Thursday, September 8, 2011

Evgeni Nabokov 2011-12 Mask

Evgeni Nabokov of the New York Islanders. Born July 25, 1975 in Ust-Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan.

Artist: Todd Miska

From InGoal Magazine: 

While the skull and body, “Nabby” on the chin, and number “20″ (for boyhood idol Vladislav Tretiak) are familiar to anyone who has followed Nabokov, not all will know the stories behind all the names on his backplate.

The top names are for his children, Andrei and Emily, and “Warren” is for long-time Sharks goalie guru Warren Strelow, who was a father figure and mentor for Nabokov after first coming to North America before passing away in April 2007 at age 73.

“Anna” is for Anna Gorouven, who also passed away. She was not his wife, though the two of them are the biggest reason Nabokov didn’t return to Russia for good during his first year playing in North America:
“It wasn’t easy to come over, especially my first year, I wasn’t happy the way everything was happening,” Nabokov once told InGoal “One time coach said you are playing today in the morning and then three hours later he came to me and said you are not playing and that’s when I was like ‘OK, maybe it’s time to go back home and said goodbye.’ But then I had a really good friend of mine, she was helping me a lot, Anna, and we sat down and I told her what I was feeling and I was pissed off and said ‘I’m going to go back home. I enjoyed my time at home, my career was good.’ But she said `you’ve got to think about it, you came here to reach certain goals and maybe you should be more patient and stay.’ And then I met my wife – she’s from the States – so I said ‘OK I’ll give it another shot.’”

So a girl kept you here?

“Well, girls, plural.”

He started wearing new pads a bit into the season.

These were his pads at the beginning of the season.


  1. Looks like his San Jose mask.

  2. He does have a pattern. I guess he feels if it's not broken, then why fix it. Haha. And I guess in his mind it's not broken. ;o) And it's the same artist as well.

  3. When Nabby was a Shark, he tried changing his design to go with something different than the aliens and each time he played poorly after the change. Each time, he eventually switched back. They're his good luck charms, I guess.