It's no secret that I'm against helmets as a whole--for several million in salary a year, I expect to see actual pieces of skull on the ice at least once a season--but if we're playing by the rules this post-season, or at least pretending to (cough, Rangers, cough), we might as well gussy them up a bit. The masks currently seeing face time:
I’d imagine being a Detroit Red Wing, you don’t have much of a choice in what you put on your helmet, which is just fine by a world-weary Dominik Hasek, for whom the act of switching teams/helmets/countries brings a comforting familiarity, almost like the annual replacing of one’s bicuspids. I can’t really knock the stylized wheel, them being an original six, and I’ve never really wondered what it would look like if an angel and a tire fucked, but if there’s a city where that sort of philosophical question gets asked, I’m sure it’s Detroit.
While I’m happy to see that Ray Emery’s narcissism is not so all-encompassing that he is in fact capable of acknowledging another human being’s worth, I’m not in the least bit surprised to see that this other human being is Mike Tyson. I understand that there are some other principles at play here, Ray Emery being the only/one of the few black men playing hockey today, and I’m not saying indelibly inking Martin Luther King Jr.’s image on the back of his head would have been the right way to go, but couldn’t he have at least gone with Muhammad Ali, or someone who is actually still physically able to beat up Marty Biron?
Also, how psyched was the guy who runs the t-shirt spray-art cart in the Ottawa mall when Ray Emery came stumbling up with a “special job”? I’ll bet he treated himself to an extra Mrs. Field’s that day.
Though NHL regulations force him to wear your run-of-the-mill plastic helmet to protect against something called “head trauma”—cry me a river—when he’s practicing or just playing a pickup game with the numerous children born of his superseed, Ryan Miller typically prefers to wear this, the mask he’s made out of the leathery remains of other NHL goaltenders. Wondering where Roman Cechmanek got off to? He’s protecting Miller’s chiseled cheekbones from the cold winter bite.
(also, it was hard to find a clear photo of Miller’s mask, I assume because he’s in a constant , quasar-like state of motion.)
It’s hard for me to make out exactly what Jiggy’s helmet depicts, and since there seems to be a dearth of Jean-Sebastien Giguere fansites on the internet—quel horreur—my only guess is that those branching bronchioles represent the niggling doubts in his mind, the ones that say “The Anaheim Ducks are in the conference finals? Seriously?”