NHL Power Rankings: Chicago Blackhawks, Other Starting Goalie Masks

By Jeffrey Franklin
Mar 18, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) guards the net against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. The Blackhawks beat the Maple Leafs 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 18, 2017; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford (50) guards the net against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. The Blackhawks beat the Maple Leafs 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 16, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) follows the puck in the second period against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 16, 2017; Ottawa, Ontario, CAN; Chicago Blackhawks goalie Scott Darling (33) follows the puck in the second period against the Ottawa Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports /

Goalie masks in the NHL and beyond are perhaps the greatest outlet of player expression in professional sports, which leads us to some NHL power rankings that include netminders from the Chicago Blackhawks and 29 other NHL teams

Chicago Blackhawks backup goalie Scott Darling recently had a new goaltender mask made, and the art is as cool as it can get. Unfortunately with Darling’s standing as a backup goalie, it won’t be included today as we break out a different type of NHL power rankings: one that looks at the best and worst masks in the NHL among starters.

Some teams have a tandem or even trio of goalies that see a lot of time in net, so how I decided who a team’s starter was based on games played alone (with some exceptions based on injury). Also, if a goalie has two masks, I made a judgement call and ranked the one I deemed to be superior. Unfortunately, this leaves out some pretty great masks, but it makes it easier to make good NHL power rankings for this topic.

Now, in order to try to preemptively destroy any controversy for readers of this list, I made a list of things I looked for in a good mask rather than just looking for pure flash.

Chicago Blackhawks

Homage to city: A good NHL goalie mask will always have something on it to honor the city that goaltender plays for. This is obviously more than slapping a team logo on the side of the helmet, it’s more so a symbol of the city that isn’t hockey related. For example, Jimmy Howard‘s classic red Mustang helmet or Darling’s old Wayne’s World themed lid.

Integration of logos: This sounds contradictory, but there are goalies (or at least their artists) who have implemented logos on helmets in really cool ways, even if it means changing up a bit. See Cory Schneider‘s Devil mask that features none other than the Devil himself.

Honoring organizational history: Nothing’s cooler than a cage that pays tribute to the best members of a particular club or tradition unique to a team. They’re often simplistic and clean designs with art reminiscent of past eras.

Pop culture references: Everyone has their favorite movie or TV show, and if you’re like me you love seeing it come alive on the ice. Who can forget Cam Talbot‘s yearly Ghostbusters themed helmets, or Linus Ullmark‘s dual Minion themed masks? I certainly can’t.

With the criteria out of the way, let’s take a look at the NHL power rankings for the league’s starting goaltender masks.

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