It is quite unusual for the NHL to make any sort of change mid-season, especially when it comes to equipment. This season; however, the NHL decided that the goalies were going to be changing pants after the All-Star break. Some goalies have been fine after the adjustment, while others seem to be struggling a bit. Is it the equipment or just a coincidence?
First of all, for those who are not aware of the new change, the goalies are now required to wear slimmer pants with a rounder pant leg that is supposed to fit better for the goalies. Previously, goalies would wear larger pants that flared out more and were generally just a looser fit.
Some of the goalies have actually been looking for this change for quite a while, including Cory Schneider of the New Jersey Devils and Brayden Holtby of the Washington Capitals. They find that these pants actually fit better than the other pants that they were wearing previously.
There were a few goalies who decided to start wearing these pants at the beginning of this season. Jared Coreau of the Detroit Red wings is one of them, and he is loving the new fit. He stands at six feet six inches and weighs in at 222 pounds, but claims that the skinnier pants fit great.
Unfortunately, not all of the goalies have been experiencing the same kind of success with the pants. Frederik Andersen of the Toronto Maple Leafs has been struggling since the All-Star break. He has allowed a total of 22 goals in his last four starts. There are a number of different things that could be playing into this, including his extremely heavy workload, but perhaps the pants are playing a factor.
Andersen had this to say about the pants: “It’s like a pair of jeans; you just have to work them in.”
Maybe that is exactly what he is going to have to do. Once he is able to start feeling comfortable in his pants, he will most likely be able to pick things up and help the Maple Leafs during their playoff push.
Personally, I do not think that these pants are going to have a very long effect on the goalies, if they even are at all. Most goalies just need to get used to the way that they feel and they will be able to play the same way that they have been all season.
The NHL made this change to increase scoring, yet the scoring has not increased by any significant amount. We will have to stay ready for anymore equipment changes that could be coming soon.