I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – no piece of hockey equipment feels more personal to a player than their stick. Sure, everyone will have their likes and dislikes on everything they use, but I’ll bet each and every one of us has our strongest opinions on the stick we use. Weight, curve, flex, kick point – the variables are nearly endless, and when we find something that works, we tend to stick to it. I’m no different, so when the great folks at The Hockey Arsenal reached out to me earlier this year to give their Envy hockey stick a try, I was skeptical that I would enjoy it.
You can go back and read my thoughts on the stick, but in short, I fell in love with it. The one minor complaint that I had with the stick, was that I found the shaft to be a little bit too slick.
If there was one thing I would like to see changed with the Envy, it’s the finish on the shaft. That’s not to say there’s anything wrong with it — on the contrary; the shaft feels comfortable and lies well in my hands. However, I’ve grown used to shafts with a bit of a grip or tacky finish, and I would gladly purchase a second Envy stick with that as an option. As with much in the world of sticks though, this is just my personal preference, as I know several of my friends prefer this non-grip finish.
Well, the folks at The Hockey Arsenal must have been listening, because about 2 weeks ago, an early Christmas surprise showed up on my doorstep – their new Covet hockey stick. You can purchase here from Amazon. If you purchase by clicking the link it will kick back a small commission to the site. It won’t cost you any extra and is sure appreciated by us beer leaguers.
Following from the success of their Envy stick, not much has changed. The Covet features the same 60″ long shaft with an 85 flex, and an A92 curve pattern on the blade – still similar to the very popular P92 Backstrom curve from Bauer.
As I said when I looked at the Envy, I know the look of a stick shouldn’t really matter, but I do like a stick that looks sharp. The Covet has swapped the black and green palette of the Envy for a sleek black and blue finish, and the stick looks gorgeous.
Of course, all this means nothing if the stick doesn’t feel good and perform on the ice. As with the Envy, I’m happy to say the Covet has left a giant smile on my beer league face.
I’m a lifelong beer league player of limited skill, but I do know the difference between a cheap, mass produced twig, and a premium feeling stick that enhances your skills on the ice. The Covet is a stick that lends itself well to my personal style of play. I needed to take a few inches off the top of the stick, likely increasing the flex 5-10 points. Being a shorter, lean player, this makes the Covet a stiffer stick than I would have chosen in my younger years, but after putting the stick through its paces for a handful of games over the last two weeks, I’ve got no complaints in regards to the flex.
The kick point on the Covet feels about the same, if not identical, to the Envy – mid-low. This is perfect for the way I play, typically skating down the wings and using my speed to snap or wrist the puck on net. The new grip finish on the shaft really helps the Covet feel like a natural extension of your hands when stick handling and receiving crisp passes (if you’re lucky enough to have teammates who pass that is…). I don’t find myself often winding up for a big slapshot, but the few I did take in warmups felt solid and powerful. I never got the feeling that the Covet stick was impacting my shot in a negative way at all.
I did find that my shots were going higher than expected, particularly on wrist shots. The only thing I can attribute this to is my re-adjusting to a stick with a grip shaft again. I’ve become used to the slick finish on the Envy for the past 6 months or so, and I’m sure after a few more games, I’ll have normalized my shooting to utilize the grip finish to my advantage.
Overall, the Covet is a fantastic, premium feeling hockey stick at a very fair price point. As with the Envy, you can’t go wrong with either stick – the choice between the two really comes down to the grip finish on the shaft. Thankfully at a fair price, it’s absolutely possible to pick up one of each for the price of a similar stick from one of the large hockey manufacturers.
Look, I’ll say it again – the stick is without a doubt the single most personal piece of equipment a player takes onto the ice. I realize my opinions and likes will differ from someone else, but I truly believe The Hockey Arsenal have created a near perfect stick for the majority of us beer league players. I personally prefer the Covet with the grip finish shaft, but the Envy is still fantastic as well. Do yourself a favor and give one a try if you’re able to – I suspect you won’t regret it. They’re both available on Amazon.com today, and coming soon to Amazon.ca.