View Full Version : Wearing a cage
05-30-2006, 09:42 AM
This subject is taking over the Flynn topic, so I thought I would give it it's own page. Perhaps in a few years when my son is older, I will understand more, but I just don't understand why the cage needs to be removed.
I'm sure when the first goalie put on the mask everyone talked about how it messed up his game, but today you would never see the mask off. You guys played for years with the cage on and many of todays youth players can dazzle the men with their skill, all while wearing a cage. I still believe it all comes down to a right of passage thing and not an improvement of ones play. I do see that it would feel better, just like a person on a motor cycle removing their helmet, but I disagree that your game improves without it.
05-30-2006, 03:11 PM
Regarding the right-of-passage thing, I used to practice on ice daily at an open hockey session that had a lot of pro-level players who were between 2-week contracts or such. I elected to take off my shield at 18 not because I thought it was cool, but because I had no peripheral vision and since we played a like a "half-check" scenario, not having that vision was not an option if you didn't want to get cleaned.
Yeah, I've had a number of injuries to my face, including taking a deflected slapshot in ice hockey straight in my right eye, fracturing my orbital bone. I wore a half-shield for about 4 months after the incident and had to remove it because I had couldn't see peripherally.
So yeah, I'm a dumbass who could have potential eye damage the next time I'm struck on that side, but I'm actually more uncomfortable playing with a shield on than without, because I can't see what's coming.
05-30-2006, 06:34 PM
I have worn a cage since i played high school roller hockey. I wore a half shield for one season but did not like it. I then put the cage back on. I think that if I played pro or semi pro hockey I would have just worn a half shield. There are times where i am glad i have worn it because i have had pucks and sticks hit it multiple times.
05-30-2006, 11:04 PM
I do know that feeling. I got whacked in the side of the head just the other week on a follow-thru wrist shot. I guess it's just a stupid risk some are willing to take. Don't ask me why. I really don't know.
05-31-2006, 12:36 AM
Well, you guys know my opinion as I'm starting to sound like a public service announcement for cage advocacy in the other thread.
Interesting conversation I had with my uncle this weekend who coached in the NFL for 20 years under Joe Gibbs, Bobby Ross, etc. Anyway, he played football back in the day when face masks were not completely mandated. He said once a majority of players took over wearing them, it changed the way the game was played as football players learned to not accept or hit being fearful of their face getting blasted. All the same hockey arguments decades later were true then of football- can't breathe fully, lack of total vision, etc. but then as the game progressed it was not soon after that all players wore a facemask. The same will happen to hockey sooner or later. I do remember the games that Craig MacTavish didnt even wear a freakin helmet and how the younger players werent exactly cutting him slack.
Anybody old enough to remember the last pro hockey goalie who didnt wear a mask? Hint, it was more recent than say 1950... A little 12U player now with a 300 buck easton Synergy would probably break his nose with a slap shot..
Rich " Big Cheese" Nardiello
Cougars Roller Hockey Club
05-31-2006, 04:24 AM
All I can add to this thread is that I've worn just a helmet, a helmet with a shield, and a helmet with a cage. (I played pickup hockey at the beach without a helmet for a long time, which was stupid, because one of my best buddies cracked his skull open when he fell backwards one day, but that was the "macho" thing to do.)
What I found was this:
With just a helmet, I could see perfectly, but always had to wonder when I'd get a puck or stick in the nose or eye. I was lucky, and nothing serious ever happened.
With a half-shield, I could see well enough until it fogged up, but occasionally, sticks did come up and under the shield. It did, however, save me many times from sticks that whacked me straight across at eye level. I swore by the half-shield for a while.
At first, I hated wearing a cage. Apparently, I focused on the metal cage in front of my eyes, instead of looking past the bars. Eventually, I was able to ignore them, and I did pretty well. With the cage, I never had to worry about a puck or stick to the face. I don't think that made my stick come up, but it did give me a sense of (false?) security when I was in a scrum. I had a lot more courage to mix it up with guys bigger than me because I knew they couldn't really hurt me unless they pulled my helmet off. It was a bit cowardly of me, to be honest, but I sure had fun giving some lip to some of the bigger guys. Not having to worry about a quick cold-cock punch to the nose, I was able to play "bigger" than I was. Fortunately for me, most of the guys in the league I played in were big hearted. Except for "Blue Helmet Guy," but that's another story. /wtimages/icons/cool.gif
Overall, I'd recommend a half-shield at the very least. You can control your own stick, but can you control every single opponent's stick... forever?
Inline Hockey Central
Glenn Hall, Johnny Bauer, Gump worsley are those who come to mind, although Worsley and Hall put one on at the very end of their carreers I believe.
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