The Tampa Bay Lightning may be looking for their new would-be No.1 goaltender, Anders Lindback to simplify his game this season. The big Swedish stopper started with his mask.
Lindback’s first Lightning mask made its debut on Tuesday, as the 6-foot-6 goalie was traveling back to Tampa Bay after splitting the lockout between his native country and a two-month stint playing in Finland. Painted by fellow Swede David Gunnarsson, the new split-screen lid is both a striking and simplified take on the Lightning logos.
“Anders always wants clean and strong designs, built on the team logos,” Gunnarsson wrote on his Facebook page of Lindback’s lid, which they worked on back in the summer. “I love the challenge how to make a crisp logo design come to life. It is all all built on the team logos and a lightning storm is coming over the mask … The closer you come to the mask the more details you will discover, and when you are really close the mask enters a new dimension of detail work and 3-D effects and much more.”
InGoal has images of Lindback’s new mask below – and you can see more of Gunnarsson’s great artwork on both his website and on his Twitter feed – but the new mask wasn’t the only thing the Lightning are looking for Lindback to simplify.
According to a recent story in the Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Bay goaltending Franz Jean thinks Lindback was too aggressive sometimes during his two seasons behind Pekka Rinne in Nashville.
“He doesn’t need to chase the play,” Jean told The Times. “At 6-6 he can be more patient and sit back a little bit. That’s an adjustment guys make with experience. He’s kind of figuring out where he needs to stand to maximize his efficiency.”
Jean praised the likeable Lindback, who was featured in InGoal Magazine this summer after signing a two-year, $3.6-million extension with the Lightning, for choosing to play in Finland, where the rinks are smaller and the play more direct and physical – closer to style in the NHL than many of the other, pass-first, shoot-never over leagues in Europe.
Lindback, who was also profiled in his rookie season for going from “Goon to Goalie” back in Sweden, finished just 3-6-4 despite posting a 2.33 goals-against average and .930 save percentage behind the last place Ilves Tampere team, and tops InGoal’s “Goalies to Watch” list for the upcoming season, even if the adjustment to playing for a new team and in a new conference will be that much tougher in a condensed 40 to 50-game season because of the lockout.
For now, enjoy his new mask – and for all the new NHL lids this season, check out our mask page: