Some are meant to scare. Others are made to show their owner’s deepest thoughts. No matter what the owner is thinking, we will never see his whole face during a game.
He is the goalie and his prop is his mask.
The mask is what the goalie wants the world to see. Some masks are made to dedicate a certain time or place while others play homage to family. Some are even painted as a brick wall. One of the first goalies to wear a mask was Tony Esposito. His was a plain white one which later he added a wire mesh to protect his eyes.
Some goalies design their masks to look like animals, such as New York Ranger’s Gilles Gratton. His mask can really jump out at you! The detail is fantastic and I wonder if it has ever upseted a member on a opposite team? One of my favorites is the mask Dan Bouchard played in for 17 years as a goalie for the Atlantic Flames. I think it is a great colour and just a great looking mask! Some design their mask so that it has nothing to do with the game, location or name of the team. Take Gary Simmons for a minute, he was the goalie for the California Golden Seals. (1967-1976) You might think he would paint something California-ish but no he did not. His mask was covered by a cobra snake. Maybe it was an inside or private joke? It just didn’t fit the image nor the team. Goalie Jaroslav Halak dedicated his mask to the September 7th, 2011 plane crash that killed an KHL team. All 45 team members including Pavol Demitra died. The mask is dedicated to the team and Pavol Demitra. Some dedications include: American Arm Forces, other past players, buildings in their cities, their kids and the list just goes on and on and on.
Jonas Hiller from the Anaheim Ducks has a odd mask compare to other goalies. His mask is just plain black with gold trim. Does a mask suppose to scare or enlight the opposite team? Behind the graphics, is a goalie trying to tell us something, about us, about them?
Does the mask make the goalie or the goalie the mask? Or does it really matter in the long run?