How much does goalie equipment actually "protect" the GOALIE?
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12-02-2003, 10:18 AM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: Halfway between Nothing and Not Much Else
Stand up goaltenders faded from the NHL because offensive tactics changed with the influx of Europeans into the NHL. With the crisp and effective passing of the Russians and the Swedes and their talent for cross-crease passes many stand up goalies consistently found themselves far out of position.
Standing up and coming out to challenge the shooter was suicide as the shooter would pass around you. Also, standup goalies were especially vulnerable on deflections. Goaltending coaches like Francois Allaire preached the butterfly to cover as much net as possible quickly. It worked. Deflections that used to dribble by were stopped and as goalies stayed back and became adept at the sliding butterfly, passing around them was seldom possible anymore. Or at least, nowhere near as much as before.
The best example of all this is Sean Burke. When Burke came into the league with New Jersey he was the prototype for a stand-up goalie. As the game changed and he didn't, his career waned. After some coaching he changed to a half-butterfly style and rejuvenated his career.
As for the equipment. A lot of it is ridiculous. Protecting the top of the knee from the pant leg accomplishes the protection without covering the 5 hole. Cheaters on gloves are too big now, way too many goalies use their gloves to bat the puck down, not catch it. The pad rule should be attached to the size of the goalie, say 6" above the knee. That way the rule is equally fair to Burke (6'4) and Legace (5'9). Chest protectors should follow the form of the body with nothing sticking out. Areas needing the additional protection of floaters such as the shoulders and forearms would have floaters, but they should NOT stick out past the padding beneath them.
For the record I am a goalie, and it has gone too far. Who to blame? Try Vaughn, Brian's, Heaton, and the other manufacturers. Try finding a glove without a cheater. You can't. They aren't made. Ditto for pads that do not look like blocks of foam.
And if Garth Snow spent as much time studying film and practising technique as he does finding ways to cheat the rule book, he would be a better goalie and wouldn't need any extra foam. Idiot.
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