The 2018 Bucket Bracket Showdown (Round 3)
We’re down to the final four masks of the 2018 playoffs and are only one round away from crowning yet another Bucket Bracket Champion. In round three, the best of each conference battle it out to see who will advance to the finals and get their shot at goalie mask supremacy.
Once again, we’ll be pitting the starting goaltenders’ masks up against each other in matters of branding, composition, and overall aesthetic value. If you missed the first or second rounds, catch up now, or keep reading and see who comes out on top!
Tampa Bay Lightning vs. Washington Capitals
Andrei Vasilevskiy (Sylabrush) vs. Braden Holtby (Daveart)
After both getting bested by their second round opponents in the mask department, the Lightning and Capitals carried their goaltenders’ losing masks to the conference finals to face off for bragging rights as the best bucket in the east.
In round two, Tuukka Rask’s edged out Vasilevskiy’s bucket by a slim margin, so there are plenty of great moments to talk about in this design. The Sylabrush creation uses temperature-sensitive paint to reveal blue design elements throughout the mask, something that artist Sylvie Marsolais has become known for, along with her talent for hyper-realism and sharp detail.
Across the ice for the Capitals, Holtby’s mask has been the picture of consistency and a true Daveart design. The latest “DC Dedication-Evo” mask showcases artist Dave Gunnarsson’s knack for detail too, but the contrast between the gray wash negative space and bold colors in the foreground creates a visual hierarchy that Vasilevskiy’s mask is somewhat lacking. Both of these buckets were painted by incredibly skilled artists, but the composition of Holtby’s just breathes a little bit better and gives him the edge over Vasy.
Result: Caps in 6
Vegas Golden Knights vs. Winnipeg Jets
Marc-Andre Fleury (Griff Airbrush) vs. Connor Hellebuyck (Eyecandyair)
After a 7-game battle with the Nashville Predators, the better mask came out on top, and now Hellebuyck’s Jets get to face off against Marc-Andre Fleury and the Vegas Golden Knights. These masks are wildly different, so let’s break down the matchup, starting with Fleury.
Flower’s bucket, painted by Stephane Bergeron, screams Vegas through and through, from the metallic gold cage to the over-designed feel of the whole composition. The compressed skyline of Vegas landmarks on the left side of the mask has enough contrast in the color palette to give it some balance, but while there’s clearly a lot of workmanship in the execution of the rest, from a distance it becomes a muddled mess of gold and black. Fleury’s past masks have really shined for their carefully thought out and balanced compositions, but his first Knights bucket unfortunately falls short of expectations.
Across the ice for Winnipeg is one of my favorite masks in this year’s playoffs. Hellbuyck’s latest Eyecandyair mask has everything you want to see in a great mask design—team branding, balanced composition, bold design, and a clean execution paint job. The color play in the tears on this design are really what make it for me. The contrast between the silver and the light and dark blues give it a sharp and dynamic look that Fleury’s mask is just missing.
Result: Jets in 5