Wearing the mask not only would block his vision and affect his play, but it made him look like he was afraid, and had people questioning his toughness.Plante didn't care, and soon he wasn't the only goalie to go against the tide and don a mask.While we believe the KHL would be much cooler if all of its goaltenders wore Alexandre Dumas-inspired iron masks, the Russian league doesn't suffer from a lack of artistic achievements on its goalies' noggins.
The 50 masked men who have exemplified that the best are listed as follows in alphabetical order. After experimenting with designs off the ice for months, Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jacques Plante felt he had found the right kind of goalie mask to use for protection in a game, but there was just one problem. It wasn't just that no goalie before him had ever worn a mask during a game in the NHL, but that his coaches, including head coach Toe Blake, thought it would hinder his vision, and therefore told Plante he would not be able to wear the mask. Andy Bathgate, a powerful forward for the Rangers, came steaming in on net and ripped a shot off the face of Plante, sending him into the dressing room for repairs.Talk about tough love, and especially for a goalie who was on his way to winning his fifth straight Vezina Trophy as the best in the league. Plante came back out on to the ice stitched up, but with a mask covering his face.In fact, decorating one's face mask is treated as just shy of an obligation.The positional privilege of deciding the exact appearance of a key piece of one's equipment for each game night must be used in a way that speaks to one's individual traits or to the team.