
open blade for me is great for quick snapper, especially in front of the net if u want to roof it quickly and somehow i can shot harder with it. Closed blade is much better for puck handling, passing. however, its better to learn using closed blade first with mild curve.

This is why I use an open face. I like to get my shots up faster. Also, like AIREAYE mentioned, it's easier to dish sauce.

Jarick 03-30-2012 11:14 AM

Check out the Drury curve thread.

My experience is that open face blades with a higher lie let you cup the puck more, which lets you lean into the shot more, and puts more velocity on the shots. For me it was significantly more velocity. Yes shots go higher, but it depends on what kind of player you are and where you shoot from.

I went from Forsberg to Lindros to Drury to Sakic. My hardest shots are with the Drury but I miss the net and ring them off the bar a lot more. I also found it was easier to cup the puck with stickhandling and keep passes lower with the Sakic.

Either way my shooting style is to cup the puck, lean, and fire. Quick release, a little harder for the goalie to read, all good stuff.

ponder 03-30-2012 03:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jarick (Post 46980009)
Check out the Drury curve thread.

My experience is that open face blades with a higher lie let you cup the puck more, which lets you lean into the shot more, and puts more velocity on the shots. For me it was significantly more velocity. Yes shots go higher, but it depends on what kind of player you are and where you shoot from.

I went from Forsberg to Lindros to Drury to Sakic. My hardest shots are with the Drury but I miss the net and ring them off the bar a lot more. I also found it was easier to cup the puck with stickhandling and keep passes lower with the Sakic.

Either way my shooting style is to cup the puck, lean, and fire. Quick release, a little harder for the goalie to read, all good stuff.

I'd agree with this, if you really cup the puck and load up, there seems to be a bit more velocity with an open curve. On top of that it's what others have mentioned - you can get the puck up quickly in tight with an open curved (with a closed curve, if you need to quickly get the puck up over the goalie in tight, it's hard to get much power, but with an open curve you can just wire it hard and high), for NHL players keeping the puck down from further out isn't a problem, and the open curve helps with saucer passes. If I had to guess I'd say that the most popular curves at the NHL level are heel wedges (mostly similar to a retail Drury curve), followed by open mid curves (similar to a retail Sakic curve), followed by a smattering of the more rare toe curve, closed mid curves, and almost flat curves. Many guys will also take reasonably standard mid and heel type patterns, and add a little bit of toe curve to it.

Clarkington III 03-30-2012 07:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jarick (Post 46980009)
Check out the Drury curve thread.

My experience is that open face blades with a higher lie let you cup the puck more, which lets you lean into the shot more, and puts more velocity on the shots. For me it was significantly more velocity. Yes shots go higher, but it depends on what kind of player you are and where you shoot from.

I went from Forsberg to Lindros to Drury to Sakic. My hardest shots are with the Drury but I miss the net and ring them off the bar a lot more. I also found it was easier to cup the puck with stickhandling and keep passes lower with the Sakic.

Either way my shooting style is to cup the puck, lean, and fire. Quick release, a little harder for the goalie to read, all good stuff.

Quote:

Originally Posted by ponder (Post 46990223)
I'd agree with this, if you really cup the puck and load up, there seems to be a bit more velocity with an open curve. On top of that it's what others have mentioned - you can get the puck up quickly in tight with an open curved (with a closed curve, if you need to quickly get the puck up over the goalie in tight, it's hard to get much power, but with an open curve you can just wire it hard and high), for NHL players keeping the puck down from further out isn't a problem, and the open curve helps with saucer passes. If I had to guess I'd say that the most popular curves at the NHL level are heel wedges (mostly similar to a retail Drury curve), followed by open mid curves (similar to a retail Sakic curve), followed by a smattering of the more rare toe curve, closed mid curves, and almost flat curves. Many guys will also take reasonably standard mid and heel type patterns, and add a little bit of toe curve to it.

This. I went from a sakic to a drury and found a lot more positives than negatives. Toe drags and more fancy stick handling is harder but everything else feels much easier. Catching passes and gives passes forehand and backhand are much easier. Once I learned to keep shots low, slap, wrist and snap shots became harder and more accurate. As others said, once you get it, it becomes much easier to lean into a shot.

The biggest thing is keeping the blade face closed when you want it to act like a closed blade. Otherwise, over the net you will go.

Edit: One-times have also become much easier to have a solid connection with.

r3cc0s 03-30-2012 08:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Splitbtw (Post 47000773)
This. I went from a sakic to a drury and found a lot more positives than negatives. Toe drags and more fancy stick handling is harder but everything else feels much easier. Catching passes and gives passes forehand and backhand are much easier. Once I learned to keep shots low, slap, wrist and snap shots became harder and more accurate. As others said, once you get it, it becomes much easier to lean into a shot.

The biggest thing is keeping the blade face closed when you want it to act like a closed blade. Otherwise, over the net you will go.

Edit: One-times have also become much easier to have a solid connection with.

for the sake of backhands, I prefer having a flatter blade with a heel or mid curve

but it is without a doubt that many pro's like using massive toe curves... doesn't hurt spezza's or ovechkins's game

I also think some d'men use an open face to get the puck up to the glass quickly

Clarkington III 03-30-2012 08:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by r3cc0s (Post 47003207)
for the sake of backhands, I prefer having a flatter blade with a heel or mid curve

but it is without a doubt that many pro's like using massive toe curves... doesn't hurt spezza's or ovechkins's game

I also think some d'men use an open face to get the puck up to the glass quickly

An open heel curve actually improved my backhand tremendously. Backhand passes, saucers, clearsm dumps and lifting the puck all got better.

With a heel curve, the face doesn't matter as much when going backhand because the blade is mostly straight for most of the contact points. It's just a matter of feeling the puck while on the backhand as you close the blade to elevate the puck.

There are a lot of people that can go upstairs on the backhand while using a closed face or anything other than a heel curve; I just never felt it while practicing to understand it.

TieClark 03-30-2012 08:54 PM

I use a Stastny curve which is essentially a Sakic curve... really like it. Coffey has way too much hook on the toe for me and all of Sherwood's other curves seem too straight for me.

r3cc0s 03-31-2012 08:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TieClark (Post 47006773)
I use a Stastny curve which is essentially a Sakic curve... really like it. Coffey has way too much hook on the toe for me and all of Sherwood's other curves seem too straight for me.

ignla, pm9 and stasny/sakic for me...

however even with the easton, that varys' from stick series to stick.. slightly but it does

I have 2 sackic sticks one one's face is way more open

my replacment ignla wood blades has way less of a curve than the one on my ST

AIREAYE 04-01-2012 01:18 AM

Yeah wood blades will sometimes be a different since it's an organic material. Composite blades though? That's really weird because they're created from molds.

Wilch 04-01-2012 06:03 AM

I've been using a Cammalleri curve for the last couple months. I used to use Heatley and Sakic before. I prefer the Cam curve right now because getting the puck up high and stick handling still feels easy, but backhands saucer passes and roofing backhand shots are much, much easier with a more neutral curve.

qmechanic 04-01-2012 10:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by AIREAYE (Post 46978945)
It is a bit easier to shoot higher and to dish saucer passes with certain open faced blades. Other skills are dependent on the player obviously. I've found that many younger players can get a bit of a boost in height using curves the the Sakic/Hall and P92, which I suppose is a reason as to why they're so popular.

Not just "younger players"! Being a small woman, I use the P92 to compensate for my size and strength disadvantage. It's so much easier to lift the puck and snap shots are great.

Jarick 04-02-2012 10:54 AM

Pretty much everyone will be able to shoot the puck harder and higher with an open faced curve.

As much as people say that beginners should start with a small/neutral curve, my technique is pretty good IMO and it's not conducive to small/neutral curves at all. Probably a difference between kids and adults though.


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