If you really think about it, it’s not difficult to find the similarities between goaltenders and superheroes: Goalies are quite literally masked men, their armour helps them stop vulcanized rubber bullets, they can fly (diving save across the ice to make a save, right?), and they can save the day each time they step on the ice and help their team win a game – or even a championship.
For London Knights goaltender Kevin Bailie, his abilities were finally noticed as he was named the CHL Vaughn Goalie of the Week for the week ending December 2, 2012. During this time, Kevin went 4-0-0-0 with a goals-against-average of 1.96, and .944 save percentage.
It’s no surprise then to find Batman, the Caped Crusader, painted on one side of Kevin’s mask. Here is a side-by-side-comparison of the mask Kevin wears, which is painted by Gilders Design.
(Photos courtesy of Gilders Design)
The thing about superheroes, though, is that everybody waits for them to fail. It’s part of the appeal, I guess, to watch someone of such great ability fall. It brings them back to being human, to being more like the rest of us. They’re not perfect, but I don’t think they claim to be. Without their mask or their armour, they’re just like you and me. They’re normal people, but when the moment strikes, they tap into special powers. They focus and elevate their abilities to do extraordinary things.
As Thomas Wayne told his son Bruce in the 2005 movie Batman Begins, “And why do we fall, Bruce? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.”
Having known Kevin for the past five years, I have seen him relentlessly work on making himself a better goaltender. His attention to detail and understanding of what it takes to be successful night in and night out has been building ever since he broke into the OHL as a 16-year old rookie with the Oshawa Generals.
Off the ice, he’s incredibly smart and a genuine person.
On the ice, when he dons his mask, he taps into his athletic abilities, using his speed, strength and vision to save the day.
Congratulations, Kevin. You made a positive impact on everyone you met as part of the PRO Goaltending team and we look forward to your continued success, on and off the ice.