Friday, September 3, 2010

ADORABLE goalie mask in the KHL

That's right, adorable. Usually I go for the fierce, vicious, mean, maybe even a little evil-looking masks, but this one really made me go awwww.

Vasiliy Koshechkin is a 6'7" 231-lb goalie in Russia playing for the Metallurg Magnitogorsk  of the KHL (he's a 2002 draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning.) So I don't think anyone will challenge him about his cute mask anyway, but check it out:

How cute is that kitteh on the side? And the big sad eyes on top of the mask? How can you not love that?

Here's the article from PuckDaddy:

Fri Sep 03 07:52am PDT
Kittens: The key ingredient to any intimidating KHL goalie mask
By Greg Wyshynski
While we believe the KHL would be much cooler if all of its goaltenders wore Alexandre Dumas-inspired iron masks, the Russian league doesn't suffer from a lack of artistic achievements on its goalies' noggins.

Hot Ice, a Russian hockey site, featured the Top 20 goalie masks in the KHL, and some of them are simply awesome: No. 16 Vitaly Kolesnik (Salavat Yulayev) looks like the Crusades by way of The Matrix; No. 15 Martin Prusek (Dynamo Riga) has one that honors U2. But No. 1 on the list ... well, just look at it: (see image above.)

A kitten.
A sweet, loveable kitten on the side of Vasiliy Koshechkin's mask.
Koshechkin, currently with Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the KHL and a 2002 draft pick by the Tampa Bay Lightning, is a 6-foot-7, 231-pound man-mountain that nearly dwarfs the goal cage. So basically the last guy you'd expect would have kittens on his mask.

What's the deal with the cat fancy? Well, from the looks of things, his nickname may in fact be "The Cat," unless his mask signifies a personal achievement in spelling. But KK The Mook solves the kitten mystery via this info graphic created for yet another kitten mask he wore with the Russian National team:
Just so we're all clear here: He named the kitten on his mask, and believes it has feelings. Nah, goalies aren't a different breed at all, why do you ask?

Goalie masks can be intimidating, whimsical or odd windows into a goaltender's soul. Or they can look like a box of kitty litter. One of the two. Assuming he's still rocking the feline on his mask, we wish Vasiliy Koshechkin the best of luck in the 2010-11 KHL season ... until shooters figure out they can beat him cleanly by rolling a ball of yarn or a felt mouse through the crease.
Thanks, Christine, for giving me a heads up about this mask! Love it!

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