With a new backup goalie in place for the Chicago Blackhawks, that means we can enjoy a new mask
The Chicago Blackhawks will kick off their 2017-18 season Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the United Center. While the team cannot change its new, hideous Adidas sweaters, goalies can control their head gear.
In lieu of the new season, backup goalie Anton Forsberg has revealed his new mask after joining the Blackhawks from the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Forsberg’s mask features multiple Blackhawks logos, including one with a C with tomahawks on it. This mask has an old-school feel with modern effects. I really like this mask and I hope it serves him well.
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If Forsberg’s preseason numbers are any indication of how well he is going to play this season, then the Blackhawks should be good in net.
Blackhawks’ backup success
If people are worried about Forsberg slotting into the backup role, they should not be alarmed. The Blackhawks have a track record of successful backup goalies. People can look back to 2012-13, when Ray Emery was the backup goalie. Emery put up Vezina-type numbers in the backup role. He was so good that people wanted him to supplant Corey Crawford. Emery left to start in Philadelphia.
Let me be clear: Raanta did not play poorly in Chicago, He was outplayed by Darling. Raanta would go onto to back up Henrik Lundqvist for a season in New York. Raanta would play so well in New York that people wanted him to replace The King. Raanta is now the starter in Arizona.
Forsberg’s predecessor, Darling, is now the starter in Carolina. Darling was a minor league journeyman before joining the ’Hawks as the backup. He excelled during his tenure with the Blackhawks. He earned himself a four-year contract from the Hurricanes this offseason.
My point is that the ’Hawks know how to identify a talented goalie and help him elevate his game. I look forward to watching Forsberg with his new mask backing up Corey Crawford this season.