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Can I haz Stanley Cup?
September 4, 2010 6:27 AM   Subscribe

Professional hockey goalies usually wear intimidating custom masks, but HC Lada goalie/ Tampa Bay Lightening draftee Vasiliy Koshechkin, whose name is similar to the Russian word for kitten, decided to go in a different direction.
posted by chrisulonic (32 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
We'll see how that works for him in a month or two.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 6:44 AM on September 4, 2010


So you think you are strong because you can play hockey. Well, we shall see. Biggles! Show him the cute kitten!
posted by tmacdonald at 6:47 AM on September 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Pro cyclist Stefano Garzelli wears a similar design. His nickname is "the snow leopard" for some reason; I know not why.
posted by afx237vi at 6:48 AM on September 4, 2010


Drew MacIntyre, of the Chicago Wolves, used to have Care Bears on his. I guess it was an inside joke with his wife.
posted by drezdn at 6:49 AM on September 4, 2010


Let's get this out of the way: LOLgoalies

But seriously, it reminds me of the old T-shirt that says 'Tough Guys Wear Pink' and it's kind of saddening that the whole 'softness is NOT a male trait' meme is still so strong.
posted by Hardcore Poser at 6:51 AM on September 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's not the cuddly kittens that scream the opposite of tough, it's the Comic Sans.
posted by kpht at 6:51 AM on September 4, 2010 [8 favorites]


Awww! Nobody's gonna wanna hurt teh cute kitteh!

*splorch*
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:52 AM on September 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


I like the mask for the goalie from Columbus, invoking hard-core civil war imagery featuring the good guys for a change.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:57 AM on September 4, 2010


I never knew goalies had such artwork on their masks. I'm mostly surprised it's not ad space ala Nascar.

That one that's done up like a feathery headdress is pretty neat.
posted by Talanvor at 7:06 AM on September 4, 2010


I much prefer kittens to Ray Emery's Mike Tyson tribute mask.
posted by kpht at 7:22 AM on September 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ray Emery's Mike Tyson tribute mask, rather.
posted by kpht at 7:26 AM on September 4, 2010


I loved to play goal when I was a kid.

Sure, I got lots of bruises (slapshots that hit anywhere else but the glove hand, the blocker or the big pads hurt like a mother), but there's something about coming out of the crease to face the shooter, all the while wearing a mask (in my case a long, old-school fiberglass mask vaguely reminiscent of the bad guy in Scream) with a look that says: I dare you to put it in here.

That's why I love pro hockey goalies; they are hard core.
posted by bwg at 8:18 AM on September 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


kuujjuarapik: We'll see how that works for him in a month or two.

Help me understand what you are suggesting here. Because his mask is not intimidating, and different than most goalie masks, ??? ______________ ???
posted by ericost at 8:19 AM on September 4, 2010


To be fair the way the cat looks on the helmet is pretty damn unsettling.
posted by amethysts at 8:21 AM on September 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm surprised the space isn't rented out for ads.
posted by R. Mutt at 8:23 AM on September 4, 2010


It's LIGHTNING, dammit.

Lightening is what happens when you add cream to your coffee, or remove the dictionary from your backpack.

Lightning is an atmospheric discharge of electricity accompanied by thunder, which typically occurs during thunderstorms, and sometimes during volcanic eruptions or dust storms."

Cute kitten.
posted by notyou at 8:26 AM on September 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


I'm so glad the space isn't rented for ads. The personalization of goalie masks is one of my favorite things about hockey.
posted by Shesthefastest at 8:27 AM on September 4, 2010 [6 favorites]


Actually, it is a well-known fact that many hockey players are afraid of cats. They tend to be dog people.
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:29 AM on September 4, 2010 [3 favorites]


Deadspin’s Cyrillic is borked. The name is Cерый if it’s anything.
posted by joeclark at 9:59 AM on September 4, 2010


It's not the cuddly kittens that scream the opposite of tough, it's the Comic Sans.

Heh, I didn't even catch that at first glance. I wonder if it was selected innocently, or if a designer with full awareness of the type's subtext had a hand in that.

I never knew goalies had such artwork on their masks. I'm mostly surprised it's not ad space ala Nascar.

Pay attention!
posted by CaseyB at 10:08 AM on September 4, 2010


Gerry Cheevers had arguably the greatest mask ever...a stitch mark for every puck that hit him in the face.
posted by rocket88 at 10:29 AM on September 4, 2010 [3 favorites]





ericost: "Help me understand what you are suggesting here. Because his mask is not intimidating, and different than most goalie masks, ??? ______________ ???"

The season begins in ~5 weeks. He's a rookie. We'll see how he works out. The rest is in your head.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 10:45 AM on September 4, 2010


Hang In There!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:00 AM on September 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


The via link from Deadspin has a bunch more masks, including one that appears to have Kung Fu Panda on it. It's in Russian so I can't tell, is it ad sponsorship or does the guy just love Kung Fu Panda?
posted by ch1x0r at 11:03 AM on September 4, 2010


Goddamn, ch1x0r, that's an extraordinary link, and Kung Fu Panda isn't the half of it. One guy's got sort of '70s Chevy van airbrush portraits of all four members of U2. Another one has Kid Rock with an acoustic guitar. And there's one where either St. George is slaying a rather serpentlike dragon on horseback, or else John the Baptist (also on horseback) is killing a seasnake in a little-known outtake from the Eastern Orthodox gospels.

In any case, those Russian goalie masks are truly something, and definitely not a sponsorship thing. Some dudes just really like Kung Fu Panda, and others really like dragonslaying saints.

Good shots of Ray Emery's ill-advised Tyson tribute in there too. For non-hockey fans, Emery was chased out of the NHL after a couple of years of solid play marred by world-class locker-room assholery - which assholery combined with the legendary choking skill of Daniel Alfredsson to ensure that the talented mid-oughts Ottawa Senators would not win the Stanley Cup, much to the relief of right-thinking hockey fans everywhere.
posted by gompa at 11:41 AM on September 4, 2010


I really like the Islanders' Goalie mask. With the second face it almost harkens back to old tribal masks.

Some catchers in baseball have started doing this too, but it hasn't caught on like it has in hockey.
posted by drezdn at 12:34 PM on September 4, 2010


"Any discussion on hockey goaltenders must begin with the assumption that they are about three sandwiches shy of a picnic. I can prove this. From the moment Primitive Man first lurched erect, he and those who came after him survived on the principle that when something hard and potentially painful comes at you at great velocity, you get the hell out of its path. Goalkeepers throw themselves into its path. I rest my case."

(I want them to bring this guy to the NHL already. And his kitty too.)
posted by cmyk at 12:39 PM on September 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


He can paint penises on his helmet as long as he can stop a puck.

(yes, that's how bad the last 2 seasons have been)
posted by photoslob at 4:05 PM on September 4, 2010


I can see this being a strategic thing, too. Like that poker player who wears the joke glasses that look absolutely ridiculous or the people behind the baskets at basketball games acting like morons, it is a time-honored tradition to do things that shake your opponent while leaving you unfazed. I imagine a hockey player, upon realizing there are ADORABLE KITTENS on his mask, can't help but see them every time he looks in the goalie's general direction. That small, tiny distraction can mean the difference between a puck going through the 5-hole and one that harmlessly hits the plexiglass behind the net.
posted by Golfhaus at 4:34 PM on September 4, 2010


70s Chevy van airbrush portraits of all four members of U2

U2! I could not for the life of me figure out who the hell that was supposed to be.
It is an epic link. That Kid Rock mask really slays me.
posted by ch1x0r at 9:20 PM on September 4, 2010


There's also Peter Budaj's Slovakian Flanders motif.
posted by Copronymus at 10:21 PM on September 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Goalie masks are great - this one is hilarious. Would have been funnier if the front of the mask was "ah kitteh!" instead of just the top.

/used to be the neighbourhood goalie who never owned his own equipment, and was pretty damned good for a neighbourhood/intramural goalie (0.00 GAA intramurally, 2GP, then I turned pro for bar sports; you know, trivia drinking, pool drinking, game drinking, speed drinking, endurance drinking, marathon drinking. &c.)

posted by porpoise at 12:19 AM on September 5, 2010


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