Ten scariest goalie masks of all time
We know that Jason's mask from the "Friday the 13th" movies is the one that's caused the most nightmares, but plenty of other actual NHL goalie masks have put a scare into the opposition. Here's 10, in order of horror:
1. Gerry Cheevers
Cheevers started with an all-white mask and painted on black stitch marks whenever he got hit in the face and had hardly any room left for marks by the end of his 16-year career. That's wearing your badassness right on your face. What started as a joke became his signature and arguably the most famous mask ever.
2. Jacques Plante
You try concentrating on scoring a goal when you're staring down a goaltender who looks like Hannibal Lecter. Sunday is the 50th anniversary of Plante first wearing a mask in a game for the Montreal Canadiens (Nov. 1, 1959, against the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden).
3. Gary Bromley
Many down the road would try to replicate "Bones" Bromley's skull motif, but none would be as effective. Stick on a replica of Bromley's mask before you tuck your kids in to bed, and they'll be scarred for life.
4. Corey Hirsch
On the side of Hirsch's helmet is a painting of the infamous house from the movie "Psycho." Extra points for respecting your horror movie history.
5. Gilles Gratton
Gratton fits the definition of a flaky goaltender with rumors that he wouldn't play when the moon was in the wrong part of the sky, would growl at opponents from his net and once hissed like a cat during a fight. Sounds completely normal for a guy wearing the face of a roaring tiger.
6. Brian Hayward
It's bad enough seeing a shark, but how about seeing a shark with a human face poking out from its mouth!
7. Roman Turek
Turek had a number of masks during his career, most featuring Eddie, the cartoon skeleton mascot of the band Iron Maiden. The fact someone would be that obsessed with Iron Maiden is the scariest part.
8. Evgeni Nabokov
Not sure what this is -- some kind of skeletal snow creature? -- but the fact it's not clear almost makes it more frightening.
9. Curtis McElhinney
Disembodied skulls? Check. A massive amount of flames? Check. A skeleton cowboy unloading his six-shooter through the right ear hole of the helmet? Check.
10. Miikka Kiprusoff
One of the best goaltenders currently in the NHL, Kiprusoff follows one of the oldest rules of hockey mask design: When in doubt, paint a giant red skull on the side.
Rick Paulas is a freelance writer based in Los Angeles who has previously written for ESPN The Magazine, McSweeney's and Vice magazine. He can be contacted through his Web site, rickpaulas.com.
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