The Colorado Avalanche and Los Angeles Kings will be heading outdoors this evening, taking part in the National Hockey League’s Stadium Series. Falcon Stadium and the United States Air Force are hosting the two teams and the unique setting will include a runway and an F-16 fighter plane on the field.
Renowned airbrush artist David Gunnarsson has been very busy of late as both starting goaltenders had him design special masks to go along with their Stadium Series uniforms. He certainly did not disappoint with his beautiful creations.
Grubauer’s Mask is a Work of Art
Gunnarsson created the “Yeti Maverick Showdown” mask for Avalanche netminder Philipp Grubauer. The left side of the mask has been turned into a fighter plane in an obvious tribute to the Air Force.
The wonderful 3-D art shows a yeti monster flying his aircraft at top speed through the Rocky Mountains. You can see a small German flag on his pilot’s helmet, paying homage to Grubauer’s homeland.
The right side of the mask features a very slick retro design featuring the Avalanche’s Stadium Series logo. The two sides blend into each other perfectly in this beautiful mask. It would be a shame if this was only worn one time.
Grubauer’s parents have made the long journey from Germany to Colorado Springs to watch their son. This is the second time he has been a part of a Stadium Series game taking place at a military academy. He was a member of the Washington Capitals when they played at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium in Annapolis, Maryland, but he did not see any game action.
“It was a really unique game, a really unique venue at the [Naval] Academy,” Grubauer said on Friday. “We were really lucky and grateful to play there. Hopefully, I get to play here. I think it’s a great idea by the League to go from a military institution to a military institution. It’s great to have the game out here, it’s really awesome.”
Kings Look Great in Chrome
The Kings will be wearing special chrome painted helmets for tonight’s game and they got rave reviews from the players after Friday’s practice.
“They’re pretty cool. I think they’re unique, so the team did a great job,” Kings forward Austin Wagner said. “I think when they first came out everybody was a little skeptical but now that we got them on and all the gear on and everything like that. It looks good and the boys are liking them, so let’s have some fun.”
Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick wanted Gunnarsson to incorporate the chrome look into the knight design we are used to seeing on his mask. The end result is a stunning piece of equipment.
This will be Quick’s third Stadium Series game with the Kings. He lost to the Anaheim Ducks in the very first Stadium Series game at Dodgers Stadium in 2014. The following season, he made 31 saves to beat the San Jose Sharks at Levi’s Stadium in front of over 70,000 fans.
This Date in Goaltending History: Brodeur Does it Again
Goaltending legend and Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur holds many league records and not just for keeping pucks out of the net, but also for putting them too. He is the only goaltender in NHL history to score three goals and on Feb. 15, 2000, he became the first and only netminder to get credit for a game-winning goal.
He was the last New Jersey Devil to touch the puck the Philadelphia Flyers put the puck into their own net during a delayed penalty.
A couple of minutes later, Mark Recchi of the Flyers scores to cut the Devils’ lead down to 3-2 and eventually make the earlier miscue the game-winning goal on the evening.
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Greg Boysen has been writing about the Chicago Blackhawks since 2010 and has been a site manager for both FanSided and SB Nation. He has been published in The Hockey News and was fully credentialed for the 2013 Stanley Cup Final. Among his various roles with The Hockey Writers are covering the Blackhawks, the AHL, writing the daily “Today in Hockey History” column, serving as a copy editor, and appearing and hosting multiple YouTube shows, including Blackhawks Banter. He is credentialed with the Chicago Wolves, Rockford IceHogs, and Milwaukee Admirals, while also being a regional scout for the NAHL. And, just because his plate isn’t full enough, Greg hosts trivia in the Chicago area two nights a week. For interview requests or to provide topic suggestions, follow Greg on Twitter and reach out.