Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Goalie Masks I Picked!

As promised, the unveiling of the rest of the masks that will be included in the tournament that begins in just two days! There are 34 more and here they are.

A couple of things I should explain. Karri Ramo switches off between two masks. Both will be in the preliminary round where you guys will determine which makes it to the main 64.

Johan Holmqvist, at this moment, does not have a mask painted for the Dallas Stars, the team for which he now plays. The one or two games he has played in, however, he's worn a black mask with a Stars logo on the chin. I've opted for his Lightning helmet since it's actually painted. (This doesn't apply to Martin Gerber because he intentionally wears a blank helmet.)

Brian Boucher has been backing up Evgeni Nabokov lately for the San Jose Sharks, yet he's been wearing his Philadelphia Phantoms AHL mask. That's the one I'm going with though at this point I understand he has a new one on the way. If either Holmqvist or Boucher — or any other goalie for that matter — changes his mask prior to his poll being posted, I will likely change the graphic to reflect that. If a change is made after the poll is posted, too bad.

My process here in choosing these 34 was essentially to get in as many if not all of the goalies currently seeing time in the NHL. There are a few exceptions but that's the way it goes. If you think there's been an injustice, feel free to say so. It's not necessarily set in stone until I post the bracket tomorrow. But make sure you present a good argument. No flakes allowed.

Now, as you'll see with the bracket, we'll be narrowing these 34 down to 32 in the preliminary round. I've already decided on how. The two polls will be Marc Denis vs Scott Clemmensen and Jimmy Howard vs Tuukka Rask. Really what it came down to was, in one case, two relatively veteran goalies who now see very little playing time in the league and, in the other, two very young goalies who don't play much but may have big futures (also, nice masks!).

I want to point out that I recognize that I'm leaving out guys like Jean-Sebastien Aubin, Dmitri Patzold, Erik Ersberg, Corey Crawford, Michael Leighton, Curtis McElhinney, Thomas Greiss and even Brent Johnson. But how much NHL action are they really seeing anyway? I know I'm leaving out other names, but I had to draw a line somewhere. They'll have their moment.

And for what it's worth, I'll let you in on some of my future plans. First, I'm already gathering pictures to do another goalie mask competition following this one. For that, we'll go back in time 10 years and judge masks from the 1998-99 season. In fact, I'm even considering a spinoff blog like ToHL that focuses solely on goalie masks. Trying to gauge interest. I'm also considering abandoning ToHL after the CHL logo tournaments. There doesn't seem to be a big interest there like there is here.

That's all I've got for now. Get ready to see the match-ups tomorrow. Remember, they'll be completely random!

UPDATE (3/23 11:08 AM): I changed out Fernandez for Ersberg up there. Enjoy!

Just To Freak You Out XXXI

I began the last Freak Out post with a similar image, so this is not a repeat. Look closely.

Yes, the duck is wearing himself on his own jersey. This is like some sort of weird fractal, right?

Anyway, we've also got an odd Minnesota Wild concept that scares me.

There's a reason teams choose bright colors. I can't remember what that is at the moment.

Got some stuff for Toronto and Montreal.

Does that Leafs logo look familiar to anyone? I've always thought the Habs should try blue — but on the jersey, not the logo.

And then of course we've got a string of "If They Mated" concepts for some of the clubs that found new homes in the '90s.

The Hartford Hurricanes?

The Quebec Avalanche?

The Winnipeg Coyotes?

No, no and no. Lastly, I've got a little something to celebrate St. Patrick's Day albeit a bit after the fact.

He's got shamrocks on his shoulders! You guys absolutely slay me.