Wild notes: Goalie equipment downsized

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 14, 2013 - 12:15 AM

 

The NHL wants to increase scoring, so yet again, shrinking the goalies’s pads were a point of emphasis this offseason.

In previous summers, it has been chest protectors, leg pad widths and five-hole and knee flaps targeted. This time, it was the length of pads, reducing them through a complicated formula to get pads “anatomically proportional and size specific based on the individual physical characteristics of that goalkeeper.”

Wild goalies Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding wore their new pads during Friday’s scrimmage and the difference was obvious. Backstrom lost an inch, Harding an inch-and-a-half.

“It just feels different more than anything,” Harding said. “I know we’re going to get used to it, but it’s a feeling-out process.”

Each NHL goalie is given a “limiting distance size.” It’s “the sum of the floor to knee and 45 percent [used to be 55 percent] of the knee to pelvis measurements plus a four-inch allowance for the height of the skate.” Each manufacturer sends their clients’ pads directly to the NHL offices in Toronto.

There, the league measures the pads, deems them legal and ships them to the goalie’s club. The pads of Backstrom and Harding are each signed on the bottom in black marker by NHL senior manager of hockey operations Kay Whitmore with the date, “August 21,” and number, “45,” indicating the reduction from 55 percent.

“It is easier to move around, but I don’t want to say that because they’ll take 10 percent off more next summer,” Backstrom said, jokingly. “My problem is I got these last week and would have liked to have them at the beginning of the summer. I think you come out with a new rule, it should be in May or June so you’ve got the summer to get used to them.”

Backstrom and Harding say stopping shots between the legs will take an adjustment now.

“You’re so used to going into the same butterfly motion and your knees are so apart, but if you do that now, there’s going to be a gap,” Harding said. “So you’re going to have to narrow the butterfly.

“What I need to work on is dropping and moving and keeping them closed. You’re extending and there is an opening now. So I need to come across more square and tight.”

Harding plans to use two sets of pads this year, one white and one fiery red. He said because he sweats a lot, this will also help in back-to-back games. Harding and Backstrom have new helmets, too, with Harding’s looking like a Wild toque.

“I’m surprised we’re even still allowed to wear helmets,” Harding joked.

Scrimmage stuff

During Friday’s scrimmage, the white and green teams tied at 2-2, with Kyle Brodziak, Dany Heatley (on a penalty shot), Jason Pominville and Zach Parise scoring goals.

Early standouts

Coach Mike Yeo has been impressed with Nino Niederreiter, 21, who came to the Wild from the Islanders in the Cal Clutterbuck trade. He wants to see more “puck touches,” though, in Sunday’s scrimmage.

“I like the fact that he’s a big man and plays a big man’s game,” Yeo said of “El Niño.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Minnesota 94 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Houston 93 FINAL
Boston 87
Portland 99 FINAL
Atlanta 105
Sacramento 90 FINAL
Cleveland 101
Toronto 127 FINAL
Brooklyn 122
Dallas 93 FINAL
Miami 72
LA Clippers 103 FINAL
New Orleans 108
Golden State 100 FINAL
Utah 110
Chicago 93 FINAL
Phoenix 99
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL(SO)
Carolina 2
Nashville 0 FINAL
Colorado 3
Buffalo 2 FINAL
Vancouver 5
Chicago 4 FINAL
Anaheim 1
Harvard 75 FINAL
Princeton 72
Quinnipiac 57 FINAL
Canisius 63
Brown 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Siena 79 FINAL
Manhattan 87
Marist 65 FINAL
Niagara 61
Dartmouth 51 FINAL
Penn 58
Oregon 68 FINAL
Arizona State 67
Yale 63 FINAL
Columbia 59
Monmouth 60 FINAL
Fairfield 59
IUPUI 59 FINAL
Western Ill 63
Oregon State 34 FINAL
Arizona 57
Kent State 55 FINAL
Buffalo 80
Canisius 75 FINAL
Monmouth 58
Butler 67 FINAL
Providence 59
Cornell 65 FINAL
Brown 52
Columbia 47 FINAL
Yale 55
Coll of Charleston 47 FINAL
Drexel 64
Penn 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 39
Elon 60 FINAL
James Madison 89
(19) Princeton 96 FINAL
Harvard 46
(9) Florida State 82 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Siena 62
Richmond 54 FINAL
Rhode Island 50
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Southern Ill 64
Georgetown 52 FINAL
DePaul 93
Villanova 75 FINAL
Marquette 59
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Northern Iowa 51
Xavier 65 FINAL
Creighton 74
Bradley 58 FINAL
Illinois State 55
Missouri State 89 FINAL
Drake 94
Arizona 48 FINAL
Utah 62
(11) Arizona State 68 FINAL
Colorado 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which of these teams is the most frustrating to watch right now?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close