Monday, June 03, 2013
Eastern Conference Finals - The Pure Hockey 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?



 




 



0 Comments Posted at 02:00AM on 06/03/2013

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Wednesday, June 05, 2013
Western Conference Finals - The Pure Hockey 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?

 



0 Comments Posted at 12:00PM on 06/05/2013

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Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Free Infographic: Stanley Cup Finals Hockey Equipment

By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing

So once again we decided to take some playoff data and put our own little Pure Hockey gear spin on it. This time we took the two Stanley Cup Finals combatants and compiled their points through these playoffs, with a twist. We have broken it down and looked at points scores by each brand, in 3 different gear categories, sticks, gloves and skates for each team. In a very impressive 6-for-6 sweep, Bauer took home the title, accounting for the most points on both the Bruins and Blackhawks in all three categories. 

Sticks: Not surprisingly considering their high number of players using their sticks, Bauer took home the most points on both teams. Coming in second was Reebok on the Bruins and CCM on the Hawks. 

Gloves: Again Bauer came away with the win in both locker rooms, running away with the win on the Bruins, more than tripling the points produced by players wearing 2nd place Reebok. For the Hawks on the other hand, Bauer won, but by a much smaller margin, only putting up 13 more points than Reebok who again came in 2nd place, and Warrior in a close 3rd place at 24 points produced. 

Skates: In an absolute landslide, Bauer skate users put home 120 points for the Bruins or about 86% of all their team's points. CCM and Reebok came in 2nd and 3rd respectively. The Blackhawks saw Bauer users score the lion's share of points as well, showing up on the score sheet 114 times. CCM coming in 2nd at 43 points and Reebok in 3rd with 10 points. 

Check out the results below or download the bigger version right here.



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Tuesday, June 25, 2013
Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup Champions T-Shirts Are Here!

 



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Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Preview: CCM RBZ Hockey Skates

By Kyle Stevenson, Pure Hockey Marketing

 

For the second time in under a year, CCM is making a huge splash with the launch of a new product.  Last year it was the RBZ stick, this year it is the RBZ skates. 

 

 

One of CCM’s goals with the RBZ skate was to leave a lasting first impression by creating a skate with the best out of the box comfort available. With the RBZ, CCM added a true ankle lock and heel counter, this allows your foot to sit more comfortably and stably in the skate from the start. In previous models – U+ Pro and U+CL – neither of these features existed, relying on the skate’s highly moldable foam to create a snug fit. For some players it worked great, for others it didn’t. The new build ensures that all players will sit correctly in the back of the skate, and then still be highly moldable for an even better fit. 

 

 

The quarter package is called CCM’s Speed Core and is made from their Action form foam. It is extremely moldable for a truly customized fit while still providing pro level stiffness. The skate inner liner is a pro comfort Clarino leather. The material is comfortable, dries quickly and is non-abrasive while skating. The liner is also constructed to overlap at seams to create smooth edges and not leave any potential spots for discomfort. 

 

The RBZ also includes the new CCM custom support insoles. These are designed with 3 different arch heights – low, medium, high – to create the perfect support for each individual player. CCM created a device that can determine the arch height needs of each player, based on their foot. The purpose of these is to create full contact between the foot and the skate. This improves speed on the ice through improved foot reaction speed. It also helps to properly align the body, reducing the risk of injury and increasing performance. 

 

CCM also did some creative things with the lacing system. First the top eyelets are made of brass; this makes them stronger and more durable to reduce the risk of failure. The eyelet pattern itself is closer in the forefoot, allowing for a better foot wrap and more snug fit. In the top half of the skate, the eyelets are a bit stiffer and wider, providing adequate space for forward flex in stride. The RBZ tongue is made from pro-style white felt with injected foam. This helps to prevent lace-bite and the tongue will actually mold to your foot through heat molding and during the break-in period. 

 

One of the biggest moves from CCM this year is the introduction of the Speed Blade 4.0 holder.  The holder features industry standard holes, so no re-drilling if you ever want to put the Speed Blade 4.0 on another manufacturer’s boot. The SB 4.0 is 4MM higher off the ice compared to CCM’s previous holder. This added height increases turning radius by 10%, giving you the ability to be more aggressive when turning without the risk of “bottoming out” the holder. The Hyperglide steel runner is a polished steel runner. It is designed to increase glide on the ice and reduce friction. Less friction combined with the harder steel provides longer edge life, meaning less lost edges.

The CCM RBZ Skates are up for pre-sale now on PureHockey.com and will be available in store on July 19th

 

Check out the RBZ Skate video preview and many more, here on our PureHockeyDotCom YouTube Page



0 Comments Posted at 01:00PM on 06/26/2013

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Thursday, June 27, 2013
Easton V-Series Sticks Coming Soon

Here's a little video preview for you of the Easton V-9 stick series, coming August 23rd to Pure Hockey!



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Thursday, June 06, 2013
Pure Hockey Elbow Pad Guide



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Thursday, June 06, 2013
Pure Hockey Pants Guide



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Thursday, June 06, 2013
Pure Hockey Shin Guard Guide



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