In today’s matinee vs. Philadelphia, won 3-2 by the Bruins, goalie gear aficionados will have noticed a significant change to Boston goaltender Tim Thomas’ equipment. Wearing the non-branded mystery pads and glove that InGoal first reported on in the pre-season, today Thomas added a change to the blocker he has always remained faithful to and told InGoal just fit his game better than the one that matched the Vaughn gear he wore at the time - completing the set with a new unbranded one today.

Thomas has tried versions of this gear throughout the season, always returning to his old equipment, suggesting he has struggled to get the new brand dialed-in – but today he appeared in a complete set for the first time.

Thanks as always to InGoal’s Scott Slingsby for the timely photography.

 

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19 Responses to Boston Bruins Tim Thomas Tweaks his Gear Again

  1. paul szabo says:

    Tim Thomas; international man of mystery! Cool gear from a guy who once again goes off the beaten track.

    As we can clearly see, there is no hitch in the NHL about wearing unbranded equipment, as it should be. The same, however, cannot be said about some other leagues where goalies have been sanctioned for doing the same.

  2. Michael says:

    Did Kay Whitmore approve these? They look a touch bigger than 11″

  3. L Augello says:

    All gear must be approved by Kay prior to being used in games.

  4. Sergei says:

    They look cool, maybe he’s creating his own brand. I’d buy them

  5. Peaks says:

    All of Tim’s equipment is made by Chris Piku of Worldpro Goaltending USA.

  6. PT says:

    they are from a company called piku…it’s a little custom pad company sorta like how pete smith was…from the one guy i know that wears them and the couple guys on goalie sluts that have them its really good stuff.

  7. Joe from Chicago says:

    Chris Piku makes his pads. At the beginning of the season, both him and Alex Auld wore Piku pads, before Auld switched to Reebok Premiere 4′s about a month in due to poor play (or at least I assume). Thomas continued to wear Piku pads for a little while longer before he switched back to his old combo of V4 pads and Reebok Larceny blocker, while still keeping the Piku glove. Now Thomas is back in Piku’s.

    And for those wondering why they are unbranded, the equipment company must pay a hefty fee for the brand to be displayed on a player’s equipment. With Piku being a smaller company, they decided not to pay the fee.

  8. Mike says:

    I wonder, is it only me who sees the irony in that the more leg pads advance the more they resemble the cheap street hockey goalie pads we used to make fun of? The flat faced boards with the awkward graphics on Thomas’s pads seem anything but cool to me. My son’s Vaughn Velocitys at least looked like a work of craftsmanship with the knee rolls and those little contrasting details between the rolls. He switched to Zero G’s and they are great pads, so I’ve no doubt the engineering and technology is fantastic in the newer equipment. I just think its funny how they look so flat, stiff and boring. Even some of the saves seem flat and robotic with the new boards, but that’s another discussion…

  9. Frank Trupiano says:

    Yes it is only you mike. There is a lot more to goalie gear than fancy stripes. Usually the flash and glam in goalie gear is to get it to jump off the retail shelf into the customers hands. On the other hand you have small companies that actually build to the customers request instead of stuffing what they think is good gear down the comsumers throats. Also there is a great deal of gear pouring in from the orient, it looks neat and flashy, the reality is its junk. The interesting thing about mikes post is that has the words mike, vaughn,zero G and boring all in the same paragraph. Thats ironic.

    • Mike says:

      Frank,thanks for the reply. I guess your last sentence is trying to say I am some insider in the goalie equipment business? Sorry, I am just a goalie Dad in NJ. I agree about the silly doo-dads on a lot of the equipment. Same as other areas of consumer culture: market more pointless junk, especially to kids. As a high school goalie in 1980 I just admired Bernie Parent and wanted Cooper pro level equipment.
      In my post I really wasn’t just talking about fancy stripes and I acknowledged the level of engineering in today’s gear. I just mentioned those brands as that is what I have experience with. I love the embroidered made in Canada labels on my son’s equipment. He switched from a 9950 to a composite stick recently, and it was disappointing to see it coming from China. Frank, please provide more information and perspective on goalie equipment, I am honestly interested.
      Great to have this forum and Ingoal.

      • Joe says:

        Some graphics are downright ugly and it is only the way the pads feel and play that will put them into the customer’s hands and on their legs. In the case of the TotalONE next month, it’ll be the innovative flex technology that they’ve introduced. So it’s far more than graphics and pretty colors that make up a goalie pad. The supposed high quality of the Bauer TotalONE is rumored to be unmatched, however the graphics are an appalling dump heap with the most disgusting assortment of rubbish imaginable. It’s much much more than fancy lines and pretty colors and how they look, it’s how they feel, how they play and how they hold up that matters.

    • Chris says:

      At least Mike knows what “ironic” actually means. Bwahahahaha.

  10. Jocelyn C says:

    Well… How can I say that marketing is everything… Most of companies will put on the market stuff that will catch the eyes more than anything. As far as quality is concern, remember guys, that pro goalies have their stuff CUSTOM made, so… They don’t give a damn about graphics, as long as they can perform! So most of the kids will be attracted to the ”cool stuff” advertised in stores, looks just like the pros, but not the same…

  11. paul szabo says:

    I echo the previous comments about how some of the newer pads in fact look low-tech; kind of like the street hockey pads we had as kids. I am associated with one of these equipment companies doing custom only work (Passau hockey), and I remember the designer Alain Beaudry telling how his flat pad design (he was one of several who tried the flat pad idea) back in the 80′s was rejected by many. So he had to go back to making more complicated, heavy and awkward pads with sewn rolls to make sales. However, one guy who did take an interest in his flat pad ideas was Vladislav Tretiak- just shows that the guy was ahead of his time.

    Many of the things still on goalie pads are in fact vestiges, in my opinion. Unless you are still making open toe kick saves, a side roll is pretty much just decoration. Another example is knee rolls or no knee rolls. The inner structure (in Passau’s case) is identical between the pads that have knee rolls and the ones that don’t. It is the depth of the incisions and the foam density, flex and profile that give the pad its characteristics on the ice…

    • Mike says:

      Thanks Paul for some insights from real experience and knowledge.

      Maybe you or someone could further explain the notion that pros wear only “custom made gear”. Is their gear custom in the sense its made to order using the existing components and elements of a given model, or is it made from scratch using totally different designs and materials and then just labeled or skinned as a model “XYZ” that we see available to the public?

      Articles on this sight seem to indicate NHL players have preferences for the normal variables like knee stacks, strap number and placement, breaks, etc and order their pads accordingly. But not that their pads are completely unique and custom built from scratch. There’s like this mysterious notion that the pros are wearing some secret magical custom equipment. Which is it?

      • Mike,

        The vast majority of pros we speak with have “custom” in the sense of a custom set that any consumer can order. Yes, companies do occasionally make very specific modifications for them but hardly to the point of being “build from scratch.” And many pros we talk to have their stuff with nothing special at all…they like them just the was you and I can buy them.

      • Nolan K says:

        Hi Mike,
        Pro gear is a reference to the spec’s the goalie provides the company. The normal NHL goalie will probably go threw 6-8 sets plus per season. With the pros spec’s the company can replicate the gear each time. Pro spec options would be stuff like stiffness of the pad, breaks in the pad, external breaks on the pad, leg channel and thighboard options. Equipment is made the same for all. However a pro spec option might be to increase the padding in points. This might be done for previous injury or personal prefrence. Hope this helps.
        Nolan

  12. slugman says:

    guys u can customise your gear all u want i have seen goalie with the worst and oldeat stuff around its all about the mind .the old goalies ( parent, driden,sawchuck)see them the kicked the puck out with cardboard on there legs . its all in the mind boys and girls dont blame your gear.

  13. Steave Rioux says:

    After speaking with my goalie coach Eli, he has refered me to Chris and his custom made knee guards are the safest product for protecting your knees guys. I have tried every single knee guard out there and this is just insane. I use the Narrow BF alot and i take atleast, atleast 15 slap shots from close range directly on the knees and i do not feel it. I’m not talking getting it on the thigh board here directly on the knee cup. no pain. it is so well protected its almost not fair.
    Although i had to do mods on my pads i will never get hurt from a shot to the knees again thanks to Chris Piku.
    Unfortunately these are not for sale to the general public as he is very busy with the NHL guys and other Leagues, however if you ever get a chance to buy a set ! Do it !!!

    price emery thomas all wear his guards and pads

    Best of luck
    Steave Rioux

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