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Saving Face: The Art and History of the Goalie Mask Hardcover – September 9, 2008
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From the Inside Flap
These are just a few of the questions-each with a fascinating story behind it-that are answered in this definitive book on goalie masks.
Saving Face: The Art and History of the Goalie Mask looks at the development of the mask from its earliest days as a rudimentary face-saving device to its current high-tech design. bullet-proof construction and cutting-edge artwork.
Saving Face is a visual journey, too. More than 150 historic and modern photos, including 30-plus full-page shots of some of the most famous masks ever created, support a text that weaves the tale of the mask's development.
Based on extensive archival research and exclusive interviews, Saving Face tells the story of the goalies behind the mask, and their fight for the right to wear one. It also looks at mask makers, like the little-known face-mold-making pioneers who experimented with materials such as plastic fiberglass in basement workshops, and the talented artisans and artists behind hockey's modern masterpieces.
While goaltenders the world over owe a debt of thanks to those who created, developed, championed and continuously improved the mask, hockey fans everywhere are thankful too. For the mask today has gone far beyond its original function-saving face-to become the most unique and intriguing piece of equipment in all of sports.
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Top Customer Reviews
Forward by Gerry Cheevers
The Golden Age
Paint Jobs and Metal Bars
The Freedom of Expression
When the game of hockey first started, goalies played just as everyone else did... no helmet, no mask. It wasn't as deadly as it might sound now, as the sticks at that time almost guaranteed that the puck never left the ice surface. Besides, goalies were forbidden by rule to go to the ice to block a shot. It was all standup goaltending. But as the game progressed, the sticks got lighter, the shots started leaving the ice, and goalies were allowed to do just about anything to block a puck. As you might imagine, this resulted in a number of rather graphic injuries. One of the first goaltenders to try out facial protection in the NHL was Clint Benedict in 1930. His mask was made of leather, and covered the forehead, nose, and cheeks. In hindsight, it seems to be a no-brainer decision to wear masks, but back then it was a major controversy.Read more ›
"Saving Face" has really good pictures.
This book by Jim Hynes and Gary Smith probably goes into the category of "Why didn't I think of that?" A good look at goalie masks was long overdue.
It seems pretty ridiculous, but goalie masks are a relatively recent development even though goalies have been putting their faces in front of vulcanized rubber for generations. While some trial-and-error work was done in the 1920's and 1930's, Jacques Plante usually gets credit for popularizing masks. He wore one on Nov. 1, 1959, not listening to those who said it would hurt his play or be "less than manly" ... as if avoiding stitches was less than manly.
The mask worked for Plante, and eventually the idea was copied around the league. Within 12 years, everyone wore one.
The masks were pretty basic in the early days of their development, but eventually someone had the bright idea to paint one. The idea caught on, and now NHL masks probably could go in any art gallery in the country and fit in.
The mask is the public face of the goalie, of course, so it's fun to look back and instantly recognize players just from that. Tony Esposito had a white mask with a circular pattern of holes. Ken Dryden used the Canadiens' logo and colors. Vladislav Tretiak of the USSR popularized the cage. And perhaps most famous of all -- in fact, it's on the cover -- Gerry Cheevers drew lines where he thought the stitches would have gone had he not been wearing facial protection. It's a classic look.
At $35 for 160 pages, this book is not going to be considered a bargain. (Try the used section for a bargain.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really good stuff by author Jim McRae. Very informative and has great photos. My only complaint is I wish there were more WHA goalie masks shown.Published on November 10, 2013 by John Landers
I truly enjoyed the history as well as the photo. presentation. The interviews were also revealing. I highly reccomend this book.Published on January 22, 2013 by J. SchwartzMD
Saving Face: The Art and History of the Goalie Mask - it was a great gift for a hockey enthusiast who thinks goalies are the best.Published on January 9, 2013 by Bonnie B
I ordered this book for my husband, so I have never read it. I have looked at it and it came in excellent condition. It arrived in adequate timing as well.Published on May 26, 2012 by Erin jones
If you like goalie masks, or are an old or young goalie, then I recommend this book. It has a nice history of the goalie mask and goalies in hockey, and I love the pics. Read morePublished on July 8, 2011 by Tony
The text is simple and effective, and secondary to the wonderful photographic record in a book that perfectly captures the history of the face mask. Read morePublished on July 1, 2011 by Hallauthor