Friday, November 1, 2013

The Wiz's History Lesson: Puck Poetry

Jacques Plante's mask, currently enshrined in the Hall of Fame. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

On November 1st 1959, Jacques Plante of the Montreal Canadiens wore a goaltending mask for the first time in NHL regular season history. The game he wore the mask as well a little bit of historical background can be found right here on Plante's Wikipedia page. The mask has become an iconic piece of equipment in hockey, with many masks becoming infamous pieces of art in 20th century sports history. Today I would like to present a historical poem describing the game, the mask, Plante, and the historical moment.


Headache tonight
Won't go away.
Something is needed
To keep it at bay.

Bathgate's shot
There goes his nose.
The play is stopped
As the blood overflows.

Bleu blanc et rouge
More rouge tonight.
Toe needs something
To stay in this fight.

Toe had no choice
It was all Jacques' call.
With no one at backup
It was nothing, or all.

Keeper got his way
Now he's back on the ice.
Can he see down?
It's a roll of the dice.

Plante with the save!
The crowd roars with the play.
With blood on his sweater,
Look's like Jacques is okay.

"He'll get rid of it soon,"
Toe said with some snark.
"He won't use that thing,
this is just for a lark."

Sixty-three years
Have gone by since that night.
When Jacques Plante wore the mask,
Keepers had won their own right.

The mask's down the Hall,
Locked out in its case.
The shield of the keeper,
Protecting the face.

--PG Marsh

I recognize that to many, this poem may be cheesy, or corny, or both. I had a lot of fun writing it, and since we're all locked out of writing about the NHL (for now), I thought I would take advantage of the current date and write about one of the greatest goaltenders of all time and his innovation to the game.

Your bonus from me: the Canadian Heritage Moment describing Plante and the Mask.

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