Jake ‘The Snake’ Allen Plays The Blues On New Mask
Some thought bringing in Ryan Miller would solve the St. Louis Blues goaltending issues. There was another contingent that thought there wasn’t really an issue to begin with. Still others thought that any issue could be solved from within the Blues system, and could not see the need to bring in “outside” help. Regardless of your stance on the matter, Jake Allen has established himself as one of the up and coming young goaltenders in the NHL. The 24 year old Fredricton native has played 15 games at the NHL level and after an excellent AHL season last year, it’s expected he’ll remain in St. Louis to backup Brian Elliott or even challenge for the number one spot in the crease. Allen’s new mask comes courtesy of Jason Livery at HeadStrongGrafx and it’s sure to generate some serious excitement for the upcoming season.
Allen’s new mask is a tribute to Blues logos, past and present. The different logos allow any viewer to conjure up memories of Doug Harvey, Glenn Hall, and Red Berenson, but in the same breath get excited about the talents and play of TJ Oshie, David Backes, and Alex Pietrangelo.
The classic blue and gold of St. Louis are in great balance and are sure to look great on the ice. On the left side, the classic Blues note is encircled in a ring, while another larger note site just above it. Speaking with Livery, he said, “the mask has lots of cool effects like the ghosted notes in the background with our holographic FX,” and we couldn’t agree more.
On the right side of the mask, the newer incarnation of the Blues logo complete with the Gateway Arch is upstaged slightly by one of the lesser known Blues logos. While never actually making it on to the ice, the Blues nearly played in one of the ugliest jerseys of all time. Mike Keenan may have vetoed wearing it in 1996, but Allen and Livery have made sure it lives on in infamy, placing it on this great mask.
“His mask is really 3D with lots of little effects to give the design some depth,” said Livery, which is readily apparent as you look closely at the big logos, as well as some of the other smaller features.
On the chin of the mask, Allen uses the “wings” of another Blues note to play a little tune. The notes sit behind Allen’s number 34, as well the goalie’s last name in cursive. On the backplate of the mask, Allen’s nickname “Jake The Snake,” makes an appearance. The massive snake head stabbing out from the backplate sits between a four leaf clover and a merged flag consisting of the Canadian and American flags.
In what will be a contract year, it’s likely Allen will be playing for the opportunity to sign a one-way deal. In what has become essentially a season-long tryout, he’ll probably backup Brian Elliott for most of the year, but that doesn’t mean he’s incapable of taking the lead. The 15 games Allen played in 2012-2013 were almost all as the Blues starter, as opposed to filling in as backup for then partners Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott. After going 9-4-1 (.905 SV%/2.46 GAA), perhaps the Blues figured Allen needed a little more time with their AHL affiliate, the Chicago Wolves. Well, the gamble paid off big time. Allen was awarded the Aldege “Baz” Bastien Memorial Trophy last April as the Most Outstanding Goaltender in the AHL. Allen earned it, too. With a save percentage of .923 and a goals against average barely above two (2.03), Allen posted a 33-16-10 record on a strong Wolves team.
Things may have fallen apart a little in the Calder Cup playoffs, but the Blues are confident enough to not resign Ryan Miller and stick with Allen and Brian Elliott. This new mask from Livery is a great tribute to the city of St. Louis and the historic Blues franchise. We can’t wait to see it in action. We also can’t forget the incredible save Allen made in only his second NHL regular season start against the Flames’ TJ Brodie.
Jason Livery at HeadStrongGrafx has been featured recently on InGoal, with Thomas McCollum’s Red Wings mask, and Karri Ramo’s spooky Flames mask. You can find more great masks from Livery on the HeadStrongGrafx website. You can also follow HeadStrongGrafx on Twitter and Facebook to see some great new designs and ideas.