One more thing about shields

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Just to be clear here, since it’s actually a worthwhile topic:

I am not endorsing the decison by amateur hockey players to go without face shields or visors. Far from it, in fact, since this is a source of much contention within my own family (particularly with the woman who has to look at my mug every morning).

Believe me, the fact that I don’t wear one mostly has to do with laziness, because I’m hardly a tough guy. I even have an Oakley shield in my bag, started to put it on earlier this season and realized I was missing a screw (in more way than one), and just haven’t gotten around to following up.

But I should, not only because I’ve already made my share of visits to the ER, but because twice in the past three years I’ve endured the horrific feeling of inadvertently catching another shield-less player in the face with a stick. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than apologizing to someone while they’re busy holding a towel to their bloody face.

Anyway, just a public service announcement because I’d hate for my earlier comment to be misinterpreted.

More from the Garden later…

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60 Comments

  1. A question for Sam, and all other shield or cage-less players:

    what inspired you to take it off to begin with? I grew up playing with one, and very rarely have had a chance to play without one. Even at those times, I NEVER considered taking it off.

    So I’m wondering what inspires others.

  2. Let me clear something up on the whole DP thing.

    F*ck him. F his team. F their fans.

    Losing someone sux. We ALL know what it feels like. The passing of a family member hurts for everyone. But I didn’t like the guy before, and I still don’t.

    Greive all you want. Just like Islander fans will grieve for another lost season under their idiot owner. We know how that feels too huh?

    DP sux

  3. All I can tell you is when you’re first 15 years of hockey or so are spent with a cage on, taking it off feels like freedom. I just feel like I see the ice so much better — but like I said, it’s probably not worth the risk.
    Sam

  4. salty – I’d like to have the honor or reposting that for you b/c it was hilarious…

    (salty’s post)
    Not wearing a shield = very similar to not wearing a rubber

    you know you should…but…the alternate is…. sometimes worth it.

    (wearing half visor = pulling out)

  5. I play with a half-shield and nothing has even come close to hitting me in the shield, just below it in my mouth area, all the time!

  6. They require shields in our Men’s league. It has more to do with protecting you from players who aren’t very responsible for their sticks. Except for once, all the facial injuries i’ve received in hockey have all been below the visor line anyway.

  7. I play with a full cage, and have done so for so long that I don’t even see it anymore.

  8. Just out of high school too sam, and they still make me play with a cage in Club hockey. I dont mind thought obviously.

    Of course one of the times I played helmet-less on a pond I got a puck to the mouth, mind kind of luck I guess.

  9. I can’t do the cage because I can’t wipe sweat away unless I unsnap it etc. It is mental more than anything but it bothers the hell out of me.

  10. Tony from AZ on

    I’m 63 years old, I still play hockey (not like I used to).
    I wear a full cage – took a stick to the chin & a puck on my mouth – now I never take the cage off.
    Why ? – I’m still pretty !!

  11. *Repost/Late edition*

    Not wearing a shield = very similar to not wearing a rubber

    you know you should…but…the alternate is…. sometimes worth it.

    (wearing half visor = pulling out)

    ..

    I started taking mine off when I no longer had to becuase I was never really getting hit in the face with stuff. It really does depend on who you are playing with though, and you *should pay attention to what other people are wearing*. Players who wear masks are far less likley to have any concern about the people around them, it’s just the way it works. When I wasn’t wearing any mask at all I would *NEVER* raise the puck over waist level unless it was just me and the goalie. I mean it’s a matter of discretion and experience. If you’re playing with fucking assholes who are all wearing full cages (wearing a cage does not make you an asshole but it doesn’t make you exempt either), you’re lucky if a single one of them has any on ice respect for anyone else.

    When I got skulled earlier in the year and was holding the old skate rag up to my eyebrow, dipshit comes over to the bench (what also funny is thos guys wears a FULL OUT Rangers ensemble to pick up games, fucking assclown) and he just says “yknow, you shoul dreally be wearing a mask. Immediately to my defense, a handful of the regulars exclaimed “He usually does! This is the first time he’s taken it off!”

    But the moral is that the better the players you are with are, the less likely someone is going to take a high slapshot from the point with a bunch of guys without masks infront of the net. It goes both ways, no one want sto get hit with a puck. when everyone is on the same page about this and has decent control, its a little more comfortable.

    If everyone aroung you is wearing a mask, you should probably do the same. If no ones wearing one, you can rest a little easier. Accidents do of course happen, but guys who dont wear masks, from my experience, tend to also be a little more careful of others as well.

  12. Salty that was one of the greatest post this site has ever seen.

    Last year I caught an elbow to the cage and I got a concussion it was the impact of the chin cup to my jaw that knocked me silly. I had been thinking of putting the halfsie back on but that did it for me. another reason is that i play in a rough league and i thought it commanded a little more respect from other players because for the most part i find that other men are a little more careful when bringing there sticks up when a good amount of people where them. also it makes my helmet feel 10 times lighter the only bad thing is on the occassion i block a shot i have to remember to put my hand over my face before i drop. I’ve only had a few incidents with stick and fist to the face but it’s like they said in that movie bruises heals, chicks dig scars, glory last forever.

  13. So lets get some facial injuries listed..

    Stick blade to the eyeball on a faceoff. I ended up with a sweet scar and blood in my vision for months…

  14. Dellapina has a bit more discussion on the Avery situation. You know where to find it!

  15. I’ve often wondered if I would have wanted to be a goalie if I had played in the pre-mask days.

    p.s. I’ve never have gotten to play ice hockey, only in deck leagues.

  16. But the moral is that the better the players you are with are, the less likely someone is going to take a high slapshot from the point with a bunch of guys without masks infront of the net. It goes both ways, no one want sto get hit with a puck. when everyone is on the same page about this and has decent control, its a little more comfortable.

    If everyone aroung you is wearing a mask, you should probably do the same. If no ones wearing one, you can rest a little easier. Accidents do of course happen, but guys who dont wear masks, from my experience, tend to also be a little more careful of others as well.

    —-

    i’ve seen guys without masks play as or more aggressive than guys with masks. i don’t think there’s any correlation there.

    i’m a defenseman and i don’t care if i see 3 or 4 guys without masks in front, i’m ripping it if i have a shot. if it gets deflected into their face, that’s their problem.

  17. During a pickup game, took a stick blade right above my upper lip from some ruskie, punctured a hole right through the philtrum. My teeth stayed in place thanks to my mouthguard but it healed from the inside out.

  18. In regards to DP and the sh&t or lack of kindness we are giving him for not playing. If this were a Ranger I believe our respect would be different.

    He is an Islander so F him. F the team.

    LETS GO RANGERS!!!

    I have always worn an Itech cage, with the rubber on the bottom, with no chin guard after High School and College. I am a small fellow, but play bigger on the ice. I could never go shieldless for the reasons Newman pointed out on the other thread along with the way I play. I have taken a stick under the cage once and thankfully never a puck.

  19. i’m a defenseman and i don’t care if i see 3 or 4 guys without masks in front, i’m ripping it if i have a shot. if it gets deflected into their face, that’s their problem.

    ……..

    this is exactly my point,

    *I would bet a thousand dollars you wear a full cage.*

  20. Jason,

    I had the exact same injury. I had to get stitched between my gum and upper lip. My teeth were loose for a month.

  21. I came out of Fordham, wearing a full cage. Gotinto a men’s league, and started wearing a half shield, which in essence was more like a 1/4 shield being that it was so thin and rode up mear my forehead most of the time.

    Decided to get married, and told the fiance I would put on a full cage before our wedding. Didn’t do it right away, and ended up getting hit into the boardsright over by where she was standing (decided to surprise me by coming to watch a game), and I could see the look on her face as my face was being smooshed against the glass. I was more afraid of coming off the ice than I was of being hurt on it.

    The full shield went on later that night. Like hell her father was going to pay several grand for pictures of his daughter next to a bloody pulp.

    Went back after getting married (actually played the day after my wedding because we didn’t leave for the Honeymoon until monday- how’s that for Balls- “Love ya, going to play…”)

    took two pucks and a stick in the face in one game, almost lost a tooth and felt like a moron going into work the next day trying to expalin to everyone it was playing hockey, and not a bar room brawl that got me there.

    I put the full cage back on.

  22. “In regards to DP and the sh&t or lack of kindness we are giving him for not playing. If this were a Ranger I believe our respect would be different.
    He is an Islander so F him. F the team.”

    YUP! I HATE THE ISLANDERS.

    I’m completely pumped for this game tonight. After this back to back with these a-hole’s we have 4 out of div games. Then its on with that last 10game div race! PUMPED.

  23. I guess it depends on your league.

    I play D in my mens league and so often end up with pucks up around my shoulders and chin. I guess I’m just more comfortable- plus I like my face the way it is.

  24. DB Cooper,

    I thought my teeth were gone after it happened, I went straight to the locker room to see how bad it was. I was shocked to see they were okay, the sight of the hole was pretty nasty though but as as hockey player would, I didn’t miss a shift.

  25. Doodie Machetto on

    “half-shield for me, tinted”

    Same here. But only on ice. On wheels, I don’t wear a shield.

    In high school they made us wear the cage, and when I got out I immediately played without anything. Fast forward to me knocking some guy’s teeth out with a clear along the boards that he kept in the zone with his face, and I tried the full shield. But I felt like an astronaut. So I tried out my friend’s half shield and I found it to be a good compromise. His was tinted, and so I stuck with the tint. Especially since I’ve permanently borrowed it and am too cheap to buy my own.

  26. Salty (2008 Above Average Cup Contender)
    March 4th, 2008 at 3:00 pm
    i’m a defenseman and i don’t care if i see 3 or 4 guys without masks in front, i’m ripping it if i have a shot. if it gets deflected into their face, that’s their problem.

    ……..

    this is exactly my point,

    I would bet a thousand dollars you wear a full cage.

    I don’t see what one has to do with the other. you either choose to, or choose not to. I’m not going to alter my style of play because a few guys think they are in the NHL.

    I don’t get paid to play. I’m careful with what I do, and don’t go out looking to hurt someone. because I wear a full shield doesn’t mean I take liberty with other’s health, but I got in just as many, if not more fights when I had a half shield as I do with a full shield.

    And I never expected anyone to let up just because I didn’t have a full shield. your premise is just plain wrong.

  27. Doodie Machetto on

    If I fight, I take the helmet off. Nothing to me is more pussy than fighting with a cage/shield of any sort. I’ll take my helmet off, and expect the other guy to do the same. If he doesn’t, I skate away. I don’t feel like breaking my hands on his helmet. Only on flesh and bone.

  28. Doodie Machetto on

    But it should be noted that I have never broken my hands, and I fight maybe twice or three times a season.

  29. Doodie-

    I used to fight more, but now it’s a 2-game for the first offense, and the season for the second.

    and, much like college, half the challenge is getting the guys helmet off.

    I have a technique to do so, but I’m not readily going to give up the moosh when I know no one else will.

    I guess you are more of a man than I-

  30. I would kill a Ranger/Yankee or any other player the same as I am killing DP on this. But I have to say he is an Icelander and F THEM!!! Why are we wasting time discussing him, he is probably sitting at home crying like the little b1tch that he is!!!

  31. Sam when they make shields that flip up for fights, maybe they can force them to wear them. They’ll never go to full shield, fighting would basically be extinct.

  32. If it oinks like a PIG, skates like a PIG, mourns like a PIG then guess what boys and girls- it’s a PIG. I hope we destroy the pigs tonight and then bury them Thurs at the masoleum.

  33. this is exactly my point,

    I would bet a thousand dollars you wear a full cage.

    —–

    nope, i tried the half shield/cage combo and hated it. i’m back to shield-less, although my recent hospital bill is making me re-think that policy.

  34. Teach Junior on

    Is there anything funnier than a long thread of posts from knuckleheads relating their war stories from the rink as if they survived Iwo Jima? Especially when you know that 93% of it is total BS?

  35. As a goalie, I’d NEVER have played in pre mask days, in my eyes you’d have to be insane… A buddy of mine (a forward) has actually taken a MILD wrist shot to the face, not even a particularly hard one, and it broke his orbital bone around his eye, his nose, and swelled him up pretty good, at that EVERYONE on my team put on at least a half shield, and hasn’t taken them off since, as much as many of the boys hate them, Rob bleeding on the ground was enough to scare the whole team into them for the time being

  36. The guys grandmother died, he should be able to take a few games off. I can’t believe anyone is giving him slack for this, its pathetic. And I can’t imagine anyone on his team will think less of him. Clearly if he needs this much time he is really affected by her death, so he would be distracted if he was playing and could hurt the team even more by being out there.

  37. I don’t see what one has to do with the other. you either choose to, or choose not to. I’m not going to alter my style of play because a few guys think they are in the NHL.

    ………

    Look at both your quotes, they come off as “i dont care about anyone else on the ice”

    Just shows little regard for the rest of the people on the ice. I’ve played in a bunch of men’s leagues, and there are 2 types of players. The guys who are out there to have some fun, who usually wear less padding and guys that are out there that take things way too seriously who are usually decked the fuck out.

    I dunno, I look at a bench of guys and I see a guy wearing a fat neck guard, full cage, big ol mouth guard strapped in…and then I see the guy wearing no shoulderpads and one of those gretzky eggshell Jofa helmets…

    I know immediately which one is the jackoff who thinks wednesday 10:20pm ice time is the NHL and the guy who knows his role in the world of hockey, wants to be comfortable and have fun playing and will be semi-courteous of other peoples faces while he would appreciate the same. I’ve taken pucks and sticks to the face and I wouldn’t wanna do that to someone else on the ice, cage or not, opposition or not. The other thing is control. If you play with chumps, you should really be careful.

    Years ago there was rumours of “mandatory visors” coming soon, but it was shot down because a lot of the league thought that it would just *invite* more careless play….anyone remember that? Makes a lot of sense really.

  38. Doodie Machetto on

    “I guess you are more of a man than I”

    Not really. If the other guy doesn’t take off his helmet, I just skate to the box and serve whatever minor penalties they assess me. I won’t fight someone with a helmet.

    And I’m not exactly a big guy, and I don’t challenge big guys. I challenge other small guys so it’s a competitive scrap instead of letting the other guy wipe the ice with me.

  39. pete – I’m not bashing the guy b/c I find any enjoyment in someone’s passing.
    I’m bashing the guy b/c I think he’s a F’n doosh bag. And I hate the team he plays for and the fans that support them.

  40. Doodie Machetto on

    Salty, I’m half with you, and half against you.

    I definitely agree with you n the ones who take it too seriously and arent there for the fun, but rather to try and get the glory they would not otherwise have: those guys are usually decked out in as much gear as their bodies will carry.

    But that’s not to say that if you wear all of that gear, you’re likely to be that guy. I’d say out of 1 out of every 8 or 9 guys I see in that kind of equipment are jerks. The others are just trying to protect themselves.

    But nothing pisses me off than the tough guy in the face shield and medieval armor-esque pads.

  41. those of you who are speaking of fighting, what kind of league are you in? if its competitive enough that people are going to FIGHT, I would think that its competitive enough to wear at least a visor. no?

  42. Salty-

    but your premise is based on the assumption that more padding= more careless player.

    That’s a big assumption.

    My point was not to belittle those who wear less, although I feel not wearing a visor is really not all that smart given the fact that in men’s leagues, you have a smattering of talent that does not lend to too much safety in the first place, and there tends to be less control than you would face in say a college game.

    Yes, there are those who act like assholes on the ice. what they wear as far as face protection does not make that either exist, or not exist. Any J-O who goes out there and just starts spraying shots at the front of a net head high is not doing anyone any favors, as the net is usually a good two/two and a half below head level. A lot good that does.

    but if I take a shot, and I’m going for upper 90 because the goalie is down, or screened covering the lower portion of the net, having some guys with no face masks on is not going to stop me from doing it. I’m not going to blatantly try to hit anyone in the face, but you have just as good a chance that the puck will be deflected in front on a low screamer and take out a guys eye as you do of me taking a shot from the point and hitting you in the mush before you can duck.

    Just because a guy does or doesnt have a full shield on doesn’t dictate him being mroe careless. I go out to win the game,and get some exorcize, and generally enjoy myself. Iv’e done it with full shield, half shield and on one occasion no shield. My main point is not to assume that it dictates my style of play, anymore than you going out there with no shiled on would make me think you are less likely to hit me in the face with your stick or an errant shot. Accidents do happen.

  43. Doodie Machetto on

    That’s the thing about my league: it isn’t actually that competitive. The fighting is more for our own fun.

  44. ok, the only thing I’m going to chime in about here is this….

    If you don’t wear a sheild or lots of equipment you should play a style of game that keeps you away from injury. In other words…don’t stand in front of the goddamn net if you’re not protected.

    It’s not so much a matter of what other people do. You can’t blame them for everything. You have to be responsible for yourself.

  45. That’s it! You guys are all clowns. (I say this half jokingly!)

    Led by Poopie Pants Machetto who still gets in fights on the ice! “…. I fight maybe twice or three times a season.”

    LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

    Poopie, are you a grown man? Are you a professional hockey player? If the answer to the first question is “Yes” and the answer to the 2nd question is “No” then I am:

    ROFL LMAO LOL ROFL LMAO LOL ROFL LMAO

    Don’t get me wrong, you will not find a more competitive guy than me when it comes to anything involving hockey (roller, ice, bubble hockey, whatever) that I am playing. I play solidly and aggressively on the ice. Guys on the other team don’t like me because I finish my checks and I put points on the board (and I talk shite while I am doing it.) The same thing can be said when I am on the soccer pitch.

    But getting in fights? Like I am 12 yrs old in the schoolyard? Or, 20 yrs old and drunk at a fraternity party in college? Come on man! The only time in the past 15 years (since being out of college) I got in a fight was to come to the aid of either one of my two brothers who got jumped on the ice (or rink).

    We all gotta grow up sometime. When I lived in Philly the guys there trying to get in fights acted as if their Thursday Night roller league was their livelihood.

    I love this blog. I think a lot of the guys on this blog are characters (in a good way.) But I am still cracking up by Poopie’s line that takes the cake…. “I fight maybe twice or three times a season.”

    Priceless.

    On the shield or no shield: When I play pond hockey, I don’t wear a shield. This is because the chance of a deflection or a weird bounce off the glass is nil and because pond hockey is not too serious. But on the ice in a proper arena, there are too many random bounces that are not in your control.

    Meanwhile, KILL THE F-ING FISHSTICKS TONIGHT. The wife and I are going. She is putting the kids down with the nanny and will join me after the first 10 mins. I am not missing the opening puck drop, NO WAY. LGR!

  46. Doodie Machetto on

    kotter, if it’s just about shooting the puck, I think it’s just a matter of what league you’re in and how competitive. I know in my league, 90% of the guys would skate around someone who dives in front of you if your about to shoot and it’s his (or her, there’s one girl in our league) face in your path, you’ll move the puck around them instead of ripping it. It’s that 10% who will shoot that don’t really fit the vibe in my league. So I’m with you on that point.

    As to what equipment those people wear, I’d say it’s a mix bag. My problem is with the Ryan Hollweg, Chris Pronger wannabes that have no tangible skill except hitting and a lot of times their hits are dirty. In my league, those people are almost always the people who have more equipment on them than skill at hockey.

    PS, I’m not saying Pronger has no tangible skill other than hitting. I’m just using him as an example of someone who hits REALLY hard, and sometimes dirty. I am, however, saying that about Hollweg.

  47. Doodie Machetto on

    Newman, if you had bothered to read the rest of my posts, you’ll see it’s for our own enjoyment, not out of anger/resentment/competitiveness of the league. It’s just two guys who want to have some fun but trading a few punches.

    Like I said, I’m a small guy, and I fight with other small guys. It’s not a spur of the moment thing. We take off our helmets. There is forethought. It’s for the fun of it. Typically, I’ll buy the guy I fight a beer after the game.

  48. Anybody who plays without a cage is a fool. About 10 years ago, I stupidly took my cage off. Sure enough, a puck to the mouth cost me three teeth. If you don’t have dental insurance, be prepared to pay about $10,000 at today’s prices to fix the damage. I remember that while I was having a root canal on one of my broken teeth following the incident, the doctor brought in three hockey playing kids to show them what happens to fools who play hockey without a shield!

  49. Doodie Machetto on

    VT, that’s a good story man. I’m sorry to hear about your teeth. I was just lucky enough to learn from being the guy that did it to someone else instead of having it done to me.

    Not that it makes me lucky, just luckier than the other guy.

  50. Just because a guy does or doesnt have a full shield on doesn’t dictate him being mroe careless.

    ………..

    Not neccesarily, and I feel like my point got lost in my long explanations. I guess I just expect the guys who wear less equipment to be a little more skilled, thoughtful, and courteous of others the ice, especially in men’s leagues. These are the guys who recognize that this not a “real battle to the death”. I’d rather shoot low through traffic and have my shot blocked than shoot high and hurt some poor bastard.

    My one buddy on my team though wears no mask at all and goes down in front of shots all the time, he’s a sick bastard.

    I’ve seen some visors that come down pretty low and almost cover the mouth as well…I may look into one of those…

    Also some guys have those masks that we call the “eagle eyes”, and they look a lot like masks that the goalies have…much bigger eye holes. A puck wouldn’t get through, but a butt end would.

  51. Who Needs Lohan on

    You guys are pretty funny. I gave up competitive sports when I went to college, in order to chase around a greater achievement….(well I cant say it here, but its used sometimes to describe a cat)! Now the closest I get to a fight is when I fart in bed and pull the sheets over my wife’s head.

  52. Also, in the end I recognize that serious injury like the ones were talking about are 99% the victims fault. The guy who caught me with the puck is a good guy ant there we never any hard feelings or anything, we actually skate pretty well together when we wear the same color at pickup.

    If you get caught in the face and you werent wearing a cage, its obviously your own fault.

  53. koffy – just to paraphrase and put it to bed. You said something along the lines of physical game = struds over backman and that we ‘have guys to play the points (on the pp). right?

    In a physical game you surely want more physical players. But for me to agree with that it would contradict my thoughts that we should not try to play a physical game since we’re not equipped to. And that if another team likes to play a physical game, we should try to stay away from it opposed to try to compete where we can’t.

    On the pointmen…Backman is just as good as anyone else on the point for us at this, well, point. Supposedly that’s his game. Better to figure it out now, and see what we have in him before the last few weeks.

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