December 31, 2018

A Goalie Gear Post

I'm a big fan of when goalies wear dark goalie gear, or at least custom graphics on their white goalie gear.

From a functional point of view, plain white pads make sense (as they contrast less with the ice or boards), but aesthetically I find them quite boring.

So for this post I'm highlighting NHL goalies who this season have worn either dark goalie gear, or gear with custom graphics (or both).

Adin Hill
Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images
When the Coyotes ran into injury trouble in net, they called up Adin Hill and his black set of gear.  With the only highlights being "brick red", these pads are extra dark (which I like).

Darcy Kuemper
Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images
Also with the Coyotes, Darcy Kuemper breaks out these beauties whenever the Arizona wears their throwback jerseys.  I love this design, it's custom without being overdone.

Antti Raanta
Photo by Norm Hall/NHLI via Getty Images
Antti Raanta, like his teammate Kuemper, also has a set of custom pads to go with the Coyotes third jerseys.  As amazing as these are, I prefer Kuemper's design.

Jaroslav Halak
Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images
Claw-marks have appeared on Jaroslav Halak's pads for a longtime now, but now that he's with the Bruins they fit better than ever (notice the bear claws at the bottom of the scratch marks).

Linus Ullmark
Photo by Sara Schmidle/NHLI via Getty Images
Meanwhile in Buffalo, Linus Ullmark has been wearing a mostly blue set which combines the Sabres striping pattern, with the the Buffalo from their primary logo.  I think it it looks pretty sweet!

Mike Smith
Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images
Mike Smith has a different set of gear for each jersey Calgary wears.  As you can see, he wears a red set with black and yellow accents when Calgary is in their home jersey.

Photo by Gerry Thomas/NHLI via Getty Images
When Calgary wears their retro jersey, Smith ditches the black accents to match the Flames' vintage colour scheme.  He also breaks out a great mask, which is painted to look like Mike Vernon's old helmet-and-cage style bucket.

Scott Darling
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images
Carolina's Scott Darling also has multiple sets of gear.  His main set-up is shown above, which is mainly red with some black and white trim.

Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images
With the Hurricanes third jersey, Darling swaps the black and red, and adds grey to the mix.

Darling also has an amazing custom set to go with Carolina's retro Whalers uniforms, but he was in the minors when they were worn for the first time (he has one more chance this year, as the Whalers jerseys will be worn again on March the 5th).

Petr Mrazek
Photo by Gregg Forwerck/NHLI via Getty Images
Speaking of the Whalers, Petr Mrazek was the goalie who ended up playing on Whalers night, and he also had a matching set of pads for the occasion.  They're not as flashy as Darling's pads, but they're still quite nice.

Corey Crawford
Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
For a few seasons now Corey Crawford has worn black pads, which I think look great paired with both of the Blackhawks' classic jerseys.  Hopefully Crawford gets healthy again soon, as he's battled concussion problems these past two seasons.

Jimmy Howard
Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images
Jimmy Howard has played great this season, and he's looked great while doing it in his red goalie pads.

Carey Price
Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images
For a handful of games this wear, Carey Price also wore red goalie pads.  He has since switched back to a white set.

Robin Lehner
Photo by Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images
In his first season with the New York Islanders, Robin Lehner has been wearing a set which is blue with white and some orange trim.

Henrik Lundqvist
Photo by Jared Silber/NHLI via Getty Images
The other New York team has Henrik Lundqvist of course, who has custom graphics on his pads.  Honestly, I think these pads have one too many competing elements, but they're still better than most.

Craig Anderson
Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images
Craig Anderson's main pads are black with gold and some red trim.  Personally I'd swap the red and gold, since Ottawa only uses gold as an accent colour.

Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images
Ottawa's third jersey uses silver in place of gold, and Anderson makes the same swap with his equipment to match.  I like these pads better than his main set, I think the silver looks better than gold.

Marcus Hogberg
Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images
Marcus Hogberg just recently made his NHL debut.  He did so wearing these black pads, which have some nice looking red and white trim.

Mike McKenna
Photo by Joe Hrycych/NHLI via Getty Images
The only goalie on this list who catches with his right hand is Ottawa's Mike McKenna, whose gear is black with diagonal stripes.  Also notice the laurel-leaf pattern on the outside edge of the pads.

Aaron Dell
Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images
Aaron Dell of the San Jose Sharks uses an abstract shark design on his equipment.  They look pretty spiffy if you ask me.

Garret Sparks
Photo by Mark Blinch/NHLI via Getty Images
Garret Sparks won the backup job for Toronto this year, beating out Curtis McElhinney and Calvin Pickard.  He also would of beat them in a goalie pad contest, as his set-up features a giant maple leaf design.

Anders Nilsson
Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images
When Anders Nilsson was a kid, he had a pair of pads with "beast" graphics.  He brought the design back for his latest set with the Canucks.

Marc-Andre Fleury
Photo by David Becker/NHLI via Getty Images
We'll finish off with my favourite goalie pads of the year, which are Marc-Andre Fleury's set of golden equipment (inspired by the gear he wore at the start of his career) .  He hasn't worn them very often so far, hopefully we see them more frequently in the new year.

Unless I've missed someone, those are the NHL goalies who have worn dark (or custom) goalie gear so far this season (and please let me know if I have missed anyone).  I'm actually surprised they were so many, I count twenty different goalies including three who had multiple sets of dark equipment.

Do you have a favourite set of pads from this list?  If so, leave a comment saying which one it is.

And finally, have a very happy New Year!

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