Western Conference Finals – The Pure Hockey Equipment Breakdown

By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing

 

Earlier this week we went over the gear battle between the Bruins and the Penguins in the Eastern conference final. Your feedback was awesome, so we were inspired to head over to the Western Conference to match-up the Kings and Blackhawks. We could give you our thoughts on the actual games, but for that you’re way better  off heading to some actual hockey experts – we’ll stick to what we know, which is hockey equipment.

We took a look at some major categories (gloves, sticks, skates, helmets and goalie gear) to see what all the players are wearing. Just like in the East, Bauer Hockey pretty much dominates the landscape, again coming in with 47% of the total gear worn by both teams. CCM/Reebok comes in a close second with 38%, split evenly at 19% per brand. Easton fell behind, carrying only 9% of the total gear in the Western Conference Final. Rounding out the rest was Warrior Hockey with 6%, while Winnwell and Graf represented 1% each.

Sticks: CCM took their first team lead in a category, tying Bauer hockey, who has Patrick Kane using the new APX2, as the leading stick used by the Chicago Blackhawks, with 26% per brand. That’s what happens when you release a stick as hot as the RBZ has been this season. Bauer dominated the Kings roster however, capturing 42% of the team and nearly doubling the total put up by 2nd place Easton at 23%. Reebok finished as the middle manufacturer on both teams, managing high teen percentages on each. Warrior Hockey came in last on both teams, their Covert DT1 being slightly more popular with the Hawks. Worth noting is the spread of stick makers on either team, the Kings with a leader of 42% and last place at 4%. The Blackhawks had the same leader with Bauer, but at only 26%, with Warrior carrying the smallest share – but not terrible – behind at 13%.

Gloves: Bauer takes a dominant lead in the Kings locker room with 58%, more than tripling 2nd place Reebok at 19%. For the Hawks however, Bauer came in 3rd with 22% even with Jonathan Toews rocking the new Supreme TotalOne NXG gloves. Coming in first was Reebok at 30%, followed by Warrior with 26%. Unfortunately for CCM and Easton, they came in 4th and 5th respectively, on both teams with under 15%.

Skates: Not surprisingly, Bauer with their three top model skates – the Vapor APX2, Supreme TotalOne NXG and the Nexus 1000 – came out way ahead. Bauer came away with a staggering 85% of the Kings in their boots, and 65% of the Blackhawks. Reebok came in second on both sides of the ice, with 8% of the Kings, and 17% of the Hawks. On the Hawks side, CCM matched its sibling Reebok and the 20K skate at 17%, while only managing one Kings player wearing skates. Graf also made an appearance, with one Kings player donning the distinctive neon yellow. Easton and their new Mako skate will not be making any appearances in the Western Conference Finals this season, even though they have some great technology to offer.

Helmets: Buckets was a very interesting category in the WCF. In the Kings room, Bauer represents half of the lids with CCM and Reebok tying for second, capturing 23% each. This is undoubtedly due to the popularity, comfort and protection of the Re-Akt and the IMS 9.0. On the other side of it, 48% of the Blackhawks are wearing CCM. The CCM V10 and V08 have one of the best looking shell designs on the market, a big selling point for NHL Pros. Reebok has 17% of the Blackhawks between their 11K and 7K helmets. Easton came in 4th with both teams, protecting 9% of the Hawks heads, and one single King. Warrior had one player on the Hawks and, ironically, zero actual Kings wearing their Krown 360 Helmet (cue the drum — ba-dum-bum…tshh). Get it? Kings? Krown?

Goalies: On the Kings side, starter Jonathon Quick wearing Vaughn can only boost them into second place with 25% behind Back-up Jonathon Bernier’s full CCM set-up putting them at 38%. In a tie at the bottom with 13% each came Warrior, Bauer and Reebok. In the Hawks crease, Reebok dominates with 75%, blowing away the other two brands. Brian’s makes their only appearance in either conference, Ray Emery’s full set up giving them a respectable 17% showing. Warrior is the only other brand represented between the Hawks pipes with 8% of the total gear.

How we compiled this: We grabbed the rosters from each team’s respective websites and then we went hunting for recent pictures. Most of the images we compiled this data from are pictures from the last week or so. If it was a player who hasn’t seen playoff action, we grabbed a picture from their last NHL game or AHL game if they haven’t seen any NHL action yet (reserve callups, for example). It was a good excercise and very interesting!

You can download the full size graphic right here and see it in a much larger, clearer size. Study it and share it all you want! We’d love to hear your thoughts. What surprised you? What didn’t? What SHOULD players be wearing?


Eastern Conference Finals – The Pure Hockey Equipment Breakdown

By Jeff Copetas, VP of Marketing & E-Commerce

Sooooooo……….The NHL playoffs march on. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, isn’t it? The NHL Eastern Conference Finals are in full swing and the previews & recaps of the games are easy to find and numerous. You certainly don’t need us here at Pure Hockey giving you our thoughts on the actual games. But we started thinking about different ways to look at the matchup and it become obvious to us very quickly that a full equipment breakdown was needed between the two remaining teams in the east. And so it shall be done!

We took a look at some major categories, gloves, sticks, skates and helmets and goalie gear to see what all the players are wearing. To the surprise of absolutely nobody, the folks at Bauer Hockey pretty much dominate the landscape, with 47% of the total gear worn by both teams being Bauer gear. CCM/Reebok comes second with 25%, followed closely by Easton with 20%. All other vendors were under 10%.

Sticks: Easton Hockey fared relatively well in sticks. Again, not much of a surprise there, given that’s really Easton’s core competence and their longstanding reputation as a manufacturer of excellent performing sticks (and good looking ones, to boot). 56% of the Penguins players use Easton sticks, but in another big surprise, only 8% of Boston players brandish an Easton twig. That’s a pretty big delta there. Many of the Pens & Bruins are still using RS sticks, though it seems more Pens are using the Mako 2′s.  Again, Bauer led the way for Boston player sticks with 48% of the tally for the Bruins, a solid mix between Total One NXG’s and APX sticks (and the upcoming APX2 sticks as well). Whoever the pro rep is for the Bruins is doing a helluva job! CCM has made massive inroads with their RBZ stick this season – it’s a really impressive stick and we are seeing that thing everywhere in the NHL – but not on Boston or Pittsburgh. Both teams had just 4% of their players using the RBZ. However, Reebok accounts for 12% of the Penguins and 24% of the Bruins players for sticks, so when you add up Reebok & CCM (same company), you have a very respectable 28% on Boston and 16% on the Penguins.

Gloves: In the glove category, we were pretty surprised to see Easton leading the way on the Penguins team, with 44%, more than double Bauer and Reebok/CCM presence, each at 20%. Warrior also has a nice showing in the Steel City with 16% of the Penguins donning Warrior mitts. For the Bruins, Bauer once again dominates, as 56% of the Bruins wear Bauer gloves. Reebok comes second with 24% and Warrior is at 8%. Again, a large difference with Easton on the Bruins vs. the Penguins – just 4% of Bruins players are wearing Easton gloves vs. 56% of the Pens.

Skates: With every passing year, CCM’s skate quality is dramatically improving. There was a time in the 1980′s when CCM was the Google of skates. It was more or less THE option. That has changed. Bauer’s R&D over the last 10-15 years has really been impressive. They still OWN the skate category in this matchup, as a whopping 88% of the Bruins and 64% of the Penguins wear Bauer skates, with a lot of players wearing APX2′s and some wearing TotalOne NXG’s. We don’t see many players in the Nexus 1000′s yet, but that line is still pretty new for Bauer. We are guessing that five years ago, you wouldn’t have seen Reebok/CCM generating 12% of Bruins skates and 20% of Penguins skates, so congrats to them. If the RBZ skates are as good as our early testing indicates, those numbers are heading nowhere but up. They are very very good skates. Another surprising number – 12% of Penguins players are in Graf skates. Not a dig on Graf, as we think those are about as impressive a skate as you’ll find, just a little surprising that it is so high. We’ll see what happens with Easton’s MLX technology and the Mako skates, which we like quite a bit – but they have a long way to go still – just 4% of Pens players and no Bruins players wear Eastons.

Helmets: For lids, this seems like a more even playing field. Bauer still comes in very respectable, but the various manufacturers come in much stronger here. On the Bruins, it should come as no surprise that Bauer once again plays the heavy here with 48% of the helmets on the Bruins team. CCM/Reebok is right there, though, with 44% of the share on the B’s. Warrior and Easton each represent 4%. Much like sticks, Easton comes out the winner on the Pens team as 36% of the flightless birds use an Easton lid. Bauer and Reebok/CCM are tied at 32%. So it’s a more even spread for helmets. Not very surprising, given Reebok/CCM’s good strength in protective gear.

Goalies: This is always an interesting set of data. For the Penguins, Reebok/CCM dominates with a 75% share. Fluery, of course, is a longtime Reebok athlete so this is no shock to anyone. Bauer represents the other 25%. For Boston, it’s a much more varied spread with Vaughn coming out on top at 33%, followed by Reebok at 25%. This is the one category where Bauer does not dominate on the Bruins – 17% of the goalie gear has Bauer’s marks on it.

How we compiled this: We grabbed the rosters from each team’s respective websites and then we went hunting for recent pictures. Most of the images we compiled this data from are pictures from the last week or so. If it was a player who hasn’t seen playoff action, we grabbed a picture from their last NHL game or AHL game if they haven’t seen any NHL action yet (reserve callups, for example). It was a good excercise and very interesting!

You can download the full size graphic right here and see it in a much larger, clearer size. Study it and share it all you want! We’d love to hear your thoughts. What surprised you? What didn’t? What SHOULD players be wearing?

 


Hockey Stick Weigh-In Part II

 

By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing

It’s that time again, stick weigh-ins are here. We’ll cut right to the chase…

Once again, these weights are all for the same (or closest comparable) blade pattern and same flex, for consistency.

1) Bauer Nexus418 Grams

2) Bauer TotalOne NXG424 g

3) Bauer Vapor APX LE430 g

4) Reebok 20K431 g

5) CCM RBZ 441 g

6) Easton RSII443 g

7) Easton Mako II450 g

8) Bauer Supreme One.8465 g

The other request we had last time was what is the difference in weight between the same model stick. So we tested that out too with the Nexus and TotalOne NXG…

The Nexus weighed 3 times came in at 418g, 418g and 420g. The NXG came in at 421g, 422g, and 425g. So in the numbers seem to be very consistent.


Hockey Glove Weigh-In

By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing

There are few pieces of gear more important than a players’ hockey gloves. Having a comfortable, lightweight, protective glove is vital to feeling confident going into a game. While this test can’t address a glove’s comfort or protection level, it will certainly help out with the weight discussion.
Our Glove Weigh-in…..
                                                                             Single Glove (Grams)            Pair (Grams)
Warrior Bully                                                                 269                                          538
Warrior Luxe                                                                 273                                          546
Easton RS                                                                    278                                          556
Easton EQ50                                                               281                                          562
Easton PH E-Pro                                                        285                                           570
CCM U+ CL                                                                 296                                           592
Bauer Vapor APX                                                        297                                           594
Bauer 4 Roll                                                                305                                           610
Warrior Franchise                                                      307                                           614
Bauer TotalOne                                                          319                                           638
Bauer Vapor APX Pro                                                326                                           652
Eagle PPF                                                                   337                                           674
The results: A bit surprising to me that the lightest Bauer glove was the 7th lightest in the group, but again you have to take the weight and the protection into consideration. In many cases, a glove with more padding and more protection is going to be slightly heavier. Not every player wants or needs that much protection so sometimes the sacrifice is worth it.
Good Showing for Warrior, too, finishing with the top 2 lightest gloves, and also for Easton with the next 3 lightest.  All Gloves weighed were 14” inch retail models.
Let us know what you think @PureHockey and on Facebook.