Friday, December 21, 2007

Composite Sticks: Great Invention or Greatest Invention?

Quote of the night:
I remember someone saying during the playoffs that an exploding stick would cost someone a game one night. Well, there it was.
That was Leafs' coach Paul Maurice after watching Pavel Kubina's stick snap in half for the second time in the game right before the Lightning came down and scored in the last minute of the third period. Sure, these damn composites are giving every Tom, Dick, and Harry in the beer leagues a slapshot that can break your ankle but it's not all rainbows and lollipops.

Ask the goalies and those sticks are the main reason for their need for the massive equipment. There is no empirical evidence but I am going to accuse those tools of the devil with increasing the number of broken ankles, feet, and hands from blocking shots because the puck comes off the stick like a freaking bullet. No stats but they also have decreased shooting percentage since you never really know where those damn shots are going.

You can't feel that they are broken so NHLers are playing with broken sticks that are primed to snap as soon as they are ready to take a shot. Other players know this and hit the sticks in the middle (which is usually a penalty agaisnt the Leafs but never against anyone else and really should not be considered slashing) to soften them up. Even pricks in beer leagues do this which is why I use good old Canadian lumber.

They are also responsible for the most frustrating play in hockey, a Mats Sundin powerplay slapshot that misses the net and rings out of the zone. Actually, that's not fair. That play is mostly Bryan McCabe's fault for not realizing (after three years) that when The Captain is winding up he should inch closer to the boards just in case and especially since he's so damn slow.

Anyway, your thoughts on the glory of the composite stick are welcomed. When will a coach ban them on his team?

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