In case you missed part I, we covered how to find the right flex given your height and weight. Part II explained how to determine the correct length for your hockey stick. In the third and final segment, we will discuss how stick blade patterns can affect your game. Retail blades are usual named after the professional player who uses them see the chart at HockeyGiant.com. Consult the table below before you purchase your next replacement hockey blade and most importantly, try out as many as you can before you buy! The best way to develop a preference is through experimentation.
|Example||Attribute||description||Good for||Bad for|
|Toe||Curve begins closer to the tip of the blade||Handling, quick wrist shots||Backhands|
|Heel||Curve begins closer to the shaft of the stick||Slapshots, garbage collecting, one-timers||Wrist shots|
|Slight||Increases surface area||Accurate passes. easier backhands||Handling, control|
|Deep||Puck spins of the blade easier||Creates spiral effect for faster wrist shots||Predictability when making or receiving passes, slap shots|
|Closed||Blade is more perpendicular to the ground||Keeping it low on long-range shots, shooting accuracy||Getting lift|
|Open||Blade is more wedge-like||Higher shots||Backhands, playing with a ball|
|Low||Puts blade further from the body||Players who have a lower stance, slap shots||Handling, control|
|High||Brings blade closer to the body||Players who stand more upright, quick hard shots||Defensive reach|
|No Rocker||Sharper Heel||More stick on the ice, easier to receive passes||—|
|Rockered||Rounded Heel||Plays like low lie when handling, high lie when shooting||—|
|Round||Smoother edge||Toe drags, fancier stick handling||—|
|Square||Broader edge||Snagging pucks off the boards, receiving passes||—|
Another factor to consider when shopping for blades is the length. A longer blade will obviously cover more area, but more wood means more weight. You just have to decide what you are willing to compromise on.
Ok, now here’s the test: I am a forward with a an upright stance, a weak slap shot, who likes to hog the puck and frusterate goalies with fancy wrist shots.What blade do you think I use? If you guessed a Thornton, you’re right.The deep-mid curve is ideal for putting a little zip on my wrist shots, and the round edge is nice for handling. The closed angle helps me control the height of my shots and a lie of 6 keeps the blade flat on the ground.
If you have a two-piece stick you can easily change out blades until you find what you like. Be sure to take it to a pro shop or watch this guide on how to replace a hockey stick blade. With a one-piece stick the decision is a little more permanent so be sure you know what you want before you get it.