Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Jimmy Howard: New Mask for 2011-12

It's not unusual for the start of a new season to bring a new mask design for goalies. Sometimes that means a complete design overhaul and sometimes it only means a few small tweaks. In the case of Jimmy Howard, it would be the latter of the two.


At first glance, you might think this is the exact same as last season, ignoring the back plate of course. It's got the same split design with the '67 Shelby on either side in front of the city skyline. It's also go the same old English "D" on the chin and the retired numbers.

Here's a look at old vs. new: 

Now for the back plate, which would look awesome on a card (hint hint Brett). As I'm sure most of you know, the Locomotiv tragedy in Russia involved three former Red Wings: assistant coach Brad McCrimmon, goaltender Stefan Liv, and defenseman Ruslan Salei. 

The back plate features black and white portraits of the three along with their names and the words "Forever in Our Hearts." It's an amazing looking tribute to three great men, all of whom will be remembered by Red Wings and hockey fans around the world. 

Here's a look at old vs. new:

I wonder how long it will take for this mask to appear on a trading card. Last season, Howard wore his backup DocOc mask and that was featured in some early season releases, so we'll see. I really hope it makes it into whatever incarnation of a mask set In The Game has planned for Between The Pipes this year.

Here's a link to an article about the mask over at Puck Daddy. It also mentions Jaroslav Halak's back plate tribute to his former teammate Pavol Demitra, who was also lost in the plane crash. I think it's great that theyr'e using their masks for this, don't you?

Edit: Now that there are game photos avaiable, here's a good look at the front and back of the new mask in action:

Also, here's a quick video of Jimmy showing off the finished product:

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