Search This Blog

Group Break entries are now closed, the boxes have been ordered and secondary teams have been randomized. Follow THIS LINK for final team assignments.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

11-12 Between the Pipes Box Break

Hearing so much about Between the Pipes from other hockey collectors, I decided it was time to pick myself up a box. Actually, I got this box a month ago and scanned everything in, but due to a group break I was hosting, and a backlog of other stuff I was posting, I simply just didn't get around to it. Anyway, it's all new to you, so here we go!

The base set consists of several different "subsets" within the 200 regular cards. Future Stars, of course, spotlights the goaltenders of the CHL and AHL who are in line for the NHL. I'm not 100% sure, but I think they have one goaltender from each of the teams in those two leagues. Then they have the Stars of the Game and Decades subsets, which spotlight goaltenders of the present day and of the past. They also go (somewhat) regional with Stars and Stripes (American goaltenders), La Belle Province (goaltenders from Quebec) and International Pioneers (European goaltenders of the past). One of my favorites, though, is Expansion Tandems which shows you the starting goalie and the backup of various teams from when they first came into existence.

Lastly, there is a one-card subset called One-Game Wonders which feature Paul Deutsch, who was a 51-year-old embroidery shop owner before signing a one-day contract with the Minnesota Wild. The Wild's starting goaltender, Niklas Backstrom was out of the 11/24/2011 game for "personal reasons," leaving Josh Harding in net. The only problem was, Matt Hackett, who was called up from Houston, wasn't scheduled to land in Minneapolis until 6:30 for a 7:00 game. Just in case he didn't make it, Deutsch was signed and ready to go (well, sit on the bench, which Harding played). Hackett made it just in time, so Deutsch didn't have to suit up, but it's still a cool story, and it's cool to see In the Game recognize him on cardboard.

With this being a goaltender-only set, you HAVE to spotlight the decorative goalie masks, and ITG does so with the Masked Men insert set. The cards are die-cut to the number ten to signify the tenth anniversary of the Between the Pipes set and have a really cool red foil board.

Speaking of the anniversary, Between the Pipes has a separate 10th Anniversary insert set that looks kind of boring. At least I pulled a Patrick Roy, which is never a bad thing.

Each box contains four hits, which usually consist of two autos and two relics. I pulled four prospect hits, which I wasn't too thrilled about, BUT the two relics I pulled were pretty awesome. Both were patch cards limited to just 19 copies. The Mac Engel is a three-colored patch and really well-aligned in the window to give good treatment to all three colors. The Maxime Lagace is a one-colored patch, which is not as good as the Engel, but a good pull anyways. Engel is currently playing for the Spokane Chiefs of the CHL and has no NHL ties quite yet, and while Lagace spent the 2011 training camp with the Pittsburgh Penguins, he went undrafted this year. The autos were of Eddie Lack and Mathieu Corbeil. Lack signed on with the Vancouver Canucks organization in 2010 after going undrafted in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft and Corbeil was selected in the fourth round by the Columbus Blue Jackets in the 2010 draft.

Despite the presence of prospects and other unproven talent, Between the Pipes is a FUN product to open. There's a wide rance of subsets and inserts, with some great looking hits. Hockey fans will NOT be disappointed.


  1. Nice patch indeed. Neat thing about ITG, is you tend to either love your box from a few years back more or less as these kids develop!