Well, one smart young lad in the Boston area has decided to do that by designing goalie pads that look like the back of the net.
Using computer skills he learned in a graphic design class at the private school in South Hamilton, Trevor Leahy sketched out new leg pads that blend into the goal netting behind him. He wanted pads, a trapper, and a blocker that are white with a raised double-stitched design, just like the goal. He applied for a design patent and had them custom-made by a Canada-based pad maker.
The idea is basically exactly what you think it is: It's camouflage. The idea is that a player who has to make a quick shot on goal will take a quick glance at Leahy, see what appears to be a primarily open net, and shoot right into him.
So, has it worked so far, or does this kid just look like a total doofus on the ice?
At the Pingree Holiday Tournament in late December, Leahy backstopped Pingree to two shutouts in one day - a 1-0 win over Northwood School from Lake Placid in the morning and a 3-0 win over Kents Hill School of Maine that night. For the season he has a goals-against average under 2.00, and he has had some memorable nights with more than 40 saves against some of the prep school elite teams.
No one has complained about the pads yet, but now that the Boston Globe has written about it, I'm sure someone, somewhere will get bent out of shape about this.
I remember back about 10 years ago or so when a football square toe kicking shoe was invented that had a mini reinforced block at the end of it, so that rather than kicking a football soccer style, you could kick in the classic straight on football style, but also crush the damn ball. There was some high school kid in Florida who was sending kickoffs 20 yards out of the endzone during games. That didn't last too long, as the shoe was made illegal pretty quickly.
I know that over time equipment in sports can change, and change dramatically. But it usually does so across the board. At least in Leahy's case, he didn't actually add anything to his equipment, so it's harder to say he's done anything illegal. However, if Leahy's design ever catches on, you can bet it'll raise red flags. And let's also be honest. Do we really want to see fewer goals in hockey?
Personally, I'd love to see some NHL players test this thing out to see how successful it really it is. Because if Alexander Ovechkin says this design is hard to shoot past, I'd say Leahy invented something pretty impressive, but something that'll probably get cut down pretty quickly.
Teen goalie designs pads to trick shots [Boston Globe]