Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Broken Sticks Everywhere

We have all seen it, time is winding down in the third. A pass to the point on a must score power play, and the big D winds up to put all of his weight into his slap shot. And *snap*! His twig breaks close to his right hand in half. The puck softly plays onto the stick of the other team’s forward and he is on a quick break the other way. Bad luck?

More and more I have been seeing composite sticks give wicked shots, but the stick is weak and breaks easily. So it prompts the question, are composite sticks better than wood? This is the most I have seen sticks break in a season that I can remember.

I still play with wooden stick, as I am old fashioned and my stick has lasted me quite a long time. But I see more and more composite sticks in the rink. At the pro ranks, if you play with a wood stick, you might as well play with out a helmet, because your out dated.

But in important games I have seen a Capitals snap his lumber when that shot may not have been a goal, but then the puck would be deep in the zone and not on a break away the other way with a defensemen stickless.

So I asked a few random players why they prefer composite to wood…

“I like it because it’s light, and I can get a better shot from it.”

“It’s a pretty cool stick, I used to have the ones where you just replace the blades. But I got sick of replacing blades all the time.”

“Because I can afford it.”

I understand that some players love the torque and lightness of the stick to improve their shots. But can the stick be dependable in clutch situations. True players aren’t going through one stick a game, but the amount of composite sticks lay broken on the ice is hard to ignore.

Next time you watch a game, any hockey game at the pro level you will see a broken composite every time. I counted one game and saw as many as 7 broken sticks, 3 of them off the shot.

Wood may not be any better, as many have said that instead of breaking, the stick will chip away to nothing or lose its torque after extensive play, making the shot flat and slow. And wood sticks can break as well, sometimes shattering, just not as often as the composites. Am I wrong on this?

Either way, the real winners are the stick manufacturers. As long as the sticks keep breaking, the makers will keep cranking out sticks.

All I know is that my Sher-wood sticks has never let me down, and unless I come into a small fortune or simply they don’t make wood sticks anymore, I have little incentive to change.

No comments: