Goalie masks are one of the coolest aspects of hockey — they allow the guys clad in big, goofy-looking pads and obscured by an enormous helmet to express a bit of their personality in just about any way they can dream up. Still, some masks are better than others.
The Ed Hardy Division:
30. Evgeni Nabokov’s “Long Island Skull Creature”
Cool skull creature, Evgeni. Is that the Montauk Monster?
29. Miikka Kiprusoff’s “Angry Skull Chin”
It looks like the cover of a Goosebumps book. Do the eyes light up?
The Uninspiring Stylized Team Logo Division:
28. Roberto Luongo’s “Blue Tongues”
You’re on the trade block for a reason, Roberto.
27. Martin Brodeur’s “Devil ‘J’”
We’re missing a real opportunity for a Chris Christie mask.
26. Corey Crawford’s “Conformist Blackhawk”
It’s literally just Chicago’s logo, but it’s still better than a Devil “J.”
25. Carey Price’s “Club de Hockey”
This boring helmet inspires a history lesson: The “H” inside of the large “C” in the Canadiens’ logo stands for hockey. The popular misconception is that it stands for “Habitants,” or “Habs,” the Canadiens’ nickname.
24. Sergei Bobrovsky’s “Wall of Shame”
The Blue Jackets have one of the worst team names in sports (it’s supposed to honor Ohio’s participation in the Civil War, as Union soldiers wore blue jackets), so the goalie apparel is unsurprisingly bland. (It’s a blue brick wall with the Blue Jackets logo plastered over it.) Bobrovsky, however, used to wear an amazing Sideshow Bob helmet in Philadelphia. Hopefully it makes an appearance in Columbus.
23. Kari Lehtonen’s “Kari, Texas Ranger”
22. Craig Anderson’s “The Roman Empire Eventually Fell to Pieces But This Logo Is a Symbol of Strength!”
The last time the Senators were successful, there were still actual Roman senators in power. Give or take a few years.
21. James Reimer’s “Blue Leaf”
That’s a maple leaf. It’s blue. *falls asleep*
20. Ondrej Pavelec’s “Blue Leaf with a Jet Flying Over It”
R.I.P. Atlanta Thrashers.
19. Anders Lindback’s “Two-Faced Lightning Bolt”
Fun fact: Harry Potter was a Tampa Bay fan.
18. Michal Neuvirth’s “Retirement Home”
The front of Neuvirth’s mask bears a standard Capitals logo, but he also features two nice tributes to influential goalies in his life. On the right side is a drawing of former Capitals goalkeeper Olaf Kolzig, and on the left side is a drawing of Czech legend Jiri Holeček.
17. Marc-Andre Fleury’s “Mecha-Penguin”
Perhaps inspired by the real, YouTube-only rock band Mecha Penguin. But almost definitely not.
16. Jonas Hiller’s “Anaheim School of Architecture and Design”
This is the best of the bunch in the “stylized team logos” category, but it looks like a grad student in a graphic design class made it.
The “Goalies Making a Statement” Division:
15. Jaroslav Halak’s “Defaced Blues Logo”
That’s a St. Louis Blues logo being torn apart by some imaginary claws. Go team!
14. Devan Dubnyk’s “Oil in Your Eyes”
Nothing screams Edmonton like oil in your eyes.
13. Jimmy Howard’s “‘67 Mustang”
That’s a ‘67 Mustang on Jimmy’s temple, in honor of the Motor City.
12. Henrik Lundqvist’s “In Case You Forgot, I Hail from Sweden”
That’s Greta Garbo and Ingrid Bergman. On the side of a professional goaltender’s hockey mask. At least he didn’t opt for a “Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” mask.
11. Antti Niemi’s “In Case You Forgot, I Hail from Finland”
10. Jonathan Quick’s “Joust”
During every intermission, opposing goalies should joust. This is why the NHL doesn’t have the NFL’s ratings.
9. Jose Theodore’s “Survivor Immunity Idol”
8. Niklas Backstrom’s “Green Wild”
The Minnesota Wild have an ambiguous wild animal as their logo, and it’s up for debate what animal the silhouette represents. It could be a bear, a misshapen wolf, or any number of wild cats. Niklas Backstrom’s had few different animals on his mask during his Wild tenure, but the very fierce green panther for 2013 is the best yet.
7. Ryan Miller’s “Abstract Buffalo at the Watering Hole”
This is the same mask Miller wore for part of last season; he apparently hasn’t updated it yet. JUST ANOTHER VICTIM OF THE LOCKOUT.
6. Pekka Rinne’s “Crazy Wolf Creature Wearing a Hockey Mask That May Have Formely Been the Face of Another Animal”
This design narrowly beat out a painting of Chris Hansen.
5. Semyon Varlamov’s “Ride of the Yeti”
A yeti rides some sort of snow creature down a Colorado avalanche on one side of Varlamov’s mask. The opposite site has an angry snowman.
4. Ilya Bryzgalov’s “Pensive Tiger”
Ilya Bryzgalov is one of the craziest characters in the NHL — last year, when a reporter asked him about the Penguins’ scoring threats, he replied he was afraid only of bears in the forest. He is not, presumably, afraid of tigers.
3. Tuukka Rask’s “Bear Scaring Ilya Bryzgalov”
The Flyers lost three of four games against the Bruins last year, and that was without this mask. Tuukka Rask is doing what it takes to win.
2. Jason LaBarbera’s “Ode to CM Punk”
Jason LaBarbera is a HUGE WWE fan. LaBarbera’s previously donned a mask paying tribute to The Undertaker, Bret Hart, Vince McMahon, and Shawn Michaels. He’s currently got a photo of CM Punk plastered on his mask, and was probably crushed when Punk lost the title to The Rock at Royal Rumble.
1. Cam Ward’s “Pirate Summoning a Hurricane”
This wasn’t even close. Congratulations, Cam Ward, 2013 NHL goalie mask champion.
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