Every Thing on Every NHL Goalie's Mask

An inventory, for your public and private use.
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Image via Somma, used under a Creative Commons 2.0 license.

Late Tuesday morning, Sports Illustrated's photo blogger/world-cultural treasure Andy Gray tweeted a link to a slideshow of all, more or less, the goalie masks being worn in the 2011–12 NHL season. It seemed like a good idea to create a formal record of all of the cultural data enclosed therein. Stick tap to @si_vault for being priceless.

Herewith, "Every Thing on Every NHL Goalie's Mask," 2011–12 edition.

  • Old-fashioned black and white headshots of the entire Anaheim Ducks roster with fictive mustaches, accompanied with full body portrait of wearer on backplate, also with speculative upper-lip hair.

  • Three-dimensional rendering of a creepy anthropomorphic duck warrior.

  • Zombie/skeleton pirate versions of creepy anthropomorphic duck warrior.

  • Creepy anthropomorphic duck warrior driving in a Humvee while manning a .50 cal machine gun, creepy anthropomorphic duck warrior firing a bazooka, fighter planes (a recurring theme), army helicopters (not as popular as fighter planes), a rubber duck.

  • Late 19th/early 20th century British military leader Lord Kitchener demanding that you grow a mustache.

  • A generic “In God We Trust” seal vaguely reminiscent of various US devices/seals, bear claws, bears, and a shield bearing the legend DON’T TREAD ON ME and a coiled snake, said shield being clutched by bear claws.

  • Head-on view of demon bear with red eyes.

  • Vaguely tribal thing that might also be one of the two comedy/tragedy masks but it’s hard to tell, and the phrase “Miller Time” above a bulldog dressed like either a leprechaun or the Riddler from Batman.

  • The wordmark “Buffalo” in a very nice 19th-century-insurance-map-looking treatment running vertically down the side of wearer’s face, and some bricks.

  • Flaming, screaming skulls.

  • F’ed-up, legitimately scary zombie pirate (not a duck) reaching his hand, which has claws for some reason, for your face, plus some GOTHIC CAPS.

  • Subdued black-and-white rendering of team logo.

  • Large Blackhawks logo with two varying sets of Native Americana painted in the style of either an Iron Maiden album cover or the side of a van.

  • Vaguely dignified portraits of generic Native American chiefs in full regalia, with bonus neck tattoo. Plus the word RAZOR in a sort of combo metal-Gothic typeface with either an eagle or a phoenix behind it, all on the back of wearer’s head.

  • A demonized snowman with a bazooka facing off against a yeti, also with bazooka, with a second yeti off below the snowman but without a bazooka.

  • Some mountains, a big red chevron, and a lovely diagonal rendering of C-O-L-O-R-A-D-O.

  • A Civil War-era cannon, a Yankee and a rebel fighting hand to had, a ghostly blue inset panel on left cheek featuring Abe Lincoln and another cannon and a ghostly cavalryman. NB: this helmet may contain Bloods gang symbology.

  • Actually frightening skeleton with eyeballs and what appear to be zombie Civil War soldiers stalking through a swirly mist.

  • Wizard bearing strong resemblance to Gandalf as drawn in the Rankin/Bass 1977 animated version of The Hobbit (voiced by John Huston for reasons not fully understood).

  • Longhorn cattle skull, and then a non-skeletonized longhorn bull (possibly a zombie bull, need more data to confirm).

  • Abstract renditions of Texas Ranger law enforcemental officer/badge of said ranger.

  • Skyline of Detroit with moving tribute to victims of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl crash, done perhaps unintentionally in the style of Russian mafia tombstones, with the confusing, possibly misguided addition of the legend “Let’s Roll USA” which has something to do with a tragedy involving aeronautics but not the Lokomotiv crash.

  • The Ambassador Bridge, plus a second skyline of Detroit, plus a photorealistic rendition of Chris Osgood’s plain-red Cooper SK2000 goalie mask. (NB if Joey Macdonald’s mask was ever the subject of such a tribute, there would three levels of helmet, and if that second tribute mask was ever…)

  • A replica of former Oilers goalie Bill Ranford’s mask from their 1990 championship season, with a deranged giraffe on the back panel.

  • A vaguely tribal pattern around the Oilers logo, and then the same deranged giraffe wearing a Jason Voorhees-style goalie mask.

  • A bald eagle, a flaming oil derrick, and the nickname “Bulin Wall,” which is the greatest accomplishment of sports onomasty of the past century, then a two-headed Russian imperial non-bald eagle on the back with Khabibulin’s other nickname, Habby, in what appears to be mock-Cyrillic type.

  • Tiki carvings animated as cartoon dudes.

  • A busty cartoon lady panther in a string bikini and then something that I choose to interpret as like Chester the Cheetah but as a Florida panther (b.k.a. a severely inbred subspecies of mountain lion) and possibly another panther with boobs behind Chester.

  • A lucha libre-style panther mask that might be the best of all of these, in terms of like, being an awesome thing to wear on your face while people fling hard rubber at you competitively.

  • A metal, sorta futuro-medieval looking crown to reflect that wearer plays for the Kings.

  • A retro style air-freshener-looking crown to also reflect that wearer plays for the Kings.

  • The HOLLYWOOD sign, and a lion, and a reel of film, and more crowns.

  • A wolf, and some tribal jumbly crap.

  • RIP rose for wearer’s late grandmother, wearer’s nickname in a kind of serial-killer-y script, and then three more RIPs for late friends on back panel.

  • Native American elder to reflect wearer’s heritage, pink breast-cancer awareness ribbon, whole helmet in a pink-and-blue theme for additional awareness, multiple dreamcatchers, use of a vaguely either circus or Mardi Gras-themed font.

  • Rodeo cowboys, plus that circus/Mardi Gras stuff again.

  • Portraits of international footballer Lionel Messi and Ned Flanders, plus team logo (on same mask).

  • A character from the video game Assassin’s Creed, with Ned Flanders on the backplate.

  • Some kind of demonic prehistoric cat creature wearing a goalie mask of its own, made using period-appropriate components (bones of the innocent).

  • The Nashville skyline (unclear if this is a Dylan reference), a bar of written music, a fiddle.

  • Wearer’s team logo, but sideways.

  • The horns-and-forked-tail “J” from the Devils logo, worn by someone who does not have a J in their name.

  • The entire Devils logo, plus what I think is a milk cow in a Mephistopheles-style devil getup.

  • Matching skeleton monsters reaching out for your face.

  • A succession of maritime visual cliches.

  • Team’s logo, but sparkly.

  • Stars, stripes.

  • A large cat screaming at you, in the mouth of which the goalie’s face sits.

  • Multi-panel tribute to Clint Benedict, star goalie for the Ottawa Senators from 1912–1924 and the first goalie to wear a mask. History! Plus another personalized cancer awareness ribbon for deceased sister of wearer.

  • Like the giant cat screaming at you, but this time it's a Roman centurion, plus some sparkly maple leaves.

  • Mike Schmidt, Reggie White, Julius Irving, the Philly Phanatic, a replica Harry Kallas HK in memoriam sticker, Bobby Clarke, and then Joe Frazier on the back (Ed: Needs more Iverson).

  • A kind of cheesy tiger on left temple.

  • A fighter plane bursting through a brick wall. More brick wall with graffiti on it of wearer’s nickname, then the seal of the Russian province of Novokuznetsk and the American and Russian national flags.

  • Something that sort of looks like a wedding invitation that has snowflakes and the Liberty Bell on it.

  • Wile E. Coyote staring into your soul.

  • Digital camouflage in team colors plus a memorial to deceased NFL star/Army Ranger Pat Tillman, who did not play hockey.

  • Some kind of crazy zombie-goalie monster, I can’t even tell.

  • Led Zeppelin tribute in Pittsburgh colors.

  • Weird wavy tribal crap.

  • Screaming yeti or possibly albino gorilla on right temple.

  • Same principle as demon bear/screaming cat/Wile E. Coyote/Roman centurion but a shark.

  • Angry demonic bull, Gateway Arch, plus legitimately handsome tribute to wearer’s late Slovak compatriot Pavol Demitra on backplate.

  • What I think is the minor Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles character Casey Jones, who wears a goalie mask, but might also be Vega from Street Fighter II video game franchise, or a combination of the two.

  • Demonic toilet paper, or something.

  • Thor, yelling, then another smaller Thor, not yelling.

  • Just a big old lightning bolt on wearer’s forehead.

  • A Toronto Maple Leafs heritage mural kind of deal, also depicting Canadian national crazy person Don Cherry, and some kids playing on a frozen pond, and then Jesus saving the Apostle Peter on the backplate, with all sorts of palimpsest-looking notes-to-self.

  • Screaming angry pig monster with bloodshot eyes.

  • Stereotypical Canadian lumberjack dude who bears a strong resemblance to Laurence Olivier’s character in 49th Parallel.

  • Abstract, stretchy repurposing of the Canucks’ retro “stick in a box” logo.

  • A Czech pastoral scene, a lion wearing a crown, as many as two eagles, and some checkers, and the U.S. Capitol dome.

  • Action dogfight scene of a zombified fighter-plane pilot about to gun you down, plus more fighter planes.

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That is not just any zombified fighter pilot, my man, that is Eddie, of NWOBHM titans Iron Maiden cover/t-shirt fame! In particular, this is the depiction from Aces High--though with the sky-blue color scheme of Seventh Son of a Seventh Son.

I, uh...had the posters.

Great list. Goalies are so metal.

Speaking of fighter jets, if anyone hasn't seen them, check out Alaska Univ. Hockey promos on Youtube.


Love the Classical.

My cataract removal experience was fantastic. I had no discomfort at any time. My vision improved from 20/90 to almost 20/20 within 48 hours after surgery. I had a mild sedative only. I remained awake and alert throughout the surgery. It was outpatient surgery. I was released about three hours after arriving at the Cataract Surgery center.

You really don't get to use the #millinery tag very often in this business.

What's on your mask PB?

I just wear a silk Zorro mask.