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Stu Hackel, on what the popularization of the goaltender's face mask brought to the game of hockey:

With the mask becoming universal, goaltending styles changed. Where the barefaced netminder thought first of survival and moved his body to get his feet in front of shots, a new generation of masked goalies - Esposito, Dryden, Vachon, Giacomin, Parent - could dive headlong into scrambles in front of the net to clamp down loose pucks, and they could face cannonading shots with less risk of injury.

(The Official National Hockey League 75th Anniversary Commemorative Book, 1991)


JACQUES PLANTE, goaltender, Montreal, when asked if wearing a goaltender mask meant that he had lost his courage:

"If you jump out of a plane without a parachute, does that make you brave? No, I think that makes you stupid. I will never play without the mask again."

(Hal Bock: "Save! Hockey's Brave Goalies", 1974)


JACQUES PLANTE, on why he decided to finally wear a mask:

"Until you have a broken cheekbone, you don't realize what it's like. Cuts don't mean anything. But the feeling you get when a bone is broken...you take it home with you. You're in the hospital and you say to yourself, 'I'm never going to play again.' You can see the puck hit you in your sleep and you wake up and figure you've just been hit again. Then, two weeks later, you want to go back and you're out there again. Before I wore a mask, I'd go home after a game and say if a shot had been two or three inches closer, I'd have been in the hospital again."

(Hal Bock: "Save! Hockey's Brave Goalies", 1974)


JACQUES PLANTE, on the benefits of wearing a goaltender mask:

"Without it, I could never have played so long. I am the best goalie in the league, and with the mask, I am even better. I can laugh at getting hit in the face. I can use my face to stop pucks. Look, I don't care how brave you are. You are going to put your arm up to protect your face when you dive into a pileup. That means you can't have your eye on the puck. With the mask, you don't worry and you can keep watching the puck. Before the mask, you would go home and lie awake in bed, thinking about the shot that just missed your face. You know if one hits your eye, your career is over. Once I put on the mask, I didn't worry - not on the day of the game and not afterwords either."

(Hal Bock: "Save! Hockey's Brave Goalies", 1974)


RON TUGNUTT, on why goaltenders wear a throat collar today:

"I was with the Nordiques when I heard about our former goalie, Clint Malarchuk. There was a scramble in front of the Sabres net and a skate slit Clint's throat! Blood gushed everywhere. Since then, we all wear throat protectors."

(ESPN the Magazine, October 16, 2000, p. 40)