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Killorn’s new groove, I mean, stick

Alex Killorn has changed sticks this year and his goal scoring is up. Coincidence?

NHL: Tampa Bay Lightning at Ottawa Senators Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

For at least the past few seasons, Alex Killorn has sported a silver and black Easton stick. Last January, the makers of Bauer hockey equipment purchased Easton. Since the purchase, there has also been some turmoil within Bauer as their CEO resigned, their stock price plummeted, and they are now the subject of at least one class-action lawsuit.

In yesterday’s 30 Thoughts article by Elliott Friedman of SportsNet, thought number 18 had a mention of Killorn and a quote about his stick.

18. With Bauer buying Easton, a few NHL players were unsure if their particular stick pattern would still be manufactured for them. Tampa Bay’s Alex Killorn tried Pacioretty’s and adopted it. “Different curve,” Killorn said. “But much more whippy. I can really fire it.”

During the pre-season it was clear that Killorn was using a different stick, but not clear why. Players will sometimes try out a new stick in the offseason, maybe borrowing a stick from a player they are training with, and if they like it, it’s a good time to get used to the stick before playing with it in real NHL games.

It seems Killorn has done that, as he has switched to a Warrior Covert QR1 with the same curve as Max Pacioretty of the Montreal Canadiens. Pacioretty has found plenty of scoring with the stick as he has scored 30, 37, and 39 goals over the previous three seasons. Not to say it will greatly raise Killorn’s skill level just by switching sticks, but it’s obviously a successful design and curve.

On an aesthetic level, I really like the look of the wrap on that stick with its black background and aqua and orange print. But no matter how it looks, it seems to have worked so far for Killorn — he’s already scored five goals in six games with his new stick. Killorn has never exceeded 17 goals in an NHL season and he’s likely to cool off at some point. But this hot start and the New Groove he’s found with the stick may be just what he needed to get over the 20-goal hump.