Top 30 Goalie Masks in the NHL

Donald Wood@@Donald_WoodFeatured ColumnistMarch 28, 2011

Top 30 Goalie Masks in the NHL

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    DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 26:  Goaltender Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators at American Airlines Center on February 26, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    As a kid, one of the coolest things about hockey for me was the designs on the helmets of the goalies.

    From the time goalies started to wear masks, designing them in unique ways was a way for them to separate themselves from other netminders.

    Gerry Cheevers’ old-school goalie mask with all of the scar marks on it was one of the first masks that had a different quality, and there have been many since.

    This list is of the top 30 masks in the NHL today. Enjoy!

30. Roberto Luongo

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    ATLANTA, GA - MARCH 25: Referee Paul Devorski #10 chats with Roberto Luongo #1 of the Vancouver Canucks  at the Philips Arena on March 25, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Roberto Luongo has a simple, clean design on his helmet.

    He has two helmets that he will wear, with the other of the two being way more colorful and with a design of a lumberjack on it.

    I like this one better because it has a clean, retro look that is very appealing to the eye.

    

29. Martin Brodeur

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    NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 20:  Goalie Martin Brodeur #30 of the New Jersey Devils is congratulated on his shutout win after an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Prudential Center on January 20, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Paul B
    Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

    Martin Brodeur gets credit for having his own design with the MB30 intertwined with the Devils logo.

    Other than the change on the top of the helmet, Brodeur has had the same general design on his helmet for a long time.

    The design is super simple, but there is a classy subtlety to the helmet.

28. James Reimer

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    TORONTO, CANADA - FEBRUARY 26: James Reimer #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs jumps on a rebound against the Pittsburgh Penguins during game action at the Air Canada Centre February 26, 2011 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)
    Abelimages/Getty Images

    James Reimer has one of the cooler helmets in the NHL.

    In an ice blue motif, Reimer’s helmet depicts typical Toronto life: Pond hockey and Hockey Night in Canada.

    Ron MacLean and the legendary Don Cherry adorn his helmet, and the people of Toronto have to be just thrilled.

    

27. Marc-Andre Fleury

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    PITTSBURGH, PA - MARCH 13:  Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury #29 of the Pittsburgh Penguins takes a breather against the Edmonton Oilers on March 13, 2011 at CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
    Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

    Marc-Andre Fleury has a few helmets in his arsenal, but this has become the most common.

    It looks like an igloo, with his face and the skating penguin busting through the ice block.

    It’s definitely a solid design and it fits the team’s logo and scheme.

26. Antti Niemi

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    GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 26:  Goaltender Antti Niemi #31 of the San Jose Sharks sprays himself with water before the start of the second period of the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on March 26, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    While Antti Niemi lost a few points for having a similar design to the one he had in Chicago last season, you can’t go wrong with turquoise.

    The design on his helmet has cool colors and the sharks are great as well.

    He could’ve gone a lot crazier with the design, but he kept it fairly conservative.

25. Ilya Bryzgalov

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    GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 26:  Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov #30 of the Phoenix Coyotes warms up before the NHL game against the San Jose Sharks at Jobing.com Arena on March 26, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Phoenix goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov gets points for being a great dad.

    Look at the side of his helmet and you will see artwork done by Bryzgalov’s young daughter.

    That’s a class act.

24. Jaroslav Halak

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    GLENDALE, AZ - MARCH 22:  Goaltender Jaroslav Halak #41 of the St. Louis Blues reacts during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on March 22, 2011 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Blues 2-1.  (Photo by Christian Pete
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Jaroslav Halak has a very unique helmet.

    While the side shown in the slide is a cartoonish cowboy, the other side is of some great heroes in St. Louis Blues history.

    It’s a great testament to the players who came before, but I want to know more about the cowboy and what ever happened to the Halak-Net Monster.

    Read comments for explanation of what the cowboy is.

23. Tomas Vokoun

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    ATLANTA, GA - FEBRUARY 25:  Goaltender Tomas Vokoun #29 of the Florida Panthers looks on against the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena on February 25, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    Tomas Vokoun could have gone crazy with his design, but he kept it simple.

    He uses the Panthers logo on both sides, and the Panthers name as a baseball-style logo.

    While it isn’t flashy, it’s a cool-looking helmet.

22. Henrik Lundqvist

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    NEW YORK - MARCH 22:  Brandon Dubinsky #17 of the New York Rangers celebrates with goaltender Henrik Lundqvist #30 after defeating the Florida Panthers on March 22, 2011 at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York. Rangers defeated the Panthers 1-
    Mike Stobe/Getty Images

    Henrik Lundqvist is one of the best goaltenders in the NHL and his helmets are just as unique as he is talented.

    Lundqvist has several different helmets, but they all have the Statue of Liberty and NY on them somewhere.

    His helmets are always trendy, stylish and unique.

21. Corey Crawford

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    CALGARY, CANADA - FEBRUARY 7: Corey Crawford #50 of the Chicago Blackhawks protects the goal against the Calgary Flames on February 7, 2011 at Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. (Photo by Dale MacMillan/Getty Images)
    Dale MacMillan/Getty Images

    I am a big fan of subtle, classy helmets, and Corey Crawford’s Blackhawks helmet is just that.

    He has feathers and the actual silhouette of the Native American logo.

    Crawford has a great color scheme on the helmet and it matches well with Chicago’s white jersey.

20. Rick DiPietro

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    UNIONDALE, NY - DECEMBER 29: Rick DiPietro #39 of the New York Islanders makes the stop against the Pittsburgh Penguins at the Nassau Coliseum on December 29, 2010 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    If he could stay healthy, you could see more of Rick DiPietro’s helmet on the ice.

    DiPietro always has marvelous American designs on his helmet and he takes a lot of pride in being an American-born player.

    His helmets are always some of the most patriotic in the NHL.

    

19. Steve Mason

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    This is a beautifully painted helmet that depicts the Northern soldiers in the Civil War.

    It represents the team’s logo well, but showing a dead soldier on the helmet is a choice I wouldn’t have been bold enough to make.

    Other than that, it’s one of the best paint jobs in the NHL.

    

18. Jean-Sebastien Giguere

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    TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 06:  Jean-Sebastien Gigure #35 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates in warmups prior to the game against the Buffalo Sabres at the Air Canada Centre on November 6, 2010 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Jean-Sebastien Giguere has a cool white and ice-blue color scheme working here, and I think that’s perfect for depicting the cold day in Toronto painted on the helmet.

    It says Maple Leafs on the top and it appears there is ice forming around the face opening.

    While it’s a little too cartoon-ish for me, the style is nice and it’s a subtly-styled helmet.

17. Niklas Backstrom

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    VANCOUVER, CANADA - MARCH 14: Goalie Niklas Backstrom #32 of the Minnesota Wild keeps an eye on the airborne puck after making a save against the Vancouver Canucks during the second period in NHL action on March 14, 2011 at Rogers Arena in Vancouver, Brit
    Rich Lam/Getty Images

    To go along with one of the coolest jerseys in the NHL today, Niklas Backstrom has a classic helmet to match.

    Backstrom has an ultra-conservative, simple design with just the team colors and logo, and the helmet in the slide has a beautiful Minnesota scene.

    Whichever one he wears embodies the team and goes well with whatever uniform the Wild are wearing.

16. Dwayne Roloson

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    NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 02:  Goalie Dwayne Roloson #35 of the Tampa Bay Lightning relaxes during a timeout in an NHL hockey game against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on March 2, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Imag
    Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

    Dwayne Roloson has been solid for the Lightning since coming over from the Islanders earlier this season.

    The design on his helmet is very unique and it has an amazing paint job.

    The detail in the wings is great and the color scheme fits the team's silver great.

    

15. Michal Neuvirth

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 22:  Michal Neuvirth #30 of the Washington Capitals stretches during an NHL hockey game against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on March 22, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Ima
    Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

    The Washington Capitals have been blessed this year with great rookie goaltending, and Michal Neuvirth has been a big part of that.

    His helmet design is simple, but there is something to be said for simplicity.

    The team logo is great across the top of the helmet and the red is definitely eye-catching.

    

14. Jimmy Howard

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    DETROIT, MI - FEBRUARY 13:  Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings watches the puck while playing against the Boston Bruins on February 13, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Jimmy Howard pays true homage to the town that he represents in the NHL.

    With Detroit being the motor city, he has a Ford Mustang and a tachometer.

    The tachometer has all of the retired numbers in Detroit history. A truly interesting way to infuse team history into the paint job.

13. Ondrej Pavelec

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 12:  Ondrej Pavelec #31 of the Atlanta Thrashers warms up before playing against the Philadelphia Flyers on March 12, 2011 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Ondrej Pavelec has an awesome helmet in Atlanta.

    On one of his helmets, he has the old-school Atlanta Flames "A" and a cool color scheme based on the teams colors.

    The thing that made me laugh was the fact that on the back of the head piece, he has a picture of Lil’ Jon.

12. Sergei Bobrovsky

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 12:  Sergei Bobrovsky #35 of the Philadelphia Flyers in action against the Atlanta Thrashers on March 12, 2011 at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    While he may not have been in America for very long, Sergei Bobrovsky already has a really great helmet.

    It’s both homage to his homeland and a tribute to Philadelphia.

    There are jets from both the USA and Russia, and also depicted are buildings from both countries.

    The paint scheme is very colorful and the idea is original.

    

11. Tim Thomas

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    BOSTON, MA - MARCH 24:  Tim Thomas #30 of the Boston Bruins looks on during a stop in play in the second period against the Montreal Canadiens on March 24, 2011 at the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
    Elsa/Getty Images

    Tim Thomas and any goaltender who wears a different style of helmet gets a lot of credit in my eyes.

    Thomas has a very original-looking mask with a unique cage.

    The paint scheme is a light silver and white and it has some really interesting ornamentations with great shading.

10. Craig Anderson

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    OTTAWA, CANADA - MARCH 25:  Nick Foligno #71 of the Ottawa Senators congratulates teammate Craig Anderson #41 on his shutout victory over the Washington Capitals in a game at Scotiabank Place on March 25, 2011 in Ottawa, Canada.  (Photo by Phillip MacCall
    Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images

    This is where the helmets get really glorious.

    This design that Anderson got when he moved to Ottawa is interesting.

    It’s a wild-eyed cartoon driving a Corvette, and that’s the kind of unique design you look for in a cool mask.

    

9. Cam Ward

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    ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 16:  Goaltender Cam Ward #30 of the Carolina Hurricanes against the Atlanta Thrashers at Philips Arena on December 16, 2010 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

    If you appreciate detailed artwork on a helmet, than Cam Ward has a helmet for you.

    He has a buccaneer-type person with an amazing amount of detail, as well as some great silver-and-red coloring.

    There is a lot going on on the mask, but you’re not overwhelmed. It’s a subtle busy-ness.

    

8. Ryan Miller

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    UNIONDALE, NY - JANUARY 23:  Ryan Miller #30 of the Buffalo Sabres in a game against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum on January 23, 2011 in Uniondale, New York. The Sabres won 5-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
    Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

    Ryan Miller of the Buffalo Sabres has a very cool Buffalo-head paint job that features eyes on both sides.

    On the back of the head protector he has his nickname "Miller Time" and a bulldog. Both are fun and add a personal touch to the helmet.

    It’s worth noting that his helmet at the Olympics, with Uncle Sam pulling up his sleeves, was a great paint job.

7. Antero Niittymaki

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    DALLAS, TX - DECEMBER 16:  Goaltender Antero Niittymaki #30 of the San Jose Sharks in goal against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center on December 16, 2010 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    When Antero Niittymaki was with the Philadelphia Flyers, he had mobsters shooting tommy guns on his helmet.

    Now that he is playing with San Jose, he has Sharks mobsters shooting tommy guns.

    Along with the very unique paint job, the chrome cage really makes it.

6. Carey Price

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    SUNRISE, FL - MARCH 3: A detailed view of the helmet of goaltender Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens as he looks up ice during play against the Florida Panthers on March 3, 2011 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Canadiens defeate
    Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

    It doesn’t matter if you love or hate Carey Price, he has some of the coolest paint jobs on goalie helmets—and expect a lot more in the future.

    He has had everything from singers on his helmet to retired numbers to cowboys on horseback.

    I hope Price continues to change helmets often and that he gives us more solid artwork with a uniquely personal skew.

5. Miikka Kiprusoff

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    DALLAS, TX - MARCH 09:  Goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff #34 of the Calgary Flames at American Airlines Center on March 9, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    I don’t know what a perfect helmet looks like, but I know if I was a Calgary Flames goaltender, I’d want Miikka Kiprusoff’s flaming skull idea.

    He has had a few variations on the flaming skull helmet, but they are always some of the coolest designs in the NHL.

    I always thought the Devils had the perfect name for a sinister helmet, but Kiprusoff beat them to the punch with an evil Flames helmet.

    

4. Tuukka Rask

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    OTTAWA, CANADA - MARCH 01:  Tuukka Rask #40 of the Boston Bruins looks on during a TV timeout in a game against the Ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place on March 1, 2011 in Ottawa, Canada.  (Photo by Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images)
    Phillip MacCallum/Getty Images

    He may not play as much as he’d like, but that doesn’t make Tuukka Rask’s helmet any less cool.

    It looks like his face is in a bear's mouth, and there are bear claws holding Bruins symbols on the side of the helmet.

    The shiny, gold cage is just the icing on the fantastic airbrush job on Rask’s helmet.

3. Kari Lehtonen

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    Do I even have to explain the awesomeness of this helmet?

    Did you know they found the cure to all the diseases in the world?

    The problem is that the cure is in Kari Lehtonen’s tears, but he never cries.

    One more: When Kari Lehtonen goes swimming in the ocean, he doesn’t get wet. The ocean gets Kari Lehtonen.

2. Jonathan Quick

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    UNIONDALE, NY - FEBRUARY 19:  Goalie Jonathan Quick #32 of the Los Angeles Kings waits for a faceoff during an NHL hockey game against the New York Islanders at the Nassau Coliseum on February 19, 2011 in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Get
    Paul Bereswill/Getty Images

    Whether it’s because I’m a history nerd or that I like the Kings organization, I love this helmet.

    It is painted as a knight’s helmet and the paint job is excellent. There is a ton of detail in the metal for the suit of armor, and the design is unique.

    I am a big fan of a players' heads being included in the paintjob, and his ear holes are molded into the paint scheme.

    Even Quick’s nickname on the chin is in Old English font.

1. Pekka Rinne

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    DALLAS, TX - FEBRUARY 26:  Goaltender Pekka Rinne #35 of the Nashville Predators at American Airlines Center on February 26, 2011 in Dallas, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    Like Carey Price's mask earlier this season that depicted a mask on a human's face, Pekka Rinne's mask depicts a mask on a mammal as well.

    It just so happens that Rinne's mask is of what looks to be a sabertooth wearing an old-school goalie mask.

    The eyes above the cage are great and all of the detail, in both the mask and the sabertooth's face, is amazing.

    This helmet is super unique, the paint job is one of the best in the NHL, and as wild as it is, it still has team relevance.