Sunday, November 1, 2009

Day Two-Hundred Ninety-Four: "We all wear masks, metaphorically speaking..."

Of course, if we're hockey goalies, we all wear masks, anyway. And we credit this guy with being the first smart goalie in hockey history: after getting his nose broken by a shot in a game, Jacques Plante went back to the dressing room and returned wearing a crude mask. The coach was livid, but he had no other goalies and Plante refused to go in without the mask, so his hands were tied.

Actually, the first guy to wear a mask in an NHL game was this guy here, a Hockey Hall of Famer with four Stanley Cups, but he played for the Montreal Maroons, so nobody cares.

Anyway, TSN (Canada's version of ESPN) has been running a series on current NHL goalies with unusual masks in honor of Plante's historic burst of intelligence. Of note: this feature on Calgary Flames backup Curtis McElhinney. Now, I'm not going to spoil it all for you, but I will say that it is based on a staple of great western literature, and that McElhinney's description includes the phrase "we had images of people trying to escape hell" oddly juxtaposed with a paragraph talking about how he wanted to incorporate his family into the overall design.