NHL NETWORK HONORS THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE GOALIE MASK
WITH ONE-HOUR SPECIAL SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 1, AT 7 P.M. ET
NEW YORK (October 29, 2009) – NHL Network™ celebrates the golden anniversary of one of the seminal events in the League’s history on Sunday, Nov. 1, by premiering 50 Years Behind The Mask, a sweeping, one-hour special that will be broadcast in the United States and Canada at 7 p.m. ET. The program will be streamed live on NHL.com Sunday at 7 p.m. ET.
An NHL Network original program, 50 Years Behind The Mask will begin 50 years almost to the minute from the moment when legendary Montreal Canadiens goaltender Jacques Plante revolutionized his position – and the sport – by donning a face mask in a League game. The program draws upon archival footage and interviews with Plante’s contemporaries to tell the story of that transformational night of Nov. 1, 1959. A visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame and Interviews with current NHL® goaltenders – including Cam Ward, Tim Thomas, Steve Mason, Chris Mason, Craig Anderson and others – advance the story to the present day.
Nov. 1, 1959, became one of the landmark dates in NHL history when, during a game in New York between the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Rangers, a shot by Rangers forward Andy Bathgate struck Plante in the face, cutting him from the corner of his lip to his nostril. After having his face stitched up, Plante returned to the ice wearing a mask he had been using in practice. Despite the concerns of Plante’s coach, Toe Blake, that the mask would hinder his goalie’s performance, the Canadiens won that game, 3-1, and went on an 18-game unbeaten streak thereafter. As a result, the mask was here to stay.
NHL Network was nominated for a 2009 Gemini Award in the Best Sports Analysis or Commentary Program, Series or Segment category for the “Brodeur: A Winner Above All” tribute program to New Jersey Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur.