Hockey: What happened to Goalies' faces b4 masks?

A little research says that "It was not until 1959 that a goaltender wore a mask full-time."

I was born well after 1959 and so never watched hockey before goalie's wore masks. The camera angles now are incredible. They will show direct shots at however many mph hitting off a goalie's mask. Shots that are so hard and fast, the goalie had no time to react and try to block it. Sometimes the puck hits the mask so hard, the goalie has to readjust it.

Before masks, these shots would have went of the grills of these guys.

For those of you that watched hockey back before goalies wore masks, or know about it, how in the hell did goaltender's back in the day not all have broken faces and no teeth? Who would have wanted to be a goaltender back then unless you were insane and wanted to donate your face to flying hockey pucks? I know players didn't shoot the puck as fast back then. But still, a lot of these guys must have been taking multiple shots directly off their faces', right?

probably a lot of broken bones and missing teeth

This face belongs to Terry Sawchuk [wrote LIFE], a 36-year-old goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Re-created here, by a professional make-up artist and a doctor, are some of the more than 400 stitches he has earned during 16 years in the National Hockey League. Sawchuk has sustained other injuries not shown here: a slashed eyeball requiring three stitches, a 70% loss of function in his right arm because 60 bone chips were removed from his elbow. . . . 

I have had this same thought. Google it and you will get your beautifully brutal answer. That shit was serious businews mang!

Yep that's the pic ^

sreiter -

This face belongs to Terry Sawchuk [wrote LIFE], a 36-year-old goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Re-created here, by a professional make-up artist and a doctor, are some of the more than 400 stitches he has earned during 16 years in the National Hockey League. Sawchuk has sustained other injuries not shown here: a slashed eyeball requiring three stitches, a 70% loss of function in his right arm because 60 bone chips were removed from his elbow. . . . 

Came to post this. Gnarly respect for goalies. 

They looked like this

Stick blades were not curved back then which made it more difficult for a player to get elevation on the puck. Goalies are typically known as being a little crazy but the chance of taking a shot to the face back then was much lower than it is in the modern game. 

Google "Clint Malarchuk" if you want to learn about why they wear those neck flap thingies that hang from their helmets

sreiter - 

This face belongs to Terry Sawchuk [wrote LIFE], a 36-year-old goalie for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Re-created here, by a professional make-up artist and a doctor, are some of the more than 400 stitches he has earned during 16 years in the National Hockey League. Sawchuk has sustained other injuries not shown here: a slashed eyeball requiring three stitches, a 70% loss of function in his right arm because 60 bone chips were removed from his elbow. . . . 


Wow. So, basically they ended up looking like Frankenstein.

Yeah, I think I'd pass on that profession prior to face masks.

Leghound -


Google "Clint Malarchuk" if you want to learn about why they wear those neck flap thingies that hang from their helmets

Actually, those are for pucks. The neck protector is strapped right to the neck to stop skate related injuries.

^ Due to ESPN doing an "ESPN: Short Feature" or whatever it's called on him that I caught a little while ago - I knew this was the poor dude whose neck was slashed by a skate and started bleeding profusely on the ice. Fortunately he ended up okay.

But like an idiot I just couldn't help myself and had to youtube the incident. I am regretting watching that again.

Pilgor the goat -
Leghound -


Google "Clint Malarchuk" if you want to learn about why they wear those neck flap thingies that hang from their helmets

Actually, those are for pucks. The neck protector is strapped right to the neck to stop skate related injuries.
Yup

Pilgor the goat -
Leghound -


Google "Clint Malarchuk" if you want to learn about why they wear those neck flap thingies that hang from their helmets

Actually, those are for pucks. The neck protector is strapped right to the neck to stop skate related injuries.
Almost every chest protector now has a built in neck guard. I also wear a goalie undershirt:turtle neck which is lined with Kevlar.

I took a slapshot deflection to the throat last year and it was scary as fuck. It went under the chin of my mask and above my neck protector. Hurt to swallow for a week.

Back in the day, NHL goalies had a thing called "The 200 Club" and you were jack shit as a goalie until you joined.

To get in, you had to have received 200 stitches ABOVE THE CHIN.

Straydog24 - 
Pilgor the goat -
Leghound -


Google "Clint Malarchuk" if you want to learn about why they wear those neck flap thingies that hang from their helmets

Actually, those are for pucks. The neck protector is strapped right to the neck to stop skate related injuries.
Almost every chest protector now has a built in neck guard. I also wear a goalie undershirt:turtle neck which is lined with Kevlar.

I took a slapshot deflection to the throat last year and it was scary as fuck. It went under the chin of my mask and above my neck protector. Hurt to swallow for a week.

That does sound scary. Jesus. Glad you're okay.

Are you basically saying there are still (and will probably always be) instances or angles the puck can strike a goalie in an unprotected area (like what you described) regardless if they are wearing every piece of equipment available?

Or are you saying you got hit in the throat because you weren't wearing all the neck, etc. equipment?

phydeau - Back in the day, NHL goalies had a thing called "The 200 Club" and you were jack shit as a goalie until you joined.

To get in, you had to have received 200 stitches ABOVE THE CHIN.

Well, that's just plain crazy.

Guys must have had a serious combination of complete love of the game, toughness and mental instability to be an NHL goalie back then.

By the way, are most of the folks on this thread Canadian?

not me -

just a hockey fan for 45+ years ..

i remember gump worsley and gerry chivers.

but really the childhood goalie hero's were eddy giacomin and ken dryden

although tony espo was a monster, never got into the blackhawks

Thingading - 
phydeau - Back in the day, NHL goalies had a thing called "The 200 Club" and you were jack shit as a goalie until you joined.

To get in, you had to have received 200 stitches ABOVE THE CHIN.

Well, that's just plain crazy.

Guys must have had a serious combination of complete love of the game, toughness and mental instability to be an NHL goalie back then.

yes they did.