BOSTON — Marc Savard knows plenty about taping hockey sticks. The former NHLer shows viewers the different ways players tape their sticks on his YouTube channel. There is one player in the league whose tape job drives Savard crazy.
“The blade is scary,” Savard said about David Pastrnak‘s unique tape job during a Feb. 2018 episode. “I don’t know how he plays with this and produces the way he does and is as successful as he is with this tape job.”
It’s a very simple look for Pastrnak: three stripes up top of the shaft of his 77-flex, BAUER Nexus 2N model and only three stripes of black tape on the blade. A completely different pattern than what most players use.
“When I was a kid you had to buy your own tape and it wasn’t cheap,” said Pastrnak in a promotional video for Bauer Hockey. “We’d always use less tape so you could have it for a long time. For some reason it brings me luck — the three stripes on the top and three stripes on the bottom.”
Pastrnak said he’s not good with scissors, hence why he keeps tape away from the toe of the blade. The lack of coverage on his blade clearly doesn’t affect his on-ice production having recorded 132 goals and 284 points in 320 career NHL games.
In Pastrnak’s eyes, having so little tape on the blade makes him feel more comfortable handling and shooting the puck. Any more tape and he feels less control.
Pastrnak’s teammates find the way he tapes his sticks very unusual, and you won’t find them copying the 23-year-old forward’s style.
“Absolutely not. I cannot do that,” said defenseman Steve Kampfer. “I wouldn’t even attempt to. I’ll leave that for skill guys.”
“It’s pretty wild stuff there,” said forward Danton Heinen. “I haven’t see anybody do it like that. He’s obviously unbelievable with it, so it works for him. That’s awesome. It’s not something I’ll be doing.”
Game 5 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final airs on NBC at 8 p.m. ET on Thursday (stream here).
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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.