Home > Internet Sensation > Who’s mask is more patriotic: Labarbera or Bryzgalov?

Who’s mask is more patriotic: Labarbera or Bryzgalov?

(AP)–Their faces hidden, many hockey goalies distinguish themselves with the elaborate designs painted on their masks. During his 10 NHL seasons, Jason LaBarbera used his mask to illustrate his love of wrestling and hard-rock music, adorning his lids with images of Metallica, Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder, wrestlers like Undertaker and Brett “The Hitman” Hart. This season, the Phoenix Coyotes backup goalie is using his mask to pay tribute to someone he never met yet holds a great deal of respect for: NFL star turned war hero Pat Tillman. “To see him, as a professional athlete, stop doing what he had worked his whole life toward to do something he thought was right — join the Army and go over and do what he did — is a pretty amazing thing,” LaBarbera said. “Nobody else can say that. It’s a pretty special thing he did, so this is a representation of what he did and everyone that’s fighting over there.” Tillman was a fan favorite in Arizona, first with Arizona State and later with the NFL’s Cardinals. He became a national icon when he left behind millions of dollars and a newlywed wife to join the Army shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Tillman was killed by friendly fire in 2007 and his life, the way he lived it and how it ended, became an inspiration to people around the world. LaBarbera never met Tillman — his first season in Phoenix was 2009-10 — but his story resonates, in part because he’s heard so much about Tillman living in the Valley of the Sun, but also because he has many of the same values. “Barbs is just a classy guy, one of the best people you’ll ever meet, just is a good man,” Coyotes captain Shane Doan said. “To be able to honor someone as iconic as Pat in the Valley and in the country just shows Barbs’ class. It’s been a few years and to just bring that to the surface and remind everybody what true sacrifice is, is remarkable.”

Pretty fricken sweet here Labarbera.  Great gesture by the Phoenix back up goalie.  Patriotism on goalie masks is the new hotness.  Who’s mask do you like better: Labarbera or Bryzgalov?

 

I am going to go with the Tillman mask.  Pulls at my heart a bit more than Betsy Ross and Ben Franklin.

 

follow me @windycitisports

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