Speaking of hockey masks....

Did anyone else happen to see the introductions at the NHL All-Star game? What the hell was that? There was an upside-down suspended violin player in tights. No word in the sentence is a lie or exaggeration. As if that wasn't enough, there were other suspended ribbon dancers, more people on violins, and some insane man with the Habs logo painted on his chest and back dancing about in a big metal circle.

The whole thing screamed "French" and not "French Canadian." It brought back awkward memories of the Albertville Olympic opening ceremonies from 1992. It's nice to know that in an age when comminucation technology has helped make the world so much smaller, and helped us understand and assimilate culture so much quicker, that we can still glare across the border (or the ocean,) and say "what was that supposed to be?"

Listen up, Montreal. You're the greatest hockey city on the planet, and no one can argue that. While many would say that the history of baseball can't be told without the Yankees, the history of hockey IS the Canadiens. (Happy 100th, by the way.) But come on, I would think you know a thing or two about hockey fans by now. The basic rule is the same principle that illustrates why Dunkin' Donuts overtook Starbucks again. Joe Hockey Fan doesn't want fancy and artistic. Joe Hockey Fan wants hockey. Come out, maybe do a nice montage of Maurice Richard, and then get on with it.

I hope this doesn't carry over to the Games in Vancouver next winter. Here's what I expect from the opening ceremonies in British Columbia. 1) People handing out Molson as you enter the arena. 2) People handing out ketchup flavored potato chips as you take your seat. 3) Some kind of reference to Sasquatch. It is, after all, the pacific northwest. (If you've never had ketchup chips before, it's not nearly as gross as it sounds.)

Anyway, with the impending Friday the 13th on the horizon, it got me thinking of hockey masks throughout history, and what some of the best ones were. Above is Gary Bromley's skull mask that he wore with the Vancouver Canucks in 1980, which gets my vote for best hockey mask ever. Although, Antero Niittymaki's mask is a close second.

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