50 years ago Jacques Plante from the Montreal Canadiens got a puck on the face and decided to wear a fiberglass mask to protect his face from projectile pucks slung at him. The mask has gone through many changes since then and many reflect the character and demeanor of the goalie. It has become an art-form of airbrush expression of thought. If not for Jacques Plante, do you think Jason from Friday the 13 would see form?
The advent of the goalie mask changed the way goaltenders play, allowing them to make more saves on their knees without fear of serious head or facial injuries. Before the advent of the mask, most goaltenders stayed standing as much as possible. In the modern era, a goaltender is likely to make the majority of saves when he (or she) has one or both knees on the ice.