As with all team sports, the attire in hockey is standard across the board, with goalie masks being one of the notable exceptions. A detailed run down of Antero Niittymaki’s new mask was displayed when it came out and now it is time for the face coverage for Antti Niemi.
Niemi’s new San Jose mask debuted in Friday night’s game against Anaheim. The art work was handled by the same designer who created his previous mask in Chicago, so it should not be a surprise there are similarities. And once again, Niemi is happy with the final result.
“I like the colors and I think it’s awesome,” said Niemi.
Niemi approves of the final design, but does not get involved in the process.
When looking from the front, there is a throwback look to an old Brian Hayward mask that had Sharks mouth opening and teeth surrounding the opening. The lower section under the cage is filled with the primary Sharks logo.
The side of the mask contains some hard-to-describe artwork that is similar to what Niemi wore in Chicago. It looks very cool, but even Niemi had a hard time answering what exactly it was. It does possess a shark coming out from the lower portion and the mask is symmetrical on the two sides.
“I don’t know how to explain it,” said Niemi. “I think it comes from last year’s mask and he wanted to keep the mask similar and now it converges to the Shark. He wanted to keep the same type.”
On the back, Niemi has a few references to his native Finland. On the back left side is the Finnish lion and on the back right directly across is the symbol of his hometown, a fish tail diving into the water. Above that sits the Sharks 20th anniversary mark. All three marks are white on the teal colored back of his mask.
“It’s the Finnish lion and the other is the symbol of my hometown,” said Niemi proudly displaying his roots.
The Sharks not only have talent in the nets this year, but they also have well decorated goaltenders.