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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

Who was the first goaltender to wear a mask in a game? Who was the last to go without one? When did goalies start painting their masks?

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.

About the Author

Jim Hynes is a Montreal-based writer and editor who has written about a wide range of subjects, from the history of Montreal to the history of one Canada's oldest golf clubs. A lifelong hockey fan and player, he has played the game for over 35 years...but not even once in net. Jim lives in Beaconsfield, Quebec, with his wife Mary-Margaret and their sons Jason and Samuel.

Gary Smith grew up playing hockey in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and made his first mask when he was 14 years old. Hockey eventually took him to the East Coast where he was recruited to play golf for St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Gary lives in Grand Falls, NB, where he is a school vice principal and continues to make and collect goalie masks. He and his wife, Lissa, have three children, Julie, Sean and Ryan.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (September 9, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470155582
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470155585
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 0.8 x 10.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,062,773 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Anthony Accordino VINE VOICE on September 12, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Book "SAVING FACE: The Art and history of the Goalie Mask", by Jim Hynes and Gary Smith, proves to be a captivating journey back in time. This wonderful and lavishly illustrated book, traces the history of the Goalie mask from it's very antiquated beginnings, to the modern era. This book will have special meaning for all those older fans who were there during the the decades of the 1960's and 1970's, when the goalie mask changed the the art of goaltending forever. On November 1st,1959, Montreal goalie Jacques Plante was struck in the face by a puck shot by New York Ranger Andy Bathgate. Against his coaches wishes, Jacques came out of the lockeroom and with mask in hand, and the rest is history. Jacques plante and his innovation of the goalie mask, started the golden age of goaltending as both a protective piece of equipment and an artistic statement of individual personality, in which each mask became as famous as the men who wore them. As one reads through this encyclopedic like history of the mask, the reader is treated to a tour deforce of over 50 years of NHL mask innovation. See all the greats in both text and photo's, as you are taken behind the scenes of each mask, and learn about the men who made them, and the players who made them famous. This is a who's who of goaltending. Names Like Ken Dryden, Gerry Cheevers, Tony Esposito, Terry Sawchuk, Gump Worsley, Johnny Bower, Glenn Hall, Eddie Giacomin, Bernie Parent, and Martin Brodeur are just a few of the names you will recognize. I consider this book a must have for any fans, players and coaches both young and old, who have an appreciation for the game of ice hockey. More importantly, this is one of the finest hockey history books ever written. This book comes with my highest recommendation, and should be a part of any serious hockey library.
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Format: Hardcover
Being a long-time hockey fan (and having a certain affinity for goalies), I knew I had to get this book when I saw it appear on my RSS feed... Saving Face: The Art and History of the Goalie Mask by Jim Hynes and Gary Smith. If you're not a hockey fan, you might wonder how on earth you could write a book about a single piece of sporting gear, and not even a actual part of the game at that! Ah, if you *are* a fan of the game, you know that the goalie mask has a rich and storied history. Jim Hynes and Gary Smith do an excellent job in telling that story, complete with great photographs from the first leather padding to the "mage" works of art that are used these days.

Forward by Gerry Cheevers
The Innovators
The Golden Age
Paint Jobs and Metal Bars
The Freedom of Expression
Picture Credits

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.
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By WDX2BB on February 26, 2014
Format: Hardcover
"Coffee-table books" often are as good as their pictures.

"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.
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