What’s in the bag? Thomas and Tuukka talk equipment
Boston’s award-winning goaltender found it in a Vaughn.
“I was basically looking for a pad that didn’t make me play a certain way,” said Thomas. “I have a unique style as everybody knows and I was looking always for the best pad you can get, but one that doesn’t force me to play a certain way, that allows me to play the way that I want to play. Obviously you want a pad that if you do happen to be playing that type of butterfly game, it rotates well for that, but also lets you have options.”
For the athletic Thomas that means a pad that reacts with him, and allows him to wear it a little tighter than some of the looser-fitting options.
“The past couple years I actually had to get used to wearing pads relatively loose and that’s part of why I switched to the Vaughn,” he said “I could wear it a little bit tighter. I don’t want it too tight, where you are actually working against the pad in movement and takes extra energy, but one I could wear a little bit tighter so I can feel the support so when I go down in a butterfly. I know your body gets the signals that the pad is going to be there. When you wear a pad too loose, sometimes your mind knows but your body doesn’t.”
As for custom options, Thomas prefers a solid, one-piece knee stack to layers.
“Nothing major, just I like one-piece knee lifts,” he said. “I don’t like the layered ones because they compress and when you go down and it’s first there it compresses further. When I go down I like that it’s there.”
Playing partner Tuukka Rask has a similarly straightforward approach to gear.
Rask was using more of a box pad in Finland, but liked the Vaughn options.
“They have something for everybody and that’s why I started using their gear,” Rask said. “I found the one that fits me the best and I never had to change.”
In terms of his glove, that meant trying a Velocity 3 before finding the Epic models he still uses today, along with Velocity 4 pads and a V4 7700 blocker.
“I found the palm angle and thumb angle is really good in the Epic and I can catch the puck better,” Rask said.