In 2008, the NHL debuted the Winter Classic, a regular-season game that pays homage to hockey's roots outdoors. That first Winter Classic, a 2-1 shootout win for the Pittsburgh Penguins over the Buffalo Sabres at Ralph Wilson Stadium, was the first official outdoor NHL game played in the United States.
The NHL will play its ninth Winter Classic on Jan. 2 when the Chicago Blackhawks take on the St. Louis Blues at Busch Stadium. While the NHL has added other outdoor games and this year -- the Centennial Classic between the Red Wings and Maple Leafs will take place on Jan. 1 -- the Winter Classic remains the pinnacle of open-air hockey. The festive nature of the Winter Classic has encouraged goalies to customize special masks for the occasion. Some have been good, some not so bad and some ugly.
We round up some of the best, most mediocre and worst masks in Winter Classic history.
The Good: Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres (2008)
The Good: Jonathan Bernier, Toronto Maple Leafs (2013)
The Good: Braden Holtby, Washington Capitals (2015)
The Good: Tim Thomas, Boston Bruins (2010)
The Good: Scott Darling, Chicago Blackhawks (2017)
The Good: Jake Allen, St. Louis Blues (2017)
The Not So Bad: Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins (2010)
The Not So Bad: Cristobal Huet, Chicago Blackhawks (2010)
The Not So Bad: Sergei Bobrovsky, Philadelphia Flyers (2011)
The Not So Bad: Tuukka Rask, Boston Bruins (2016)
The Ugly: Seymon Varlamov, Washington Capitals (2011)
The Ugly: Corey Crawford, Chicago Blackhawks (2015)
The Ugly: Mike Condon, Montreal Canadiens (2016)
-- Follow Marty Johnson on Twitter @rick_and_MARTY.