As scoring declines in the NHL, the possibility of shrinking goalie pads has been brought up consistently.
“It’s kind of a running joke that everyone thinks goalies are too good because their gear is too big,” Vancouver Canucks goaltender Cory Schneider told the Vancouver Province. He was on the competition committee that proposed significant goalie pad downsizing.
One of the common arguments against the change is that it might adversely affect the safety of NHL goaltenders. Still, Schneider thinks this is something netminders can live with.
“Trimming down a few areas, I think most guys would be OK with that,” Schneider said. “It’s when you start going in areas where goalies can get hurt, that’s where guys will have a problem.”
The other question is if this will successfully increase scoring.
Schneider thinks it has the potential to throw goaltenders off because the change might betray their muscle memory, but at the same time he doesn’t see bigger goaltending pads as universally better.
“I find sometimes that the bigger pads get in the way,” Schneider said. “I can’t get down there quickly and they’re sort of hitting and clipping each other. Some guys prefer shorter pads (Jonathan Quick) and you can look at it both ways.”
He has friends in that school of thinking.
“The last time when we made those changes it ended up making goalies quicker,” Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Ben Scrivens said, according to the Toronto Star. “It made dropping to your knees even more economical.
“It made the gear even more streamlined. It fit to the bodies even better. You became more athletic and more flexible.”