The Goalie Mask

Sunday, 09.18.2011 / 4:56 PM ET
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New York Islanders - Training Camp 2011
The Goalie Mask

Goalie masks are a unique piece of art. No two are exactly alike, but that hasn't always been the case. Prior to 1968, masks were all the same. That is, until Boston Bruins goaltender Gerry Cheevers began adding "stiches" to his mask everytime he was hit in the face with a shot, to mark where he would have been cut.

Today, each mask is custom painted, giving a goaltender his identity.

"That's why a lot of young kids become goalies," said Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro. "I know that's why I became a goalie, is because I loved the equipment and I loved the masks. It just gives you an opportunity to let your personality show by doing something a little different than everyone else."

Rick DiPietro




"I usually go with a tribute to the veterans, the military and the fire department, but last year with my injury, I had to switch things up," DiPietro said. "I became pretty comfortable with the new one and a lot of people have commented that they like the look."

Going with this type of mask is somewhat of a tribute to Chris Osgood, an NHL veteran and former New York Islanders goaltender.

"Ozzy was great when he was here," DiPietro said. "He's not only a great goalie, but he's a fantastic guy. So everyone says that I look like Ozzy with the mask, and that's not a bad thing. I'll take a couple of those Stanley Cups."

DiPietro said he even has another mask in the works.

"If I decide to change, my new mask will be a tribute to the troops and the New York fire department, police department, POWs, MIAs. My dad is a Vietnam Vet, he flew helicopters, so there will be a helicopter on there."

He added, "It's just a way to keep the men and women who are fighting for us, not only in the past, but today, in our minds and in our hearts, just to let them know how much we appreciate what they do."

Evgeni Nabokov




"My mask doesn't really have a story. Twelve years ago, the guy (who was painting my mask) asked me what I wanted and I said I didn't know," Nabokov said. "I told him I wanted something cool, something different, and he came up with the style."

"Initially, the monster was ripping the fish head and blood was dripping with Sharks coming up from the bottom. I liked the idea, so I kind of stayed with that and changed it up a bit when I got here."

Though Nabokov said he doesn't really have a story about the goulish creature on his mask, the back plate holds a lot of significance.

"On the back plate, there are names of some really important people who have since passed away," Nabokov said. "When I first came to North America, they helped me a lot. My goalie coach, Warren Strelow and a woman named Anna Gorouven, who helped me with all off ice stuff. We became really good friends. Unfortunately they've both passed away. My kids (Andrei and Emily) names are on there as well."

Al Montoya




When it comes to the design, Montoya was very vocal about what he was looking for.

"I wanted to be original as well as incorporate the Island theme," Montoya said. "I know people didn't really like the fisherman, but I talked with the artist I had and we thought if he could make a cool fisherman, it would look really nice. So he put the Captain on one side, with a nautical compass, anchor and chain, which I thought was really cool. I also wanted a lighthouse."

On the back plate, Montoya incorporated a lot of personal history, including the initials of his parents, his brothers and his wife.

"On the back plate, I've always had a character smoking a cigar," Montoya said. "I also wanted to represent the University of Michigan (with the M on the cigar) and Team USA (the moon's bandana). I've had the 'Big Cubano', which has stuck with me since the day I was drafted."

Kevin Poulin



Poulin's new mask is still at the painter, but he's going with the same theme as last year.

"My helmet is a tribute to the Islanders," Poulin said. "I have Mike Bossy and Billy Smith pictured on one side with the logo on the other. On the back plate there is a picture of the Canadian flag, representing where I'm from."

Mikko Koskinen

"My painter in Sweden came up with the design," Koskinen said. "He had a few new ideas this year and I just let him go with it. I like it more than last year. I like the white cage."

Anders Nilsson

"It's always fun to do something different with your mask from year to year," Nilsson said. "With this mask, I decided to go pretty simple and keep it with the Islanders theme."

Nilsson added, "I wanted to have a lot of small New York Islanders logos, but after talking to my painter back home in Sweden, he thought it would look better simplified. I also wanted glitter, so it's a basic idea, but it turned out cool."

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Bailey 2 1 2 1 3
R. Strome 2 2 0 1 2
B. Nelson 2 2 0 2 2
K. Okposo 2 1 1 1 2
J. Tavares 2 0 2 1 2
C. Clutterbuck 2 1 0 1 1
C. de Haan 2 0 1 0 1
M. Martin 2 0 1 0 1
L. Visnovsky 2 0 1 3 1
F. Nielsen 2 0 1 0 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Halak 1 1 0 .917 2.52

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