Setting Record Straight on Gustavsson’s Warrior G2 Pad
InGoal Magazine didn’t make much of Detroit Red Wings goalie Jonas Gustavsson’s strange pad position on a key goal in the decisive game against the Boston Bruins in the first round of the Eastern Conference playoffs:
Frankly, we missed it live, and after seeing replays the next day it was probably too easy to dismiss any mention of “over-rotation” on Twitter and other social media outlets because it was pretty clear the pad never rotated at all. It simply looked like Gustavsson toe-picked, and having talked to the Swedish stopper in the past about his preferred set up and seeing first hand that he doesn’t leave enough slack in his traditional toe tie set up for the cowling to get to the ice without pulling down the toe of the pad, the results were explicable, if not pretty.
Of course, not everyone has access to that information and background (though you can clearly see the toe tie issue with how Gustavsson wears his pads on page 3 of our Ritual G2 review) and after more uninformed chatter online about “over rotation,” Warrior reached out to InGoal contributor Justin Goldman at the Goalie Guild to explain the incident against the Bruins, and followed up with InGoal.
In the interest of passing that along, we have joined the Goalie Guild in publishing the letter from Warrior designer Neal Watts below, as well as a detailed frame-by-frame photographic look at how Gustavsson’s pad ended up face down on the ice as the goal went in.
Full disclosure: Warrior is a regular advertiser here. But as noted in our first-look review of the Ritual G2 line earlier this season and with the original Ritual pad, InGoal testers have long praised how well Warrior’s bindingness design and rounded inside of the toe of both models transitions so well to the ice because we believe that. As for what happened to Gustavsson, we’ll let Watts and his photos explain it better:
As you know there has been some chatter online that Gustavsson’s G2 Leg pad didn’t perform properly on that play and let him (and his team) down. As soon as we saw that goal, we in the Warrior Goalie R&D team were anxious to figure out what happened with Gustavsson’s pad on that play. We were all over the video of that goal to try to understand how his leg pad could have ended up in that face down position.
I’ve attached a still frame sequence of how that play unfolded.
I feel it shows pretty definitively that Gustavsson’s pad didn’t malfunction in anyway. If you look at the positioning of his leg and skate, it shows pretty clearly that he kicked his leg backwards and planted his knee on the ice with the pad face down.
His toe was pointed down when his knee contacted the ice. With his all his weight planted on his knee the pad could only remain pinned face down, even when he rotated his skate and leg into the more conventional butterfly position.
I don’t think it’s surprising that Gustavsson made this movement with his leg. It was a desperation move to cover Lucic. His defence had left him high and dry. You can see as the play starts that Gustavsson adjusts the position of his left leg from a wide stance to a narrow stance (editor’s note: frame 2 in sequence from the front of the net below) just before Krug passes the puck. I’d guess this is to cover his five hole for a shot from Krug. But once Krug passes, Gustavsson is kind of screwed.
He is not in a good position to quickly transition into a butterfly to cover the top of the crease. His shoulders and hips are still squared to Krug. All he really has time to do is stick his leg back, which he did. He doesn’t rotate his shoulders and hips until well after his pad has planted face down on the ice.
We don’t want to make a big issue of this, but at the same time this is a product that we have worked very hard on and believe in, and we don’t want to see it maligned because of a misunderstanding of what actually happened on that play.
For more information about the new Warrior Ritual G2 line, including the design features designed to improve pad rotation and balance in the butterfly, and removable palms in both the glove and blocker, be sure to read our the complete InGoal review from earlier this season: