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How does goaltending pre-1995 compare to today?

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Old
03-15-2017, 04:55 PM
  #1
Passchendaele
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How does goaltending pre-1995 compare to today?

There's this silly belief on the main boards that goalies were sieves who couldn't stop a beach ball. That basically any ECHLer from today could perform well in the 80s.

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03-15-2017, 05:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Passchendaele View Post
There's this silly belief on the main boards that goalies were sieves who couldn't stop a beach ball. That basically any ECHLer from today could perform well in the 80s.
They're probably right but a lot of it has to do with equipment (it's lighter and bigger) and the improvements those changes allowed in terms of technique. Not to mention that every goalie now seems to be the biggest guy on the team which really wasnt the case in the 80's or earlier.

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03-15-2017, 05:18 PM
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Mike Farkas
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Offense surpassed goaltending talent pool and advances in technique with ballooned expansion. So the mid 70's through the mid 90's were not a strong time for goaltending by trade. Though, that's not to say that there weren't exceptional ones...Billy Smith's ability to play the game, read it, etc. should not be overlooked, for instance.

The goaltenders in the late O6 era, to me, look about as good, or in some cases, better than a lot of goalies today all things considered. There are a lot of things that goalies did then that aided the team, they really were a sixth player more so then than now...many goalies are blocking style goalies with no use for their sticks, no ability to read plays (increasing the amount of faceoffs in their own end), inconsistent rebound control, etc.

I won't go into the "time machine" argument because it's completely and utterly worthless. The Americans would have lost in 1776 against virtually any army today...ok, fine...that and a dollar (silver?) gets you a Sunday paper...

I'd recommend people trace the history of goaltending back to front or front to back (i.e. not watching Gretzky embarrass everyone in a highlight tape of goalies not making saves). Watching games from 60 years ago with no prior exposure to anything but the hyper-speed, short shift game now will be too much of a shock to the system. I'd recommend taking the time and tracing it back with video and watch how the game and individual positions evolve to gain a greater understanding...

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03-15-2017, 09:24 PM
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29dryden29
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I would put Dryden in his era up against any current goalie in their era. Yes completely different styles and players and gear but he was good at his position then as the top guys are today I would say better.

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03-15-2017, 10:42 PM
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The most amazing thing about goaltending around the late-70s (?) to about mid-90s is how much more mobile and risk-taking goaltenders were.

It's almost like the goaltender was akin to a third defenceman. Basically, they would come out of the net a lot, which they stopped doing after the mid-90s. So, it was a more exciting position to watch in that period.

Pre-1970s, goaltenders seemed to flop around a lot, get up and down a lot, but didn't come out of the net as much. (Not sure, but that's my general observation.)

Even with the enormous equipment improvements for goalies, the addition of personal goaltending coaches (which nobody had in, say, the early 80s), the 12-months-a-year training, the increased emphasis on team defence and shot-blocking, the 'collapse in front of the net' mentality of every team now, and the fact that the average goalie is a foot taller and 40 pounds heavier than before, goalies in the 1980s still stopped pucks 70-80% as well as now.

I would suggest that if mid-80s goaltenders had today's equipment (never mind goaltending coaches -- there were some by the mid-80s), they would have stopped pucks around 90% as well as now.

The position is clearly better now than even 20-30 years ago, but while half the improvement is the athletic ability (and size of athlete), another half the improvement is the equipment.

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03-16-2017, 12:50 AM
  #6
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For about 10 years 1994 onward they changed the creases from a rectangular box in front of the net to a triple sized oval crease. If this crease was around in the 80's scoring would have gone way down. Why? Cause as a goalie you skate out of your crease area by a meter or so to challenge the shooter and cover the angles. Hardest part in the 80's was the white ice in front of you after you challenged the shooter (you couldn't really tell where u are in relation to the net. The oval crease let you know exactly where you were at all times.when the NHL finally got rid of that crease scoring shot up.

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03-16-2017, 01:42 AM
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tarheelhockey
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A lot is said about the size of goalie pads, but I don't think people generally understand just how light goalie pads are today.

My son just started playing goalie, so I've been carrying his pads around a lot lately. Granted, he's a lot smaller than I am -- but my set of SKATER equipment is heavier than his goalie set. Even the big leg pillows are light as a damn feather. It's incredible. Compare that to the old leather-and-horsehair pads, which absorbed something like a liter of water during the course of a game.

Point being, the butterfly wasn't a practical way to play the game before pads got that light. A lot of the time people talk as if nobody pre-1990 ever thought of dropping to their knees in front of the puck. But that concept has been there since literally the VERY beginning of the NHL. Clint Benedict flopping around, taking away the bottom shelf till they had to change the rulebook for him. Up through the years to Glenn Hall and Tony Esposito, leading right into a young Patrick Roy. Millions of people -- thousands of young goalies -- watched these superstars play. People understood the concept of a butterfly stance, and chose not to play that way. Why?

1) They were wearing little-to-no facial protection and a flimsy chest protector. Dropping to the ice constantly was just asking for it.

2) Heavy pads made the up-down motions impractical. Even today the butterfly position takes a toll on goalies' bodies, destroys joints, shortens careers. It's a physically exhausting way to play the game. Imagine doing it with heavier pads, it would be torn-ligament city.

Where I'm going with all of this is that if you put Carey Price in a time machine back to 1975, and he goes out there and tries to play his game, he's on IR in a week with either a shredded knee or a broken face. His ability to dominate the game in 2017 is VERY largely predicated on textile advances that simply weren't available before the 1990s.

TL;DR - The goalies of that era did as well as was athletically possible given the parameters in which they played. They don't get nearly enough credit for it, because modern fans wrongly assume that they could have played a modern style if they had chosen to do so.

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03-16-2017, 08:16 AM
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Morgoth Bauglir
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
A lot is said about the size of goalie pads, but I don't think people generally understand just how light goalie pads are today.

My son just started playing goalie, so I've been carrying his pads around a lot lately. Granted, he's a lot smaller than I am -- but my set of SKATER equipment is heavier than his goalie set. Even the big leg pillows are light as a damn feather. It's incredible. Compare that to the old leather-and-horsehair pads, which absorbed something like a liter of water during the course of a game.

Point being, the butterfly wasn't a practical way to play the game before pads got that light. A lot of the time people talk as if nobody pre-1990 ever thought of dropping to their knees in front of the puck. But that concept has been there since literally the VERY beginning of the NHL. Clint Benedict flopping around, taking away the bottom shelf till they had to change the rulebook for him. Up through the years to Glenn Hall and Tony Esposito, leading right into a young Patrick Roy. Millions of people -- thousands of young goalies -- watched these superstars play. People understood the concept of a butterfly stance, and chose not to play that way. Why?

1) They were wearing little-to-no facial protection and a flimsy chest protector. Dropping to the ice constantly was just asking for it.

2) Heavy pads made the up-down motions impractical. Even today the butterfly position takes a toll on goalies' bodies, destroys joints, shortens careers. It's a physically exhausting way to play the game. Imagine doing it with heavier pads, it would be torn-ligament city.

Where I'm going with all of this is that if you put Carey Price in a time machine back to 1975, and he goes out there and tries to play his game, he's on IR in a week with either a shredded knee or a broken face. His ability to dominate the game in 2017 is VERY largely predicated on textile advances that simply weren't available before the 1990s.

TL;DR - The goalies of that era did as well as was athletically possible given the parameters in which they played. They don't get nearly enough credit for it, because modern fans wrongly assume that they could have played a modern style if they had chosen to do so.
Try getting that through to anyone on the main board: It's damn near impossible.

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Old
03-16-2017, 10:15 AM
  #9
The Panther
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Originally Posted by Morgoth Bauglir View Post
Try getting that through to anyone on the main board: It's damn near impossible.
Don't even try. It's hard talking to hockey fans whose memories go all the way back to Jordan Eberle.


I'm all for supporting and teaching the youth (I'm a teacher), but what's with this attitude of fans (they're not all young, to be fair) on the Main board of, "I don't need to know what anyone older than me thinks -- I saw the YouTube highlight reel, so I know everything!" ?

When I was a kid (80s / early 90s), I read hockey history books and had enormous respect for the players that came before my time (I still do). I didn't think I knew everything (still don't). As the saying goes, sometimes better to shut your mouth (don't touch your keyboard) and appear stupid than to open it (type) and remove all doubt.

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Old
03-16-2017, 11:06 AM
  #10
RandyBobandi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
A lot is said about the size of goalie pads, but I don't think people generally understand just how light goalie pads are today.

2) Heavy pads made the up-down motions impractical. Even today the butterfly position takes a toll on goalies' bodies, destroys joints, shortens careers. It's a physically exhausting way to play the game. Imagine doing it with heavier pads, it would be torn-ligament city.

Where I'm going with all of this is that if you put Carey Price in a time machine back to 1975, and he goes out there and tries to play his game, he's on IR in a week with either a shredded knee or a broken face. His ability to dominate the game in 2017 is VERY largely predicated on textile advances that simply weren't available before the 1990s.

TL;DR - The goalies of that era did as well as was athletically possible given the parameters in which they played. They don't get nearly enough credit for it, because modern fans wrongly assume that they could have played a modern style if they had chosen to do so.

I can remember reading something about Reggie Lemelin about when he switched to the Aeroflex pads and how much lighter they were than the deer hair pads of the 80s (I think he switched pads around 86 ish) but he said the deer hair pads would often weight 20-30 pounds by the end of the game because they soaked up all the water. So I imagine having an extra 20 pounds of equipment on would have an impact on your game. Even by today's standards the Aeroflex pads are extremely heavy. I agree those guys don't get enough credit for sure especially because the rest of their equipment was no where near what it is today they had smaller chest protectors and their pants were nothing special either.

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Old
03-16-2017, 11:11 AM
  #11
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To me, seeing is believing. There are tons of games from say the 1970's on YouTube now. It appears to me that the average goalie of that era is letting in shots that for the average goalie of today would be routine stops. I can't prove it, it is only a matter of observation, but to me and I think most it should be obvious. Now the argument can be made that the old time goalies would be as good as today's given the wider pads, better training and conditioning, etc. I am not arguing that they wouldn't be, but they didn't have these assets back then and they WEREN'T as good because of it, it should be clear.

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03-16-2017, 11:14 AM
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Lighter, equipment absolutely, and significantly so. Bigger? Not so much. I've probably made this post a thousand times here on HFBoards but here we go again:

Glove and blockers are smaller today than they were from the 80's through the season-long lockout in 2004/2005. Coming out of the lockout, they reduced the total surface area on both. Ask any goalie in your local beer league about "old-spec" versus "new-spec" gloves.

Leg pads are slimmer today than the 90's. Today's leg pads are strictly limited to 11 inches in width. In the 90's, smaller guys like Kelly Hrudey and Arturs Irbe had pads that were intentionally pancaked out to 14 or 15 inches across. Leg pads today are certainly longer than back then, which is partly naturally as a result of taller and taller goalies; obviously, Ben Bishop's pads are going to have to cover more leg than Darren Pang's. However, there have been restrictions made with regards to the overall length of the pad as a proportion of the goaltender's height, which has eliminated situations like this monstrosity Garth Snow used in the early 2000's.

Chest protectors and pants honestly are also smaller than their peak in the late 90's/early 2000's - think J.S. Giguere, and again, Garth Snow. Chest protectors in 1990 or so were still fairly slim but grew over the course of the decade, before really exploding prior to the lockout. Again, these have been slimmed down since their peak and you won't be able to find a Garth Snow-esque monstrosity in the league today.

Tarheelhockey hit the nail on the head - pads today are stupidly light. And it's not even leg pads - honestly, my newer Brian's G'Netik trapper is significantly, noticeably lighter than my Brian's Alite from around '92, especially after a few periods.

That's just the glove on your hand. Leg pads have gone from prohibitively heavy, especially after they were able to sponge up water, to barely there. Chest protectors are now protective and highly mobile and don't significantly weigh you down. Composite as opposed to wood sticks have made a big difference as well, and skates have gotten lighter too. All told, it's a million times easier to play a more controlled game when you have greater control over your body.

Also, keep in mind that leg pads today are designed way differently than they were in year's past. Previously, leg pads were designed to be directly strapped to your leg and they moved with you, as an extension of your body. Now, pads are designed to rotate around your leg to remain facing the shooter, providing more surface area when dropping to your knees, while also allowing goaltenders to nearly effortlessly slide while maintaining their butterfly. This has, in my opinion, been the biggest difference maker in the development of the position, other than maybe weight.

Size of the equipment is actually a distant fourth in terms of its impact, behind weight, style, and finally the changes to the game in front of goalie. Goalies today have guys laying out to block shots and tight defensive systems, allowing them to play it much more safe than those who were often forced to dive, flop, and throw body parts in front of more high risk chances the game used to afford.

Putting goalies pre-95 against the goalies of today, I don't think there is a clear winner. Today's goalies are insanely finely tuned athletes who play their position with scientific precision; yesterday's goaltenders similarly insane athletes who played their position with more of an artistic flair. They lacked the benefit of the structure and science behind the game today but still managed to excel within the confines of the game at the time.

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Old
03-16-2017, 04:12 PM
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tarheelhockey
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^ one of the better posts I've read on this forum.

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03-16-2017, 05:36 PM
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I think in the late 70s offense (technique, strategy, and equipment) started to pull away from goaltending (technique, strategy, and equipment). In the late 80s the goalies caught up.

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03-16-2017, 06:21 PM
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Does anyone still play in their older equipment? I like to do drop-in, but I never updated my set from before everything started looking like that paddle in Pong, and a teenager took a Snapchat of my pads. It wasn't ol' quoipourquoi's finest hour.

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03-16-2017, 06:29 PM
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03-16-2017, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Does anyone still play in their older equipment? I like to do drop-in, but I never updated my set from before everything started looking like that paddle in Pong, and a teenager took a Snapchat of my pads. It wasn't ol' quoipourquoi's finest hour.
.... oh sure, theres a site called goaliestore which you may be familiar with... mostly older guys, rec players, beer leaguers... they have equipment review sections & so on, some of the guys posting photo's of themselves having dusted off the old Cooper GP59's, GM12 waffle board Blocker & Trapper, even wearing the old face flush masks.... for most, a rather harrowing & humbling experience.... Everyones got a great shot using the sticks of today, quick release, fast, hard & heavy.

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03-17-2017, 04:11 AM
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In the 90's, smaller guys like Kelly Hrudey and Arturs Irbe had pads that were intentionally pancaked out to 14 or 15 inches across.
According to the rules at that time, the pads were limited to no more than 12 inches wide. Anything over that, they would have received a penalty for illegal equipment.

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03-17-2017, 10:59 AM
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According to the rules at that time, the pads were limited to no more than 12 inches wide. Anything over that, they would have received a penalty for illegal equipment.
Indeed. Though back in the day the NHL would announce when they were going to be paying a visit to the clubs dressing rooms to inspect goaltending equipment so there was a fair amount of skullduggery that went on.... Tony Esposito for example.... had his pads over-stuffed with upholsterers kapok, a few inches beyond legal, and when they knew the NHL was coming would take weights the night or day before & crush, leave the weights on overnight forming them back to legal spec.

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03-17-2017, 03:51 PM
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Originally Posted by tarheelhockey View Post
^ one of the better posts I've read on this forum.
Thanks! In fairness though, I plagiarized a few points you had already made very well.

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Originally Posted by mbhhofr View Post
According to the rules at that time, the pads were limited to no more than 12 inches wide. Anything over that, they would have received a penalty for illegal equipment.
I'm sure you've heard the "legends" of Irbe running over his pads with a pickup truck to help soften them up. Those also served another purpose - flattening them out. Although his pads were built to legal specifications, guys like him got very creative with ways to alter their gear to give them a competitive advantage. And because goaltenders didn't go through as many pieces of gear a season as they go through today, there were far less inspections from the NHL to worry about.

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03-17-2017, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bigwillie View Post

I'm sure you've heard the "legends" of Irbe running over his pads with a pickup truck to help soften them up. Those also served another purpose - flattening them out. Although his pads were built to legal specifications, guys like him got very creative with ways to alter their gear to give them a competitive advantage. And because goaltenders didn't go through as many pieces of gear a season as they go through today, there were far less inspections from the NHL to worry about.
You say that the NHL inspected the goalies pads. All that was required was for the opposing team ask the referee inspect them. The referee would then measure them between periods and then if they were more than the 12 inch maximum a minor penalty would be imposed at the start of the next period and the goalie would have to change his pads to the proper width.

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03-17-2017, 06:26 PM
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Killion
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Tony '0'

... heres a rundown on Esposito's equipment... most notably the Spider Web, Catcher, Pads.... http://www.legendsofhockey.com/Legen...the%20mask.htm

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03-17-2017, 08:50 PM
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Goals have gone up slightly since they enforced the fitted pads. Wait until next year when they start attacking the upper body.

Basically the mid 1990s is the last time we saw the majority of goalies rely on reflexes and speed to stop the puck. Even look at the 1995-'96 season with all of the goalies and see how many of them were actually reflex goalies and didn't rely on just oversized pads and blocking and going down hoping it hits you. Check these names out, these were good goalies in the NHL then:

Hasek, Brodeur, Richter, Potvin, Joseph, Hextall, Burke, Fuhr, Vernon, Ranford, McLean

They all played in the 1996 season and did well. After that there was stuff like Garth Snow's inflated chest protector in the 1997 playoffs and it all just became normal after that. Those above goalies eventually got older. Brodeur had a hybrid style that I can't explain because no other goalie for whatever reason has mimicked it, but he lasted longer of course, and was younger at that time.

While goalies have gotten better with cutting down angles and such the truth is 20+ years ago you could describe a goalie's style and replicate it. You can't now. With the exception of someone like Tim Thomas, or Fleury today, there aren't a lot of goalies that stand out style wise. They all play the same boring style and they probably wouldn't have that effectiveness with that style if not for their massive equipment. I don't think goalies are even quicker today to be honest, I just think their equipment makes them look better.

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03-17-2017, 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by BobbyAwe View Post
To me, seeing is believing. There are tons of games from say the 1970's on YouTube now. It appears to me that the average goalie of that era is letting in shots that for the average goalie of today would be routine stops. I can't prove it, it is only a matter of observation, but to me and I think most it should be obvious. Now the argument can be made that the old time goalies would be as good as today's given the wider pads, better training and conditioning, etc. I am not arguing that they wouldn't be, but they didn't have these assets back then and they WEREN'T as good because of it, it should be clear.
Pretty much sums up my take on things

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03-17-2017, 11:50 PM
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Originally Posted by quoipourquoi View Post
Does anyone still play in their older equipment? I like to do drop-in, but I never updated my set from before everything started looking like that paddle in Pong, and a teenager took a Snapchat of my pads. It wasn't ol' quoipourquoi's finest hour.
Most of my goalie equipment is 90's era: Heaton Helite IV pads, heaton L3000 trapper, Vaughn Vision B3400 blocker, Jofa helmet with cage, straight blade wood Louisville stick , etc. (pic from this year)





Goalie from my Thursday night group plays in full 70s gear - brown leather pads, old style fibreglass mask, waffle blocker, 2 piece chest/arm protector.


Excepting the mask, I started off in my early 20's playing in gear much like that. The leg pads would leak deer hair into my bag and soak up water like a sponge to weight even more by the end of the game, but they did mold to your legs for an unmatched feel. I had them strapped tighter all over than I generally have my pads now. I didn't have a lot of success catching the puck in the small trapper - would often bounce right out. My chest protector had good protection but the arm protection was minimal.


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