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12-10-2012, 11:31 AM
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Originally Posted by mbhhofr View Post
Back in 1962 I was having a conversation with Gump Worsley, and Vern Buffey and Worsley's reason for not wearing a face mask was that "You can't tell me that when you wear one and look down for the puck at your feet, there isn't a blind spot."...
I never played without a mask as when I started it had just recently been mandated. Seem to re-call the first one I was given was actually an ancient catchers mask, heavy & cumbersome, offering very little in way of protection as there werent any bars past the nose up to the forehead. More an annoyance than anything else....

Trainer Lefty Wilson in Detroit, who made Sawchuks' masks' started taking orders from goalies far & wide in the late 50's & early 60's, however those units really offered little to no protection either as the eyes were filed out to enormous proportions to insure you wouldnt have any blind spots; the fiberglass itself, if hit by a puck with velocity easily shattered and if not, concussive, distributing the impact really quite hideously all over your face, reverberating through your skull & brain. Like getting clipped by a high speed locomotive, playing "dare" on railroad tracks.

Really though, the only times I ever got it in the head was on a crazy deflection, never that I can remember on a straight shot, though I did witness it a few times down at the other end of the rink. Frankly, it just wasnt something you even thought about, because if you were playing the position properly, the chances of getting nailed were just about nil, and if you did, so what? Shake it off. However, with the advent of the curved blade, shots were higher, less predictable in flight, a Hell of a lot faster and heavier. Foolish, wasted shots really as the majority of goals are scored along the ice or just above it. It took a few years at the amateur & Jr. levels for players who in emulating Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita etc to refine & hone their skills in that regard, but for a few years, from about 64-69, an absolute Shooting Gallery. Head Hunters. Massive windmill windups, shots winding up in the galleries, ricocheting off the ceiling beams, taking out scoreboards, lights, out through the in door, down a flight of stairs, taking out the Coke machine in the mezzanine.

Last edited by Killion: 12-10-2012 at 11:39 AM.
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