Gerry Cheever’s mask pays homage to Terry Sawchuk.
"The poet Randall Maggs referred to goaltending as night work. In the vein of Michael Ondaatje’s Collected Works of Billy the Kid, Maggs’ Night Work: The Sawchuk Poems—which has been called “the truest hockey book ever written”—opens with a page-long description from Sawchuk’s real life autopsy report. Plante and Sawchuck were the heroes of goaltending’s last golden age. (Like most Canadian immigrant kids, trying to fit in to a new country, Sawchuk was a Ukranian who found belonging in a new culture through sport.) But over his career, Sawchuk would suffer from severe depression and alcoholism. He died at age 40 after a fight with a teammate.
Denied the leap and dash up the ice,
what goalies know is side to side, an inwardness of monk
and cell. They scrape. They sweep. Their eyes are elsewhere
as they contemplate their narrow place. Like saints, they pray for nothing,
which brings grace. Off-days, what they want is space. They sit apart
in bars. They know the length of streets in twenty cities.
But it’s their saving sense of irony that further
isolates them as it saves.”