St. Louis Blues: Jake Allen Reveals A Snakeless Mask for 2017-18

ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 5: Jake Allen
ST. LOUIS, MO - MAY 5: Jake Allen /

One of the things that tells you the St. Louis Blues season is about to begin is the unveiling of new equipment. Jake Allen is all ready to go with his new gear.

The St. Louis Blues are hoping Jake Allen can translate his performance in the beginning and end of 2016-17 into a full year’s worth of play. Visually, he’s going to be set and ready to go as he just got his new gear.

The Blues unveiled Allen’s new mask for this upcoming season on their website and via Twitter. Like many masks, it has its benefits and drawbacks – things to like and things that are meh.

For their part in all of it, Head Strong Grafx did an excellent job as they normally do on Allen’s masks. When discussing one of last year’s masks they were quick to point out that Allen asked for specific things, such as the horizontal stripes.

Again, for my own eye, they aren’t the thing I would go with. For whatever reason, they just don’t mesh with my own sensibilities when thinking of designing a mask. The only time I’ve ever liked that style was the old Patrick Roy mask when he was with the Canadiens.

That is what Allen likes though and what he feels comfortable with. Speaking of comfort, there is no snake on the mask either.

That most likely boils down to superstition. They might deny it, but goaltenders are a superstitious lot.

Whether true or in his head, Allen was not always on his game wearing the various snake masks he has had. So, with that in mind, perhaps he has somewhat abandoned the nickname in mask form.

That’s not something I am a fan of. I liked all his snake masks. Again, it is all about individual preferences though and if Allen has soured on the snake design, so be it.

Aesthetically, there is plenty to like about this new design. Above the horizontal stripes, that say I’ve got those St. Louis Blues, there is a depiction of Louis Armstrong.

The musician known as Satchmo did not write the song, but his 1925 rendition of the St. Louis Blues song was put into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Armstrong was also known for his version of “When the Saints Go Marching In”, which has also been adopted as a theme song of the hockey team.

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Moving to the front on visual of the mask, there is a large, block lettered section that spells out STL on the forehead. On the chin piece, is the state outline of Missouri with the number 34 within the borders.

Similar to previous masks, there is a winged effect sprouting out from both sides of the numbers on the chin. It is very reminiscent of things Allen has had done with his previous masks, but quite different as well.

Again, it is a simple design, but as he told, he likes it simple. “For the most part, I’m not too picky,” Allen said.

The new pads are pretty nice as well. They have a similar blue and yellow scheme from last season, but this year are predominantly blue with a yellow section on the knee as opposed to the more two-tone of last year.

The glove and blocker feature a similar color scheme. They are somewhat similar to what Brian Elliott had a few seasons ago, but a lighter blue and accented with the yellow.

Overall, it is a good look. I very much like the pad designs.

The mask is what it is. The designers did what they were asked and it is a definite upgrade over that blue and silver thing Allen used to end last year.

I like the inclusion of Armstrong. The front design is plain, but distinctive at the same time. I like the yellow bars as well as they make the center of the mask kind of pop.

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Some will love this mask and others will not. That is the way of these things, but overall it’s a good choice. Now we just need to hope Allen is not forced to switch due to any more superstitions. Let’s all hope this mask is the right one.

You can see close up photos of the mask from different angles and the pads as well at the link here.