23 Intently Staring Goalies
by lsefton on 10/15/11 at 07:28 PM ET
Who had "concussion" and "before first regular season start" in the DiPietro pool? Di Pietro is down for the count just over a week into the regular season. Two items that caught my eye—that DiPietro is 30 (has it been that long?) and that he’s the last one standing, with Osgood’s retirement, wearing the older style "cage and helmet" mask.
Here’s what the New York Times had to say about DiPietro’s concussion:
DiPietro was hurt Wednesday at Nassau Coliseum when a hard slap shot by his teammate Brian Rolston struck his helmet, near his temple, cracking the headgear. He fell to the ice and stayed there for about 15 seconds before heading to the training room. He underwent baseline neurological testing Thursday.
I’m really rather surprised that the NHL hadn’t "grandfathered" out the use of this mask style—yes, they were a good upgrade to the Fiberglas/plastic polycarbonate masks of the 70’s through early 80’s, but the full face masks in use today are a superior product.
Now, what would be interesting is to provide a way for DiPietro to have the padding inside his mask more easily replaceable, so he wouldn’t have run into the initial problem—that his face was swollen and tender after being in the fight with Brent Johnson. That’s when he switched to the cage and helmet. A foam with a different core density that could have lifted away from the pressure points might have made a different there.
(warning! engineering type stuff to follow!)
The problem is, foam isn’t foam isn’t foam. The stuff that keeps your new computer from getting munched in transshipment might turn to mush underneath a mask. And there are open and closed cell foams that would provide the structural integrity but are caustic as all get out when they get damp.
I was reading "Ron Santo: A Perfect 10" last month. One of the pieces was from the prosthetics maker who provided for artificial legs for Santo, post-amputation. One of the issues with prosthetics is that the part where they attach undergoes a lot of structural changes post-surgery. This can cause rubbing and pain. The new prosthetics avoided this issue with a new foam technology that molded better to the leg, while providing support.
Walking on a prosthetic leg doesn’t equal the force of a flying puck, but it’s a good approximation. It would be interesting to see if this technology could be adapted to goalie masks—it could save future goalies from shock injuries, and keep them in their masks.
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About 23 Intently Staring Goalies
23 Intently Staring Goalies comes from the 23 close-up photos of goalies that used to line the walls of my office.
On the good side, it kept down interruptions, but it also made sure I had to leave my trash outside my door if I wanted it picked up.
I've been watching and analyzing goaltenders for going on 40 years. Some of that was spent drawing goalies on my grade 8 math homework. Then it was taking my card decks and printouts to Indianapolis Racer games. Luckily, the Internet took off, and by 1991 I was half of the duo that would ultimately become the Plaidworks hockey mailing lists. I wrote "Handicapping the Goalies' for the San Jose Sharks mailing list, and took a lot of photos of goalies in action. I have around 5000 slides of mostly goaltenders in action from 1989 through 2001 from the WHL, IHL and NHL. Since I've gone digital, I've added about 10,000 more images to the library. During summers and when the league went dark, I was reading through multiple SF By area news papers, tracking ice hockey from the 1917 recreational leagues up through the California Seals.
We'll be talking about goalies and goaltending. We'll talk about whats going on now, who's in the system, and when the doldrums hit, I'll haul something out of the big bag of history, or something from the photo archives. We'll talk about who's hot and why, and who's not and what they can do to get back on track. We'll take a look at the trends in scouting goalies, and why a style may work for one team but not another. I'll battle with my dictation software to get it to understand Bryzgalov and Bobrovsky.
It should be interesting--hope you want to come along for the ride!