It's my favorite type of post here at Eye on Hockey ... goalie mask art! This time it's two for the price of one. It's my lucky day.
The Coyotes' goaltending duo of Mike Smith and Jason LaBarbera were in the market for new designs this season (even though they had awesome looks last season: here's Smith's and here's LaBarbera's). As always, they turned to mask painter Dave Arrigo to put their own touches on the new mask.
Smith, who had Wile E. Coyote featured prominently on the mask a year ago snuck the ACME character on the mask again this season, albeit in a slightly diminished presence. The big change this year was with a personal touch with Arrigo painting Smith's sons Axel and Ajax (those definitely sound like the names of Mike Smith's children) on each side, decked out in Coyotes gear. It's a pretty awesome and a unique touch.
LaBarbera, who had an incredible tribue to Pat Tillman last season, went with a much more Phoenix Coyotes look. He has a couple versions of the Coyotes logo with a touch of Navajo. He explains that he has a nod to his children on the mask, too.
Smith and Arrigo go way back. The first mask Arrigo painted was for Smith, a great Grinch mask when Smith was in Dallas. Since then he has become a much more popular mask artist joining other famous painters such as Dave Gunnarsson.