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Cat Eye Question


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Hey Guys,

Just bought a new helmet after wearing a Sherwood Certified Cat Eye Goalie Mask for the past decade. Ended up trying on a liking the Bauer 960 XPM with a straight bar cage up in Vancouver, I live in Seattle. Played a few games in the helmet and despite loving the fit of the helmet, the straight bar cage was noticeably getting in my line of sight with pucks. I certainly could move forward with it and live with it. I did some research and found out that Bauer does not make a Certified Cat Eye cage for the 960 XPM mask. However they do make a Certified Cat Eye cage for the NME helmet. 

My next inclination was to just bought a Non-Certified Cat Eye for my 960 XPM but went down a rabbit hole of horror stories of Goalies getting sticks and pucks through their helmet. Pucks don't seem to be able to get through the Non-Certified Cat Eyes in 2019, It seems. However between Bishop, Keumper and Lundqvist in recent years getting sticks going through their cage, I was curious within the community how many of you, who wear Non-Certified Cat Eye's , have ever had a scare with a stick coming through your cage?

Part of me is leaning toward just moving forward with the non-certified cat eye, as the chances seem small that something could happen. Part of me is also thinking of trading in the 960 XPM for a Bauer NME VTX, where I can replace the cage with a Certified Cat Eye. Wanted to get the communities thoughts? Much thanks!

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Worn a pro Cat Eye for over a decade and never had any stick scares with my cage. I think the pros are more susceptible to stick issues because of all the traffic and tough play around the net. In rec hockey I don’t think you have as much to worry about when it comes to sticks in your face,  I’m comfortable wearing a non certified cage. 

Edited by Doc1200
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I've worn a pro cat eye for over 20 years now with absolutely no issues.   If I were forced to go back I'd pick straight bar over one of those certified cat eye abominations.   There was almost 0 downward visibility in the one I tried.  Like you, I'm sure I could have adapted but I just peeled the cage off my old mask and slapped it on the new one.

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I play pretty aggressively. I take a lot of pucks and the occasional stick to the face. As you can see by my latest dent the cat eye holds up to 80+ mph shots. Never ever had a problem and will never not wear a cat eye. If you do not routinely smell burning rubber from fast shots you definitely don’t need to worry about a puck getting into your mask. This is also a cat eye that was made 15 ish years ago. I can only imaging them being stronger now. FYI I have taken literally hundreds of shots to the face with this mask and cage.

B37A3B68-4214-43B7-B3A2-032050EBF232.jpeg

5E78D1A9-E686-42FA-9485-23F141EF9027.jpeg

D824703C-B656-480F-AA9A-AE9465B850D8.jpeg

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1 hour ago, kyledjean said:

I play pretty aggressively. I take a lot of pucks and the occasional stick to the face. As you can see by my latest dent the cat eye holds up to 80+ mph shots. Never ever had a problem and will never not wear a cat eye. If you do not routinely smell burning rubber from fast shots you definitely don’t need to worry about a puck getting into your mask. This is also a cat eye that was made 15 ish years ago. I can only imaging them being stronger now. FYI I have taken literally hundreds of shots to the face with this mask and cage.

B37A3B68-4214-43B7-B3A2-032050EBF232.jpeg

5E78D1A9-E686-42FA-9485-23F141EF9027.jpeg

D824703C-B656-480F-AA9A-AE9465B850D8.jpeg

I appreciate the feedback! 

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1 hour ago, henrichs08 said:

@Md30 Does the cheater help with sticks getting through the mask?

https://images.app.goo.gl/8fTpEQVNUYKvCJhg6

Cheater cages open up larger square patterns, primarily around the eyes, by essentially removing bars from what would otherwise be a straight-bar cage. Precise designs vary.

The only way a stick is getting through that cage is if someone with a very slim knob butt-ends you.

Edited by CJ Boiss
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10 minutes ago, CJ Boiss said:

https://images.app.goo.gl/8fTpEQVNUYKvCJhg6

Cheater cages open up larger square patterns, primarily around the eyes, by essentially removing bars from what would otherwise be a straight-bar cage. Precise designs vary.

The only way a stick is getting through that cage is if someone with a very slim knob butt-ends you.

Much appreciated. Any chance you know if they make these for a Bauer 960 XPM mask?

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On 8/3/2019 at 9:13 AM, kyledjean said:

I play pretty aggressively. I take a lot of pucks and the occasional stick to the face. As you can see by my latest dent the cat eye holds up to 80+ mph shots. Never ever had a problem and will never not wear a cat eye. If you do not routinely smell burning rubber from fast shots you definitely don’t need to worry about a puck getting into your mask. This is also a cat eye that was made 15 ish years ago. I can only imaging them being stronger now. FYI I have taken literally hundreds of shots to the face with this mask and cage.

B37A3B68-4214-43B7-B3A2-032050EBF232.jpeg

5E78D1A9-E686-42FA-9485-23F141EF9027.jpeg

D824703C-B656-480F-AA9A-AE9465B850D8.jpeg

What mask is this?

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46 minutes ago, TheGoalNet said:

What mask is this?

NXI Stealth. I love this helmet. I will be so sad when it finally gives up. It does have one tiny crack on the stage right side where the bolt connects, though it doesn’t effect performance. I was so pissed to see NXI went out of business.

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On 8/3/2019 at 5:09 AM, Puckstopper said:

I've worn a pro cat eye for over 20 years now with absolutely no issues.   If I were forced to go back I'd pick straight bar over one of those certified cat eye abominations.   

Nothing screams bender more than a certified cat eye. It's one of the few pieces of goalie gear the I absolutely can't stand. 

Safety be dammed, you look like a goof.

Straight bar is heaps better for sight lines and aesthetics. 

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I would also look at the statistics, if you can find any, of how often a goalie is injured in the nhl while wearing a cat eye. I mean I don’t even think it’s one incident a year. I mean is so rare. Yet pretty much every pro wears a non certified cat eye. I personally can only remember seeing any injury in the nhl with a cat eye maybe 5 times, now I am only 31. I have never ever seen anything happen with a cat eye in person. Only on tv. Of those I have only seen two sticks and maybe maybe 3 pucks. While the sticks did a little damage, nothing serious, the pucks didnt actually injure the goalie. Only had to stop play to get the puck back out and for the goalie to calm down.

Edited by kyledjean
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30 minutes ago, kyledjean said:

I would also look at the statistics, if you can find any, of how often a goalie is injured in the nhl while wearing a cat eye. I mean I don’t even think it’s one incident a year. I mean is so rare. Yet pretty much every pro wears a non certified cat eye. I personally can only remember seeing any injury in the nhl with a cat eye maybe 5 times, now I am only 31. I have never ever seen anything happen with a cat eye in person. Only on tv. Of those I have only seen two sticks and maybe maybe 3 pucks. While the sticks did a little damage, nothing serious, the pucks didnt actually injure the goalie. Only had to stop play to get the puck back out and for the goalie to calm down.

In recent memory, only Lundqvist and Bishop come to mind.

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Holtby got knocked out of a game against CBJ due to a stick blade to the eye last season:

https://www.nbcsports.com/washington/capitals/scary-eye-injury-knocks-holtby-out-capitals-game-vs-columbus

Agree however that these injuries are exceedingly rare in the NHL, especially when you consider the volume of games, shots, practices, etc. 

The one counterpoint I would make is that beer leaguers tend to have poor stick control and are more likely to get a stick blade up in your face due to carelessness. This is why I would never wear a half visor as a player - too many accidental sticks to the chin. 

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