How to Buy Goalie Neck & Throat Protectors
Here is some advice from HockeyGiant.com on how to buy Goalie Neck & Throat Protectors
The function of a goalie neck protector or throat protector is no mystery; they are made to protect the neck and throat of the goaltender. “Danglers” and throat collars/bibs protect the same general area, but they are easily distinguishable by design and they protect the neck/throat of the goaltender in different ways.
Protect Your Neck
As a goaltender, your neck is one of the most vulnerable parts of your body. Even with proper protection, in relation to the protective coverage on the rest of your body the neck/throat is likely to be the most exposed body part. Neck protection has come a long way in recent years, especially with the implementation of high quality, cut-resistant materials like Kevlar. You can never be too careful; if you witnessed the life-threatening injuries sustained by NHL forward Richard Zednik and former NHL goaltender Clint Malarchuk, you know just how quickly a seemingly harmless game can turn into a race to save someone's life. On separate occasions, both Malarchuk and Zednik had their throats cut by another player's skate and lost a substantial amount of blood on the ice before being rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery.
It's very important to understand that in order to properly protect your neck, you ought to wear a throat collar/bib and a dangler. We've gone over the different types of protection offered by each, making it very clear that when either one is worn without the other you are putting yourself in danger. Pucks, sticks and skates are equally capable of causing serious injury to your neck and throat, so make sure to wear equipment that will properly protect you from the various dangers posed by each. The threat of serious injury can't be completely eliminated, but it can be substantially diminished.
It's hard to go wrong with neck protection, but I suppose it's possible. The key is to make sure your neck, throat and collarbones are well protected without being constricted or restricted from moving comfortably and freely. Throat collars and bibs typically come in Junior (13 & under) and Senior sizes (14 & up) and can be adjusted easily with the loosening and tightening of a Velcro strap.
Danglers aren't really sold in “sizes”, but rather they are offered in different shapes/styles/cuts, as noted above. Affixing a dangler to your goalie mask can be done a few different ways. You can use the ear holes on the sides or the bottom bars of the cage to tie on the strings. Some people believe it's best to let it hang loosely on all sides so that it doesn't limit your head/neck movement. Others prefer to pull the strings tighter and keep the dangler close to the bottom edges of the mask, which prevents it from clanging around and holds it closer to the goalie's chest when he's looking down at his feet trying to find a loose puck. Either way you go, it's a matter of personal preference. All things considered, protection should be your primary concern.
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