A Second in Hockey Historical past – The Face Masks –
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Many individuals shall be shocked to study that skilled hockey goalies performed with none face safety till practically 1960. Pucks may be hit at speeds as much as 160 mph, and goalies used to get bruises and gashes on their face often throughout a hockey recreation.

The primary goalie to put on a masks was Jacques Plante, a extremely revered participant with the Montreal Canadiens, and one of many legends of hockey. He was an odd fellow, vulnerable to bronchial asthma assaults, and to getting extra accidents than many different hockey gamers. He most popular studying books and portray over going to events along with his teammates. Throughout his profession, he had gotten greater than 200 facial stitches. In that period, a couple of hundred stitches weren’t extremely uncommon for a hockey participant, however typically, they weren’t simply on the face. He additionally had had two damaged cheekbones, 4 damaged noses, and a fractured cranium. Earlier than Plante, a number of goalies had tried to make use of masks, however they had been a wire (much like ones utilized by baseball catchers) and impaired imaginative and prescient to some extent.


Because the 1958 hockey season was coming to an finish, Plante was injured when a puck hit his brow. A member of the viewers that labored in fiberglass wrote Plante a letter and defined how he might make a masks molded to suit Plante’s face, and powerful sufficient to guard it. Plante agreed to sit down as a mannequin for the masks and to put on it in the course of the subsequent hockey season. He introduced it out in the course of the preseason video games and was laughed at and criticized by the hockey group. His coach in Montreal was positive that the masks lowered his imaginative and prescient and requested him to not put on it. About two months later, Plante was in a recreation when somebody hit a backhander from the facet of the online. There have been too many gamers across the objective for Plante to see the puck, and the puck sliced into the facet of his nostril, which bled profusely. It took seven stitches to shut the wound.

Plante wouldn’t go into the following recreation until he was allowed to put on his masks. For the reason that Canadiens had been touring, the foundations on the time required the host group to supply a backup if the goalie grew to become unable to play. Groups within the 1950s didn’t journey with backup goalies, and the goalie that the house group discovered was obese, practically forty years outdated, and had not performed lately. The coach of the Canadiens determined to let Plante play, for he can be a significantly better selection for goalie even carrying his masks. The Canadiens received that recreation, three to 1.

Additional, Plante contributed to the Canadiens profitable the following eleven video games in a row, all whereas carrying his masks. To be sure that the masks didn’t impair imaginative and prescient, his coach nonetheless required that Plante have a watch examination whereas carrying his specifically designed masks. Two different goalies joined Plante that 12 months, and slowly the observe unfold. The final naked confronted goalies had been seen on the skilled hockey circuit appeared within the early 1970s.


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