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Does hockey have a white pad problem?


The Teal Terror

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Interesting little watch I’m sure plenty of you have seen, but for those who haven’t;


As an advocate for coloured gear, I hope to see some inspiration coming through so my old ass can enjoy what I once did!

 

*mods, if it’s already been posted or in the wrong thread, feel free to do your thing *

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At the end of the day, personally, I feel it’s all personal preference. I think of Mike Smith in Edmonton, I always thought he looked bigger than he did in his away setup. 
 

One match I won, shook hands with other team and when I got to there goalie, I was greeted with ‘no wonder you won, look at the size of your pads!’. Suffice to say, they were in all white, where as I, full teal. (Naturally)

Edited by The Teal Terror
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I've always found this to be a fascinating topic to discuss. Overall I tend to throw my hat in with the majority of us non-pro fellas who say it's personal preference, get what you like. Personally, while I like every advantage I can get same as the next goalie, there's also just the factor of am I playing my reasonable best and having fun. If I am doing that, then who cares if potentially a white pad might have made the shooter confuse my five-hole a bit. I say this while sporting Warrior G2 classics in white/red, where the outer roll is red and totally blends in with the posts even better than all white pad would haha. 

I'm mainly a goalie but in my side life I'm a therapist with an extensive education in psychology and some neurology it it is truly frightening how much the brain just decides and does things subconsciously without any input from our conscious thought. To me, the different advantages and disadvantages that colors provide are very likely legit, albeit depending on the goalie and level of play and even refs. In the extremely fast paced game of hockey, I'm sure white pads do make shooters misidentify where the 5-hole is, and black pads make the puck harder to find for everyone (including the goalie). 

To me, the greatest factor not being discussed here is the placebo effect, which is the well documented phenomenon of giving fake pills to test groups to measure medication effects and surprisingly, even those taking just fake pills (often filled with a little sugar) they do get clinically better (though not usually as much as the actual meds) just because they believe they are getting a helpful drug.  If you THINK your pads are giving you an advantage, then psychologically you ARE LIKELY to be more confident/relaxed/positive and attribute saves to your pads colors, thus actually making you a SLIGHTLY better goalie just by improving your mental game. But could this eventually unravel with a few bad games where you don't see the supposed advantages of your pad colors helping? Possibly. Or was that you just eating too close before the game and having some brain fog. The variables are nearly endless.  

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I am all for getting an edge but if the color of a tender's pads is key to the goalie's effectiveness....

Pretty sure Billy Smith's Kohos were the first to be colored and they werent white. Not so sure, however, the colors had much to do with his name on The Grail.

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On 1/23/2024 at 8:05 PM, ThatCarGuy said:

Interestingly I've always had the opposite experience with whistles as far as dark equipment goes. More often than not I got a slower whistle because the official wasn't sure it was covered

I honestly think it has a lot to do with the level you play at.   In upper levels the refs feel more pressure to get it right AND are more inclined to force the goalie to have it solidly covered.   In beer league, the emphasis is more on making sure everyone gets off the ice and to work the next day safely.   Since adopting primarily dark schemes I've noticed that I get much quicker whistles.   It's to the point where I don't break out my red EF5 set against teams where I know my guys are outmatched so I can get those slightly quicker whistles for them.   

 

18 hours ago, Fullright said:

I am all for getting an edge but if the color of a tender's pads is key to the goalie's effectiveness....

Pretty sure Billy Smith's Kohos were the first to be colored and they werent white. Not so sure, however, the colors had much to do with his name on The Grail.

I don't think anyone is saying color = career altering boost in effectiveness.   However, even a tiny edge can make a difference over the course of a season.  See my point above, I may only get one mistaken whistle a game with my dark setups, but I DO consistently get those whistles so I'd be a fool to wear gear that helps my team.

At higher levels, the difference between being a top 10 goalie in the NHL and falling out of the top 20 is only .05% and falling out of the top 32 is only .15%.   I'm not saying you can go from backup to starter or Average Joe NHL goalie to All-Star by wearing pads where the shooter loses the perimeter of it out of the corner of their eye, but again, if you can get ANY advantage in the show you'd take it.  Getting one free save every 2, 5 , 10, pick your number of games is still somewhere between 5 and 25 free saves for an NHL starter.  

Most of the evolution of gear has started small and snowballed.  Nylon and velcro replaced metal and leather for straps.  Full sheet foams were used in place of shredded foam, and needless straps were removed.   In 15 years we had pads that had evolved to be both significantly lighter and more durable.   With the advent of digital printing it's not beyond the realm of possibility that goalies will work on creating deceptive graphics that draw the shooter's eye to the center of the pad and away from the perimeter.  

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On 1/23/2024 at 5:05 PM, ThatCarGuy said:

Interestingly I've always had the opposite experience with whistles as far as dark equipment goes. More often than not I got a slower whistle because the official wasn't sure it was covered

One thing I did not like when using my all black Mach set was how easily I'd lose pucks in my pads or coming off of my pads. The occasional quick whistle (which wasn't much) did not compensate for my immediate loss of peripheral vision for tracking pucks in and out. 

I'm not against using gear with a darker base like my blue RGT2 set was, but I'm starting to lean towards more white based gear solely for puck tracking purposes. (plus puck marks are fucking rad). 

Won't go all white because that's boring. But I don't think I'll ever get a predominantly all black set. 

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I agree with losing the puck as a downside.   I had a major issue with that when I had my black/dark green Eflex 4 set with black skate lace.   I guess when I said dark, I should have specified I like dark backs of pads and gloves (black or navy by preference).  I also tend to go dark on the sliding surface of the pad to get whistles on squeakers that get trapped partially under there.  

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Yes, we definitely suffer from these white pads. A lot of this stuff dates back to the days of Fleury and his sport gold pads. Some dummy ophthalmologist wrote a letter telling him his color of pads made it easier for the shooter to score on you and next thing, you know the whole leagues is in white.  
 

Nowadays, you have goalie coaches and management with restrictions on what color pads can be used. Some goalie coaches insist that the outer roll be white no matter what. I believe that’s a Vancouver thing. Anyways. I don’t think the shooter gives a shit what color your pads are. Shooters also operate on the subconscious and they practice plenty to know where the net is and know where the corners are. They don’t particularly even care where we’re positioned at. They’re just shooting for particular spot the net in a certain situation - bottom line. 

 

Edited by MrGoalie
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So THIS 👇 is the real reason I did not make it to the NHL! I know I look on ice bigger in white gear, but I just don´t think I play level of hockey, where it realy matters...or where it matters more than "look good - feel good" 😉. But it makes sense, that in the show you try every advantage...   

 

 

1.jpg

Edited by mik
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12 hours ago, MrGoalie said:

. Some goalie coaches insist that the outer roll be white no matter what. I believe that’s a Vancouver thing. 

Ian Clarke the goalie coach is a bit notorious for his steadfast stance on mostly white pads. 

Except DeSmith gets a pass for some reason. Guess he's lightened up and is only adamant about all white on starter's pads. 

9 hours ago, mik said:

So THIS 👇 is the real reason I did not make it to the NHL! I know I look on ice bigger in white gear, but I just don´t think I play level of hockey, where it realy matters...or where it matters more than "look good - feel good" 😉. But it makes sense, that in the show you try every advantage...   

 

 

1.jpg

See, you don't have an all white problem, you have a Hiller problem. :P 

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21 hours ago, mik said:

So THIS 👇 is the real reason I did not make it to the NHL! I know I look on ice bigger in white gear, but I just don´t think I play level of hockey, where it realy matters...or where it matters more than "look good - feel good" 😉. But it makes sense, that in the show you try every advantage...   

 

 

1.jpg

Triangulates address… En route to steal Hiller pads… over and out

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23 hours ago, A.YOUNGoalie13 said:

Also what do we think about these from LT last year? Kinda follows the all white trend but also doesn’t? As far as guys having difficulty losing rebounds in their gear this seems like a logical solution if you want the solid color look on the front

A87DACFD-A9EA-4599-B2AD-DBC32443CF2E.jpeg

49B4C93C-41E3-4F55-8DD7-FF91A788ACF0.jpeg

That's not a bad compromise possibly. I was playing around with the G7 customizer and made a mostly black set but with some lighter colors on the sides behind the outer rolls, thinking maybe in a b-fly I'd be able to track rebounds near my pads better. image.png.9d0839fc921e98643a8c88a9ec28d143.png

 

Edited by IpaddyTECH
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On 1/24/2024 at 1:35 PM, IpaddyTECH said:

I've always found this to be a fascinating topic to discuss. Overall I tend to throw my hat in with the majority of us non-pro fellas who say it's personal preference, get what you like. Personally, while I like every advantage I can get same as the next goalie, there's also just the factor of am I playing my reasonable best and having fun. If I am doing that, then who cares if potentially a white pad might have made the shooter confuse my five-hole a bit. I say this while sporting Warrior G2 classics in white/red, where the outer roll is red and totally blends in with the posts even better than all white pad would haha. 

I'm mainly a goalie but in my side life I'm a therapist with an extensive education in psychology and some neurology it it is truly frightening how much the brain just decides and does things subconsciously without any input from our conscious thought. To me, the different advantages and disadvantages that colors provide are very likely legit, albeit depending on the goalie and level of play and even refs. In the extremely fast paced game of hockey, I'm sure white pads do make shooters misidentify where the 5-hole is, and black pads make the puck harder to find for everyone (including the goalie). 

To me, the greatest factor not being discussed here is the placebo effect, which is the well documented phenomenon of giving fake pills to test groups to measure medication effects and surprisingly, even those taking just fake pills (often filled with a little sugar) they do get clinically better (though not usually as much as the actual meds) just because they believe they are getting a helpful drug.  If you THINK your pads are giving you an advantage, then psychologically you ARE LIKELY to be more confident/relaxed/positive and attribute saves to your pads colors, thus actually making you a SLIGHTLY better goalie just by improving your mental game. But could this eventually unravel with a few bad games where you don't see the supposed advantages of your pad colors helping? Possibly. Or was that you just eating too close before the game and having some brain fog. The variables are nearly endless.  

Flipping the script on this, what of the arguments that arose on Price's all red kit? Every time he tried them he had a bad run, so he eventually ditched them. Brain tricks or actual impact? Who knows. Funny enough, Dobes with the Rocket was doing the same in the beginning and now he decided to splash some white on his gear on his second set.

On 1/24/2024 at 6:09 PM, Fullright said:

I am all for getting an edge but if the color of a tender's pads is key to the goalie's effectiveness....

Pretty sure Billy Smith's Kohos were the first to be colored and they werent white. Not so sure, however, the colors had much to do with his name on The Grail.

Wasn't Fuhr the first with his Edmonton set-up? We could also ask about Sevigny and Liut with his all white ones. Hextall? It would be cool to figure it out.

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4 minutes ago, Fullright said:

@RichMan, I am just not sure now. I thought it was Smith but I may well be wrong. I typed in nhl colored goalie pads and Lemelin with his Aeroflexs came up. Just dont know. 

I tried as well and other than going through extensive archives or tons of hockey cards, it won't be an easy feat. I'll and ask one of my connections, Liam Maguire. Maybe he can find it for us.

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4 hours ago, RichMan said:

Flipping the script on this, what of the arguments that arose on Price's all red kit? Every time he tried them he had a bad run, so he eventually ditched them. Brain tricks or actual impact? Who knows. Funny enough, Dobes with the Rocket was doing the same in the beginning and now he decided to splash some white on his gear on his second set.

Wasn't Fuhr the first with his Edmonton set-up? We could also ask about Sevigny and Liut with his all white ones. Hextall? It would be cool to figure it out.

Yeah another example, is it the gear, or in your head? The classic psychology answer would be... yes. It's probably a combination of both and unique to the individual and the gear. 

I think somebody else said something similar earlier but I wonder how much importance shooters place specifically on looking visually for gaps anymore? They already know where the gaps are, hell they numbered them. When I skate out and shoot five hole, it's not because I "saw a huge gap" that looks too good to pass up, instead it's me just testing how quick they go down. I don't expect to score the shot as much as I'm looking for a juicy rebound also. Similarly when I go top shelf, I know that's a good spot to test a goalie, I don't have to look around for that. I know snipers are still looking for any puck sized hole so maybe I'm wrong. Just musing. 

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I think there’s some great points raised here. I believe how the game (at least on the highest level) is played now, shooters know where the gaps in the goalie are, regardless of the colour of their pads. High level players will (I imagine) train where to shoot, with the most minimal amount of net or gaps showing. I like it when goalies express their self. It seems limited to their mask, but when it’s mask and pads, it’s refreshing, in my opinion at least. I also think that a lot of the pro level goalie coaches are possibly a bit stuck in the past, when it comes to gear colour choice. Aforementioned, some coaches and or organisations have limitations on gear colour, which just sounds like even more dinosaurs stomping their feet (excuse the pun). 

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Just my very old two cents having thought about this since seeing the topic, I like the colors and to each his own -if you think/feel/believe the colors give you an edge, use them - but the use of color to gain any degree of an edge or effectiveness eludes me...like most shots. :)  Do we use black tape or white tape?  I won't get into a Socratic dialogue about it because I have loved this board for several years, I like and respect all its members, and I don't want to step on anyone's toes. Do whatever works, or you think works for you, is what any of us should do. 

Edited by Fullright
grammar
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So, since I don’t play anymore (😭) I like to watch any hockey when I can. Then it occurred to me, these European goalies and leagues in general, are inundated with advertisements plastered over any little bit of spare ice or uniform. So, I think, if a goalie is nothing but ads, in front of ad boards and the ice surface being predominantly adverts,  that on some level would make the shooter think twice? See a young Tuuka Rask for reference; 

image.png.e604777ca279290e35646893231dfb02.png

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