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Wings' goalies show off holiday-inspired equipment

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings

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DETROIT – A pair of Red Wings goalies got into the Christmas spirit recently, showing off new holiday-themed equipment.

Both Jimmy Howard and Petr Mrazek hope to show their enthusiasm for the holiday season soon.

“It’s just for fun,” said Mrazek, of his new red and white leg pads featuring six large snowflakes and a top-hat wearing snowman. “Teammates, I think they like it. They’re like, ‘It’s cool. No one has that idea before.’ I knew a couple people didn’t like it, they think it’s ugly or they think it’s like a kid, but no one has it before so I think it’s a good idea.”

Mrazek said he got the idea of the snowman pads from Grand Rapids equpiment manager Brad Thompson. However, Mrazek’s plans for the specially designed pads depend on the health of Howard (sprained knee) and backup goalie Jonas Gustavsson (groin). If Mrazek is up with the Wings he’ll wear them the NHL Winter Classic in Ann Arbor on New Year’s Day, otherwise he’ll wear them for the Griffins’ AHL game against the Toronto Marlies during the Hockeytown Winter Festival at Comerica Park on Dec. 30.

“I love it,” Mrazek said.

Meanwhile, Howard, who has missed the last seven games, had planned to donate a specially designed mask that was to be auctioned by the U.S. Marines Corps Reserves Toys for Tots. The original plan was for Howard to wear the mask once, Monday against the New York Islanders.

“I told them I’d do it this year, but since the knee injury happened, I’m not sure when I’m going to be able to wear it,” Howard said. “I don’t know if I’m going to hold off until next year with it or wear it when I come back after Christmas.”

The Christmas-inspired design – created by famed-hockey mask artist Ray Bishop – features a blue-eyed, rosy-cheeked Santa Claus and mistletoe.

“I like it, it’s sharp,” Howard said.

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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