When a St. Louis Blues goaltender reveals a new mask, it’s always interesting to find out why a design is chosen. A popular design, lately, is to honor the past.
The St. Louis Blues have a rich history of quality goaltenders. With the advent of the personalized goalie mask, the franchise has had it’s share of great masks as well.
At the top of many lists in that category would be Curtis Joseph‘s CuJo mask, which was reinterpreted by Jordan Binnington for the Blues throwback jerseys. Grant Fuhr had a good one with the piano keys lining his chin.
While Roman Turek is a large reason the Blues did not beat the Colorado Avalanche in 2001, he still had an interesting, goblin-type mask. I was a fan of some of Jake Allen‘s masks, such as the snake. Allen’s problem was he always ended up not wearing his coolest ones.
Jordan Binnington has been hit or miss, but still a solid mask game, overall. Ville Husso has not had much exposure via his mask, other than preseason and practice games.
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We will finally get our first good look at him in 2021 as he is the team’s only real option as a backup for Binnington. His first real NHL mask is a throwback to a past goaltender that does not automatically jump to the mind when discussing the Blues history in net.
Pat Jablonski was drafted by the Blues in 1985 and spent the first three years as a pro with the Peoria Rivermen. He was called up to the big club in 1989-90, starting the year with the Blues.
However, he lost all four appearances that season. Despite the fact the Blues seemed to initially favor Jablonski over Joseph, he never really made an impact for the team.
He got called up from the minors when CuJo got injured in 1991. Jablonski did manage to play in three playoff games when the Blues got ousted by the Minnesota North Stars.
He spent 1991-92 as the backup, but still only saw 10 games of action. The Blues reaquired Jablonski briefly in 1995, but quickly sent him to Montreal for J.J. Daigneault after the Canadiens traded Patrick Roy.
So, why pick Jablonski for a mask? Why not, really?
It’s more about the mask than the player, in this situation. Jablonski did not have a distinctive career, but he had a nice Blues mask.
Just the same as Carter Hutton will not be remembered as one of the all-time best for the Blues, but he had some very cool masks. That’s the same here.
Joni “Bona” Hallikainen is the painter of the mask and the Blues official Instagram pointed out that Hallikainen is a big fan of vintage masks. Just check out the main page of their Instagram
and it’s all either old equipment or things painted to look like the old styles.
This one truly is an homage as opposed to a copy. Binnington’s CuJo mask had a few minor differences, but it was almost a true copy. Husso’s just has some nods.
The blue is quite a bit lighter on Husso’s mask, but it still looks good. The logo border is also missing the red on it, which makes sense since the Blues do not use red other than their retro jerseys.
The wing effects on the top of the head look good when viewed from above on both masks. For some reason, they do not stand out as much on Husso’s mask. Maybe the red outline is better to make things pop.
Overall, it’s a good mask. It’s nothing that you’re going to marvel at, but it’s got a charm to it and represents the team well.