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Bruins goaltender Linus Ullmark debuting a brand new Centennial celebration mask
Former Bruins goalie Gerry Cheevers won a pair of Stanley Cups in 1970 and 1972, and he was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1985.
Despite those three accolades, Cheevers is known for his stitches mask.
Cheevers was known as “father of goalie mask art” back when protective face gear was in the early developmental stages and any mask was optional in the NHL.
Cheevers’ iconic mask contained dozens of painted black stitch patterns to indicate the cuts he would have sustained had his face been unprotected.
"At times, I did feel like I was somewhat of a pioneer in hockey because I actually decorated my mask," said Cheevers in an interview with NHL.com. "If you know goalies the way I do, none of them would probably be smart enough to put anything on their mask - so if I didn't do it, they might have all been white masks. And what good is that?!"
During a practice in the late 1960’s, a puck hit Cheevers in the mask. After going to the locker room, Cheevers was fine because of his new mask. Prior to coming back onto the ice, then B’s team trainer John "Frosty" Forristall painted 10 stitches where Cheevers would have been cut if he hadn't been wearing the mask.
During Saturday night’s game against the Montreal Canadiens, Bruins goalie Linus Ullmark will honor the pioneer goaltender with a mask that’ll feature stitches.
Ullmark mask will be all white and feature the iconic Cheevers’ stitches and will have the “Big Bad Bruins” names written across the top of the mask.
The Bruins will celebrate the “Big Bad Bruins” for the second of five Era Nights at the T.D. Garden on Saturday, Nov. 18.
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