holtby-new-mask

Swedish artist David Gunnarsson released photos of the newest mask he finished painting this morning. Lo and behold, it’s for Washington Capitals starting goaltender Braden Holtby. Gunnarsson has entitled it “Number 70 of the Capitals.” The mask is stylized to go with the Caps’ third jerseys, the same vintage sweaters that they wore during the Winter Classic in 2011.

Gunnarsson, in his very odd/excitable dialect, walked us through the story behind Holtby’s new bucket on his Facebook page.

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Photo credit: Kyle Mace of Sweetest Hockey on Earth

Because I’m an optimist, let’s say there’s an NHL season this year. As soon as the new collective bargaining agreement is signed, sealed, and delivered, the Washington Capitals goaltenders will debut shiny new masks. Michal Neuvirth, who has been playing with Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga, has been wearing a new mask featuring former Capitals great/current goaltending coach, Olie Kolzig, on its side.

I spoke with Braden Holtby on Saturday about his thoughts on Neuvirth’s new bucket. After I showed him the mask on my iPad, Holtby chuckled and flashed a big smile in approval. “Olie’s done a ton for the organization,” Holtby said, “so that’s pretty cool.”

Not to be outdone, Holtby has been wearing his own new mask playing with Bears. Unlike last season, where his helmet featured a split Bears/Capitals theme (and oh yeah don’t forget that awesome bear on a rollercoaster), Holtby’s new headgear is ALL CAPS (get it?).

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Photo credit: DaveArt.com

On Tuesday, Michal Neuvirth completed a deal to play for his former team HC Sparta Praha of the Czech Extraliga during the NHL lockout. Well, now he has some new goalie gear to work in too.

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Tomas Vokoun’s New Presidents-Themed Mask

One day after Michal Neuvirth spectacularly shut out the Winnipeg Jets, the biggest news of the day is still goaltending.

First, during today’s practice, Alex Ovechkin and Michal Neuvirth switched gear with each other. ‘Cause why not. The Great 8– sporting a goalie glove, blocker, and mask– skated to the crease and took several long-range shots from his teammates.

The other big goalie news of the day is that Swedish airbrush artist David Gunnarsson released photos of his latest project: Tomas Vokoun‘s new presidents-themed mask.

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Braden Holtby New Mask

A few weeks ago, word leaked out on Twitter that Braden Holtby was sporting a new goalie mask during practice up in Hershey. We sent photographer Kyle Mace — of our sister blog Sweetest Hockey on Earth — to the Bears’ next home game and had him capture every angle imaginable of Braden’s new roller-coaster themed mask.

Well now, David Gunnarsson — the Swedish artist who custom-painted Holtby’s new headgear — explains the backstory to the project.

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Michal Neuvirth’s New Goalie Mask

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Photo credit: DaveArt

On Saturday, Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth took to the ice for practice wearing a new mask designed by Swedish airbrush artist David Gunnarsson, who also paints Semyon Varlamov’s masks. Neuvy is not sure if he is going to wear this mask for the rest of the season or not, but I’ll let Gunnarsson take it away.

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Semyon Varlamov’s New Mask as Described by the Artist

The new Semyon Varlamov mask painted by David Gunnarsson.

The new Semyon Varlamov mask painted and airbrushed by David Gunnarsson.

Today, pro airbrush artist and custom mask painter David Gunnarsson released photos of the new mask he painted for Semyon Varlamov. He also shared some of the inspiration and backstory behind the mask’s creation.

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