The Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Corey Crawford’s mask for the Winter Classic has surfaced today and, well, it’s awesome.
The Chicago Blackhawks haven’t been very good at playing hockey, but that doesn’t mean they can’t look good while playing poorly, right? After all, there isn’t an overwhelming amount to be excited about when your team sits in second-to-last place in the National Hockey League.
So, I’ll do my part by sharing with you Corey Crawford‘s goalie mask for the upcoming Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, designed by Stéphane Bergeron. Bergeron’s work is impressive as he has famously designed almost every mask to date for Crawford, Matt Murray, Marc-Andre Fleury and Roberto Luongo (since Luo has been in Florida, that is).
Bergeron, like many artists, loves what he does. He’s a long time hockey fan who found an affinity early on for goaltender’s pads and masks. His first notable mask was painted for Patrick Lalime who was then a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins.
If you’ll remember, Lalime later played for the Blackhawks form 2006-08 going 20-18-3 during that time.
It was after Lalime that Bergeron decided to make mask-painting his full time job and he hasn’t looked back since. Here he is in his own words:
"“Even today, after 20 years of career, I always have the same passion. Whether it is for a young amateur or professional net minder, my goal remains the same: create a work of art on each mask entrusted to me.”"
Well, Bergeron’s creation isn’t the 15-game win streak Crawford and the Blackhawks so desperately need, but it certainly is awesome. See so for yourself:
Crawford has been slowly moving towards the all-black look for a couple years now as he’s adopted his current black pads in place of his previous white and red look. The team will be wearing solely black and white for their New Years Day matchup with the Boston Bruins, and it isn’t a stretch to assume that his pads will correlate.
If you need a refresher, here’s what the boys will be wearing when they take the ice in South Bend to ring in 2019.
The uniform gets its’ inspiration form the first Chicago Blackhawks team to win a Stanley Cup. it’s a cool tribute, even if the jersey is only worn once. Additionally, the jerseys are finally different from previous outdoor uniforms the Hawks have sported in the past.
In recent years, they’ve worn white with very minor, sometimes distasteful changes from their standard uniforms.
This year they’re back in black.
Corey Crawford’s focus is predictably on preparing for the next time he has to bail out the poor Chicago Blackhawks defense, but he has a second tall task of upping his pad game if he wants to compete with what he’s worn in years past (check the featured image).
Want your voice heard? Join the Blackhawk Up team!
In the meantime, that sleek matte finish in tandem with the tastefully done designs on his mask should do the trick. If the Blackhawks defense can’t stop the highflying Bruin’s top line, maybe Crow’s mask can.