Dominic Moore, Cam Ward

Cam Ward, other Hurricanes players wear strobe glasses in hopes of improving vision


If you ask me, the Carolina Hurricanes either took a step back during this off-season or their summer can be seen as a lateral move. They’re a strange team in some ways because they seem to catch fire one season and then fall apart the next; their irregular spurts of dangerousness might be explained by their top-heavy roster and aggressive style.

In the grand scheme of things, the Canes must hope to rebound from a disappointing end to the 2010-11 season by improving from within.

Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they’re willing to try some strange methods to improve their chances, then. Chip Alexander reveals that certain Hurricanes (including franchise goalie Cam Ward) have agreed to wear strobe glasses to try to improve their “peripheral vision, reaction time, perception and focus.”

The Hurricanes are the only team in the NHL who are experimenting with the equipment, which Alexander describes as “oversized sunglasses.” Carolina’s head trainer Pete Friesen organized the three-week experiment with Nike.

The Nike Vapor Strobe glasses, which retail for about $300, have strobe circuitry in each lens. The strobe flashes can be sped up or slowed down, changing between clear and opaque states with an LCD lens, as the players attempt to catch balls or stick-handle pucks.

“It’s just something new and creative to try and see if it can benefit your vision,” Ward said last week. “Especially at my position, it can really be beneficial. If I can find a way of making that puck look a lot bigger, that’s going to be a big help.”


The players wear the goggles 10 minutes a day and for training purposes only – they are not used in games. Some have been catching tossed balls, and Friesen also has used a JUGS gun to launch smaller balls at Ward at varying speeds.

After reading about that experiment, it might indeed make the biggest impact on Ward. As Friesen stated later on in the article, goalies often (understandably) struggle with having their vision obstructed, but few – if any – do much to train for those situations. (Beyond the obvious practice time devoted to scrimmages and so on.) The glasses might be an interesting way to give Ward that extra training in making split-second saves.

That being said, hearing the term “strobe glasses” instantly made me think of people having seizures because of strobe lights, so hopefully that’s not a major risk with the goggles.

It’s unlikely that this experiment will yield enormous results for Ward and the rest of the participating Hurricanes, but in a sport with often tiny margins of error, you can’t blame them for trying to find every little edge … even if they end up looking goofy in the process.

(H/T to Rotoworld.)

GM says Blue Jackets are ‘off the rails’ right now

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On Monday, PHT discussed the Columbus Blue Jackets’ troubling start, even if it felt like it may be too early to raise concerns.

Apparently Blue Jackets management is a little shaken by the second 0-3-0 start in franchise history, however.

Columbus GM Jarmo Kekalainen shared his shock and dismay with the Columbus Dispatch’s Aaron Portzline on Tuesday.

“I’m surprised how, in just five days, we’ve gone from a very confident group to something that’s the opposite of that,” Kekalainen told The Dispatch on Tuesday. “Our confidence, our game … it’s off the rails right now.

Maybe losing to the Buffalo Sabres stings a little bit extra?

Kekalainen said “there’s no excuse for how we played in Buffalo,” pointing out that every team in the NHL is a “good team.”

Indeed, just about every squad boasts some dangerous weapons if they catch an opponent sleeping.

Portzline goes deeper on Columbus’ recent history of stumbling out of the gate, but consider the foreboding stretch coming up.

Next four games: Three out of four at home
Eight games following that: Seven out of eight on the road.

As you can see, winter is coming for Columbus, so they best get things together. All things considered, this is the right time for a wake-up call.

For bonus chuckles, here’s a photo of Kekalainen on a railing.

via AP

Personal reasons: No Ovechkin for Caps tonight

Alex Ovechkin
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Alex Ovechkin won’t play for the Washington Capitals on Tuesday because of personal reasons, the team confirmed.

He entered the building considerably later than usual, but his presence at least opened the door for the possibility of No. 8 suiting up against the San Jose Sharks.

Instead, the Capitals will face the hot-starting Sharks without Ovechkin (personal reasons) and Nicklas Backstrom (injury).

That’s a tall order, yet it’s also an opportunity for Barry Trotz to prove his system is a difference-maker … and that the Capitals have the young players to take up the mantle when the big stars are out

This is how Washington’s forward lines may look tonight:

No, the Capitals have not shared details regarding what his “personal reasons” might be, by the way.