Saturday, 19 October 2013

Saturday Power Ranking - Oct 19

Hey everybody, here is my 2nd version of my weekly power rankings.  There isn't too much change since last week, but with a full week's worth of action to look at, lets see where everyone is:

1. San Jose Sharks (6-0-1) - Last Week: 1

Still no regulation loss, still the most goals in the league, still #1 on my ranking.

2. Colorado Avalanche (6-1-0) - Last Week: 2

With only one loss so far this year, to a Detroit team that is quickly rising, the Avs still look like a legitimate team.

3. Pittsburgh Penguins (4-1-0) - Last Week: 4

Only one loss this season, and the best goal differential besides San Jose.  Crosby has been on fire, which is great news for the Penguins.

4. Anaheim Ducks (6-1-0) - Last Week: 11

They've allowed the least amount of goals this season, and have been able to shut teams down with their defence while using their scoring depth to win games.  If the Sharks aren't careful, the Ducks will have a chance to contend for the Pacific division title.

5.  St. Louis Blues (5-1-1) - Last Week: 5

Right on the heels of the Avalanche, St. Louis' defence-first game is paying off in wins for the team.  It also helps when depth players are giving lots of offence to help close out games.

6. Detroit Red Wings (6-2-0) - Last Week: 20

Since last week, they've found the offence that has been absent from the team's best players.  The line of Alfie-Datsyuk-Zetterburg seems too deadly for most teams to handle.

7. Toronto Maple Leafs (6-2-0) - Last Week: 3

Tied with their division-rivals and Winter Classic opponents in Detroit, they've been able to put up great offensive numbers, despite being heavily outshot in the last few games.  It's a good thing their goalies have played well, their defencemen sure haven't helped.

8. Chicago Blackhawks (4-1-2) - Last Week: 10

Most of their games have been close, and they still haven't had as good of a season as some of the teams below, but they've been playing well and getting offence from every part of the lineup. It wont take much for this team to shoot up the rankings if they start finishing their games.

9. Montreal Canadiens (5-2-0) - Last Week: 19

After a pretty miserable start, they've won 4 straight, and are looking like they could compete with Toronto and Detroit for the Atlantic division lead.

10. Tampa Bay Lightning (5-2-0) - Last Week: 6

Along with Detroit, Toronto, Montreal, and Boston, Tampa Bay is proving why the Atlantic Division will be the the toughest division to win.  As expected, most of their offence has come from Stamkos-St. Louis, and their goaltending has been good, but slightly worse than Montreal, so thats why they've sank a bit.

11. Vancouver Canucks (5-3-1) - Last Week: 16

While they've been getting the job done for offence, they've been allowing too many goals to be a dominant force in the Pacific division, especially with teams like San Jose and Anaheim who are playing like champions right now.  Luongo has had great nights, and poor nights, and needs to find consistency for this team to do well.

12. Calgary Flames (3-1-2) - Last Week: 7

Calgary only played one game since the last ranking, a close loss to Anaheim.  They shown that they can compete with the tough teams in the division, but goaltending consistency from their unproven netminders is important if they want to stay afloat this year.  Tonight's game against San Jose will be a real test of their ability.

13. Carolina Hurricanes (3-2-3) - Last Week: 12

They aren't exactly doing well, but they're the 2nd best team in a relatively weak Metropolitan division. Their future franchise player Jeff Skinner is finally playing to expectations, which is great news for the 'Canes.

14. Boston Bruins (4-2-0) - Last Week: 8

They're ranking probably takes a hit from not playing as many games as the other Atlantic teams, but they've played well and will be a tough team to play against.  Their physical style will be hard for some of the smaller, quicker teams like Toronto and Detroit to compete against.

15. New York Islanders (3-2-2) - Last Week: 15

They are still getting the scoring from their big 5 guys mentioned last week, but goaltending is still a huge question mark for this team.  Regardless, the Islanders are one of the hardest teams to play at their home barn this year, giving their fans something good to watch before their eventual move to Brooklyn.

16. Ottawa Senators (3-3-2) - Last Week: 13

So far on the outside-looking-in for a divisional playoff spot, but they're able to stay close despite not getting enough secondary scoring to support this team in the long run.  Either Spezza and Ryan have to carry this team, or their 3rd and 4th lines (a constant revolving door) needs to start scoring.

17. Phoenix Coyotes (4-2-2) - Last Week: 17

The good news is that they haven't lost a regulation game this week.  The bad news is that they aren't getting enough offence to be able to finish games off in the win column.

18. Los Angeles Kings (5-3-0) - Last Week: 18

Same problem as Phoenix, they play too many close games that they can't finish off.  Despite having a winning record and allowing a small amount of goals, they've scored even less themselves, which means they can't find the offence to win those close games.

19. Minnesota Wild (3-3-2) - Last Week: 23

They were 2-2 last week, and kept pace with the Jets.  The Wild still get the better rank because they've had some great goaltending so far despite the injury troubles they've had to deal with.

20. Winnipeg Jets (4-4-0) - Last Week: 24

While they haven't made a huge jump in the ranking, they were able to keep pace with their rival Minnesota, and pass a Dallas team that looked very solid at the start of the season.  Hope is far from lost on this team.

21. Nashville Predators (3-3-1) - Last Week: 26

At 2-0-1 last week (and currently leading the Montreal Canadiens), they're looking better than how they started, and are helping to create a mess of things in the Central division.  Seth Jones is making sure everyone knows he belongs in the league.

22. Dallas Stars (3-3-0) - Last Week: 9

While we're talking about the Central division (since the bottom of the Eastern conference is really weak so far), Dallas has dropped down quite a bit in my rankings, ending up at the bottom of the division.  It says quite a bit about the division when the worst team is playing .500 hockey.

23. Washington Capitals (2-5-0) - Last Week: 25

It was really hard choosing who deserves to be the best out of the rest of the teams, because the rest of the teams from here on out have really sucked.  Washington gets the nod for 23rd because Ovechkin is actually playing, and they at least won a game last week, which is more than most of the other teams can say.

24. Columbus Blue Jackets (2-4-0) - Last Week: 14

Columbus goes next, even though they lost 3 straight, because they've at least kept games close.  They haven't played well by any means, but they still look like a competitive team in the weak Metropolitan division.

25. New York Rangers (2-4-0) - Last Week: 28

It hurts me to put the Rangers up this high, because they've been nothing but terrible.  But they won last week, have yet to play a home game, and started the year against some really tough opponents, so they get a little bit of a pass this week.

26. New Jersey Devils (0-4-3) - Last Week: 21

Even though they haven't won a game yet (but looks like they will tonight), their goaltending has been fairly decent, and they appear to be competing in most games, just catching most of the unlucky breaks.  Their biggest problem is scoring, or lack thereof.

27. Edmonton Oilers (2-6-1) - Last Week: 27

I'll finally get to the Oilers, who appear to have given up on Dubnyk by igniting some early-season trade rumours.  Yakupov is under the same microscope.  If the team doesn't turn around, then the Oilers might be losing some key players as they try to retool and figure out what is stalling this team's success.

30*. Florida Panthers (2-6-0) - Last Week: 22
30*. Philadelphia Flyers (1-7-0) - Last Week: 29
30*. Buffalo Sabres (1-7-1) - Last Week: 30

The reality is, none of these three teams deserve any distinction better than worst, so they're I'll make them tied for the worst rank this week.  All 3 teams have really struggled, having troubles scoring and letting in tons of goals.  Florida has one extra win, and has scored more goals, but have been embarrassing defensively with allowing 31 goals.  Only Edmonton has allowed more, but they have 4 more goals than the Flyers and Sabres combined.  Overall, its looking like a long season for these 3 clubs.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Lethbridge College, More BNG, and A Few Other Thoughts

So, it's been almost a long week without a single post, that's not good.  My life has been pretty busy as of late, and it can't be helped, but I really want to thank you guys for reading my blog still and keeping the blog alive.


First, I wanna show off a few concepts I've made during the week:

Here's one I made for my current school, Lethbridge College.  The Kodiaks do not have a hockey team repping the school yet, but with their athletics logo and wordmark logo elements making up this jersey, as well as a classic looking 3rd jersey, I would be pretty happy if these jerseys were used.

This was done for a contest at HJC, making jerseys for the bottom 10 teams in the IIHF World Rankings.  I chose Israel simply because I had this design in my head already, and while it's a simplistic design, I still like how it turned out.


While I'm talking about some concepts, let's take a look at some more designs sent in from Ricky at Buffalo Nickel Graphics:

Here is (I assume) a Colorado Avalanche redo. The logos are really cool, and it does relate to mountainous terrain for sure, but I'm not sure how 'Avalanchey' these logos are. The dog paw with the 'A' looks really good as a logo, but I thought at first it was for an Arizona logo (Future Arizona Coyotes logo? Could work).  The jerseys are nice and modern, yet keep the Avalanche look. The 3rd logo is decent, but the one-armed design is what I like most about the jersey. It looks really cool in Colorado colours.  Overall, not convinced that the logos do the job, but its a cool design.

Oh my goodness.  As god awful as this would look on the ice, this looks like a fantastic ECHL specialty-jersey design.  From a design standpoint, the lettering and numbers is hard to notice, especially the front number. This could never pass as an on-ice jersey, but if I seen a t-shirt like this, I'd probably buy it. Aloha Anaheim!

I don't have much to go on here, and I'd love input if anyone has more to add here, but to my knowledge this is for the Indigenous Round of the AFL, Aussie Rules Football.  It's a celebration of the native cultures of Australia, and some of the foundations of what created the game that connects most Australians together.  I know less about this sport than probably any other semi-major sport in the world, especially from a design standpoint.  But the artwork of the jersey, and how its blended with the jersey, is absolutely beautiful.  This sort of artwork is similar to how Team Canada designed their Olympic logo, which was a hit amongst Canadians.

And there are a few more of Ricky's concepts coming hopefully in the next couple of days, so stay tuned for that.


Is it troubling anybody of how many suspensions have been handed out so far this season?  Not like I'm complaining about the suspensions, but the high amount of suspend-able offences committed.  5 during the season, 7 during pre-season.  Most of those were hits to the head or checks from behind.  

I like how the league is handling these incidents. There are no small 1 or 2 game penalties, with some 5 and 10 game sentences being handed out.  Pretty tough, but good for the league in the long run.


In a very tragic incident in the USHL, a player lost his helmet during a fight, and fell with his head hitting the ice.  He started going into convulsions right on the ice, and had to be sent to hospital, where he is still recovering.  He will likely make a full recovery.

But while this was a tragic event, this will of course bring back the debate of fighting in hockey.  With occurrences such as this, or with George Parros earlier this year, the water cooler talk is at an all-time high on the issue.

I've always said that fighting needs to be in hockey, and until it's removed at the NHL level, it will not and should not be removed at the junior level.  Injuries like this are unfortunately not new, but seem to be getting more and more exposure to the problem of concussions in hockey and the problems caused by fighting.  

Is the game any safer without fighting?  That is a very important question, which I think I'd still say no to.  Things like this are going to happen with fighting or not  As I write this, Trouba from the Jets got sent off on a stretcher.  He wasn't fighting, he wasn't hit, he just lost his footing and hit the boards hard.

Fighting has a risk, of course.  And I think I could support a move to limit fighting, such as a game misconduct after a fight, or additional penalties if the fight was deemed to have no meaning (Laraque's "Good luck" fight), or was overly aggressive (John Scott's attack on Kessel).  But removing fighting all together will not be the answer, as more players will aim for dirty hits without the consequence of being stood up by one of the other team's tough guys.  

Fighting give the game accountability, and while it has an injury risk itself, it keeps the game safe from the Torres', Cooke's, and Kaleta's of the league.  You can suspend them, but will that make them learn any more than having to stand up for themselves?  Have you ever seen Cooke, Torres, or Kaleta fight?  Cooke fights players like Kovalchuk, Callahan, and E. Kane.  That's a weak fight card.  If Scott Stevens got a hold of Cooke, do you think that could change him?  I think it would.

Overall, I think there should be less fighting, particularly "staged" fighting.  But I don't think I would like the NHL's direction if they decide to remove fighting all together.  Fighting is both a safety risk and a safety device, but a perfect balance needs to be needed, or else it could be the game itself being removed on a stretcher.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Saturday Power Ranking - Oct 12

Alright, so I decided to finally make a regular recurring segment in my blog (not including my Nike rants, which unfortunately probably wont go away).

I decided on Saturday, I will give my NHL Power Rankings of the teams so far.  Not much more explanation needed, so lets go!

1. San Jose Sharks (4-0-0) - Last Week: N/A

They've been the biggest fish in the sea so far this year (pun very much intended).  With a goal differential of 21 Goals For to 5 Goals Against, they've just been hamming teams they play.  A good portion of those goals have been scored by Tomas Mutant Ninja Hertl, the 19 year old rookie who's been plastered on every highlight reel package for the last few days.  Beyond Hertl, everyone else has been showing that this is a very hard team to compete against.

2. Colorado Avalanche (4-0-0) - Last Week: N/A

While they've haven't scored as much as San Jose, they've only allowed 3 goals in 4 games to open the season.  The Avs, led by rookie coach Patrick Roy, have been a defensive juggernaut, while getting it done offensively as well.  This team will be dangerous to play this season.

3. Toronto Maple Leafs (4-1-0) - Last Week: N/A

They're only blip this season was against the Avalanche, and have otherwise been perfect so far.  Bernier has made himself the prime starter in net, but there's a long way to go before the goalie duel can be certainly put to rest.  Bernier has played great, and Toronto has been getting the offence they need to win tight games.

4. Pittsburgh Penguins (3-1-0) - Last Week: N/A

After everyone (including myself) doubting the Penguins after last season, especially goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury, the Pens have been off to a great start.  Fleury holds a .963 save%, and their only loss was when their backup goaltender Zatkoff was lit up for 6 goals.  Everything has been clicking so far, so the doubters can start believing again.

5.  St. Louis Blues (3-0-0) - Last Week: N/A

Halak has seen all of the ice time in the Blues' net so far, and has allowed only 4 goals in 3 games this season.  St. Louis is a very strong defensive team, with great goaltending to back them up.  They may not be the strongest offensively, but they're apt to find the back of the net before anyone can get past their defence.

6. Tampa Bay Lightning (3-1-0) - Last Week: N/A

While goaltending is still an issue, the fiery offence of the Lighting, anchored by duo Stamkos and St. Louis, are getting the job done in the other teams' zone.  If their young goalies can step up their game, then the Lightning can be a legitimate contender in a tough Atlantic division.

7. Calgary Flames (3-0-2) - Last Week: N/A

While they have more loses then a few of the teams below them, both of those came in OT.  One of only 5 teams to not lose a game yet in regulation, they've defied the low expectations put on them and have been dominant so far with their young troop.  Monahan is looking like the future face of this franchise already, putting up extremely good numbers for someone just celebrating their 19th birthday.

8. Boston Bruins (2-1-0) - Last Week: N/A

Despite the team's relatively new look to it, they've transitioned well and have taken out divisional foes Detroit and Tampa so far in impressive fashion.  This will be a contending team this year for sure.

9. Dallas Stars (2-1-0) - Last Week: N/A

Even though they're looking up at Chicago right now in the standings, everyone in the Dallas organization has to be impressed with how the team is shaping up so far.  Benn and Seguin have been performing to their high expectations, and the goaltending has been great so far.

10.  Chicago Blackhawks (2-1-1) - Last Week: N/A

Chicago hasn't been as impressive as a top 10 team should be, but considering the championship pedigree of the team, remaining almost entirely intact since last season, its hard to ever count them out from being a cup contender again this season.

11. Anaheim Ducks (3-1-0) - Last Week: N/A

Most of their games have been pretty close games, and their offence doesn't appear to be firing on all cylinders yet.  But they've been getting the job done, winning all of their games so far besides the one loss against still-undefeated Colorado.

12. Carolina Hurricanes (2-1-2) - Last Week: N/A

The goaltending duo of Ward and Khudobin have been keeping the Hurricanes afloat in the seemingly-weak Metropolitan division.  None of the perennial powerhouses are doing well, so Carolina has a chance this year to sneak themselves into a playoff spot.

13. Ottawa Senators (1-0-2) - Last Week: N/A

The only team in the Eastern Conference not to lose a regulation game.  Unfortunately, the've still lost more than they've won.  With Spezza coming back from an injury, maybe Ottawa can continue their unbeaten streak for a little longer and climb up the Atlantic standings.

14. Columbus Blue Jackets (2-1-0) - Last Week: N/A

With Gaborik playing as well as expected, help from secondary scoring, and Bobrovski playing good (maybe not great) so far, Columbus is proving that they can play with the tough teams of the East.

15. New York Islanders (2-1-1) - Last Week: N/A

Right in the thick of things with Columbus and Carolina are the Islanders.  Their goaltending can be better from Nabokov, and they could use some secondary scoring, but they're getting plenty of offence from Tavares, Grabner, Bailey and Nielsen.

16. Vancouver Canucks (3-2-0) - Last Week: N/A

While their goaltending seems as spotty as ever, there is no denying that they are offensively on track so far this season.  If Luongo can start playing a bit more consistent, and Tortz can give the team a more defensive attitude, then they might be able to make a run this year.

17. Phoenix Coyotes (3-2-0) - Last Week: N/A

They have an identical record to both Vancouver and Los Angeles, but their wins came against easy opponents, and their losses were against teams they should have beat.  Lots to prove left on this team, but there is hope to make the playoffs yet.

18. Los Angeles Kings (3-2-0) - Last Week: N/A

Again, as noted above, they have the same record as divisional rivals Phoenix and Vancouver.  But the Kings have had a much easier schedule than both teams, and have had a hard time pulling off wins.  Quick needs to play a bit better, and then they will be back to an elite team.

19. Montreal Canadiens (2-2-0) - Last Week: N/A

They didn't get the start that they would have liked, but the team isn't doing bad so far.  They're getting lots of offensive production from their young players, which is a good sign.  If Price can find his form, you'll see their rank improve greatly.

20. Detroit Red Wings (2-2-0) - Last Week: N/A

They've had the same start as divisional foe Montreal, but while Howard is helping the team keep up defensively, the strong offence Detroit should have isn't there.  Zetterburg, Datsyuk, Alfredsson, and Kronwall should be putting up better numbers to help the offence than they are, and that's why they're far down this list.

21. New Jersey Devils (0-2-3) - Last Week: N/A

Technically, they're one of only 2 teams in the league left without a win yet this season.  Why are they ahead of 9 other teams then?  There schedule has been tough so far, and every game they've played so far has been a 1-goal game, besides a 3-0 loss to the very respectable Penguins.  Their goaltending has been solid, and they still have a team that can take them far this year if they can turn things around.  This is one of the only instances where the record doesn't necessarily reflect the team's performance.

22. Florida Panthers (2-3-0) - Last Week: N/A

Well their goaltending situation is a big ugly mess, even with Tim Thomas, but hope isn't lost on the Panthers just yet.  They only have 2 wins so far, and got thumped by Tampa Bay, but they also just had a very impressive victory over the Penguins.  No one else can say that yet.  They're putting up good offensive numbers, they just have to figure out who deserves to be in net, or find someone who does.

23. Minnesota Wild (1-1-2) - Last Week: N/A

Its hard to see where the Wild are sitting.  They only have 1 win, to the lowly Jets, but their losses have all come by 1-goal games.  They're staying in games, which is a good sign.  Healthy goaltenders and more offence is needed for this team to be successful.

24. Winnipeg Jets (2-3-0) - Last Week: N/A

Speaking of the Jets, they're parked right behind the Wild for my ranking.  They had a good start to the season, but then lost 3 straight.  The games have all been close besides their last one, a 4-1 loss to Seguin and the Stars.  This is still a team on the outside looking in, but they've had a decent start to the season.

25. Washington Capitals (1-3-0) - Last Week: N/A

They haven't exactly played solid hockey so far this season, but Ovechkin is firing on all cylinders, which is a very good sign.  Once he started doing that last season, the Caps went from 15th to 3rd* in the East, very impressive.

26. Nashville Predators (1-3-0) - Last Week: N/A

Their best player so far has probably been Seth Jones, which says a lot good about Jones, but a lot bad about the rest of the team.  They're still in the thick of things in the Central division, and Nashville is a team you can never count out.

27. Edmonton Oilers (1-3-0) - Last Week: N/A

While their goaltending has been bad so far, they've been doing well on offence.  Almost everyone has contributed, besides surprisingly Nail Yakupov, who is without a point in 4 games this season.

28. New York Rangers (1-3-0) - Last Week: N/A

They've been embarrassing over the last few games, being outscored 15-2 combined against San Jose and Anaheim.  Tomas Hertl has as many goals this season as the New York Rangers, 4 of his goals coming against the Rangers.  AV isn't looking to hot behind the bench right now...

29. Philadelphia Flyers (1-4-0) - Last Week: N/A

But AV is doing better than coach Peter Laviolette, who was fired after losing the Flyers' first 3 games of the season.  Holmgren isn't impressed with his team's performance, his team and fans aren't impressed with him, and nobody is impressed by Giroux, who hasn't found the scoresheet yet.

30. Buffalo Sabres (0-4-1) - Last Week: N/A

But alas, even the Flyers' managerial and coaching incompetence can't compete with Buffalo for worst in my power ranking this week.  Miller hasn't played bad, but only 6 players have a point so far, only 3 players have more than 1 point, and only Hodgson and Vanek seem to be carrying the offence with 4 points each in 6 games.  All but 1 of those 6 players have a negative +/- rating, which means even though their scoring, they're hurting the team more than the players who haven't even gotten a point yet.  Hopefully you kept up with all of that number jumping, but it all points towards an awful start and what could be a long season.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Some Reviews Talk, And More From BNG

Hey guys, I finally have a day where I'm not at the college until awful hours of the night/morning, so I can get some time in to do a post.


First, just a heads up: I had my weekly jersey review post on today.  I had a few really good concepts to look at today.  If you'd like to take a quick look at my HJC post today, you can go to


As mentioned a while ago, designer and friend-of-the-blog Ricky from Buffalo Nickel Graphics wanted to get some of his hockey and non-hockey related work displayed on the site.

Today I'm going to post a handful of his concepts, and maybe some more in the near future.  Lets have a look.

Here's a court design for the Indiana Pacers of the NBA.  I really don't know much about what goes into court design, but this looks really cool.  I've always liked courts that have a darker finish to them, which this design has outside of the 3-point zone.  The current design for this year is much lighter and more plain, with less space taken up for advertising than Ricky's design, thats why I like Ricky's more.  There is more going on with his design, and it's better to look at.  The text at the ends of the court is a really nice touch.  Simply put, I like it.

Next Ricky tries to give the Bruins new aesthetic life by turning their 3rd jersey into their main jersey.  It looks nice, and translates well into a regular set.  Its different, but it still looks like a Bruins jersey.  The execution is almost perfect, besides the TV numbers looking way too large.  And with some teams having yellow home jerseys or 3rds, the yellow road jersey might not work against all teams.  But overall, it's a very nice look.

Had to do a small bit of research, but this is a set belonging to the Buffalo Destroyers of the Arena Football League.  They had a very plain jersey style, and only had one style of helmet for their whole set (this is at least the case for their last incarnation, the Columbus Destroyers of 2008, anything before that is a mystery to me).  Here, Ricky has a really psychedelic jersey with 3 different helmet combos.  I'd have so that that the dark blue helmet seems to fit the best, but the others fit well as a retro helmet.  The jersey itself has a really cool design, and while I don't think it's a look that belongs in the NFL, it's a really cool look for the AFL.  The pants are pretty wacky though, something that either Norwegian curlers or golfer John Daly should wear.

Here's a jersey for the Charlotte Bobcats of the NBA.  They've changed from being a primarily orange team to being a primarily navy blue team the last few seasons, but I think they should have stuck with orange.  This looks like a great, clean basketball jersey, and I like the stripes on the shorts.  If I were to change anything, it would be just making the name and "Charlotte" wordmark the same colour.  It just looks strange having only one piece of white text and the rest being blue, but thats just me.

Lastly for today, we have a concept for the Colorado Mammoth of the NLL.  I love this design.  Starting with the white jersey, everything about the jersey seems in place, unique, and true to Colorado.  The dark jersey of the set is almost perfect, but I'm curious why you changed the mountains to grey.  There is one tiny speck of grey on the logo, and nowhere else on the jersey.  I think it would look just as good if the mountains were left black with white highlights.  The 3rd jersey is really cool.  Clean and straight up.  I assume it reads "Colorado" on the one arm, which is cool.  This is an awesome set and I'd love to see something like this worn by the Mammoth.  This could actually look like a cool Avalanche jersey as well if you swapped the logo and a few colours around.  This jersey just screams "Colorado" and thats great.

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Nike, STAAAAHP! (Part 3)

I'm not sure, should I go into my discussion of the current season so far, my hockey pool "success", my latest jersey design review, Tim Thomas's performance, some hockey card talk...

Wait, they officially unveiled Canada and Czech Republic's Olympic jerseys?  I must have a look!


And what do you know, they surely look like Nike's work.  Not for the better either.

Let's start with Canada's jerseys.  It was leaked a while ago, and I had a post (Part 2 of this tragic tale) already written about it, but I'll go again since there is much more to see.

(images from

Complete with faux-laces, shoulder decorations, asymmetrical patters and a very plain look, this looks to be about what everyone was expecting.  Its my favourite set of the ones released by far, as this looks like a 1920's European take on a hockey jersey.  At least it's meant to look like a hockey jersey.  I don't like how plain the jersey it, but it screams national pride, which is good.  The black, gold and red 3rd jersey is interesting.  I'm not sure if I like how its just chest stripes and text, something a kid with MS Paint could make.  And it seems flamboyant making a jersey gold to show the countries expectations for the tournament.  You don't see Slovenia with a sublimated 12th place ribbon on their jersey (mind you, I shouldn't speak too soon on that, we haven't seen their jerseys yet).  It's just weird seeing a black and gold Canada jersey.  But overall, it's my favourite so far.

And it wont face competition from this next set:


Of course, they have the faux-laces and the Nike mark on the side, so it looks true to Nike's form so far.  The arms are bare, the dark uniform isn't exactly all dark, the white jersey's striping looks like it belongs on a soccer uni, etc. etc.  The only thing missing is the decorations on the shoulders, which is probably good.  There's nothing flamboyant about the white jersey.  It's a very plain, simple jersey with weird shoulders that make it look like a vintage soccer jersey.  Thats cool I guess, that's what the Americans (and somewhat the Canadians) have so far.  But then we get to the "dark" jersey.  Half of it is white, which a) doesn't make it a good dark jersey, and b) although we can't see it now, does that mean the numbers are going to be different colours?  That's not a good look for anybody.  Plus is it that bad of a thing to have your crest closer to the middle of the jersey?  All of these jerseys besides Canada's have the crest in a funky spot, leaving the bottom bare of making the uniform feel unbalanced.  It just looks weird.  Carolina did it to their jerseys this year:

(image from

I may have said this already, but while I have this jersey here: this is a plain, Team Canada bargain store rip-off jersey, with traditional laces for a non-traditional team, black on the numbers and logo and NONE on the jersey itself, and of course, a logo that is slightly raised.  Some of the leaks I've seen had the logo looking even higher.  But anyways, just wanted to bring this along as an example.

My biggest problem with the jersey: what if the Czechs play the Russians, and the Russians wear their "white" jersey while the Czechs wear their "dark" jersey?

Oh those Russians...

Seriously though, this is going to be so painful to look at (much like my pixelly version of the Czech jersey here, apologies).  If you see two of these guys go into the boards, how can you tell where one player starts and one ends?  I'm highly surprised the IOC or IIHF hasn't shut this jersey down for the same reason.  There is a reason why most dark jersey have between 0 and <30% white on them.

That's my rant for the day.  My final verdict is that the Czech jersey is just plain crazy, and the Canadian jersey isn't great, but good considering my expectations with Nike at this point.  What do you think about these jerseys?

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Thoughts On The First Few Days

Hey gang, I'm back.  It's been a bit of a long week for me, so I haven't been able to update the blog like I would have liked too.  Here's a few little notes from the first few days of the season:


Patrick Roy made his coaching debut in a big way, coaching the Avs to a 2-0 start, and possibly beginning a new divisional rivalry with the Ducks by means of Roy acting like classic Roy.

Did he deserve a $10000 fine for his tantrum?  Of course he did.  It's fine until you start tearing down the arena.  But I'm sure it was a fine well worth it, as it helps fire up his young team.  He drives his players hard at practice, and shows just as much passion for the game as he did during his playing days.    That's something the young players like MacKinnon and Landeskog can get inspired by.

Its hard to say whether this experiment in Colorado is successful or not yet, but surely its off to a great start.


I'm winning my hockey pool on Facebook so far, because Ovechkin has been performing like I thought he would.  5 points in 2 games?  Thats hardly even fair!


Radem Vrbata, a 32 year old vet playing for Phoenix with a career plagued with injury, has started this season with a hat-trick.  He's always flown under the radar because of his injuries, but this is a great sign for the Coyotes.


Toronto started 2-0, thanks to a great start by both Reimer and Bernier.  Bernier had the better game of the two, but both kept their team in their respective games.  This is definitely a goaltending controversy Toronto likes to have.  If they both can play solid hockey, look for a season similar to St. Louis' goalie tandem a few years ago.  Exciting time to be a Maple Leafs fan.

And staying in Toronto, can there be anyone left who isn't a Mason Raymond fan?  He went from being unsure if he'd be on a pro lineup this season, to working his way onto the Leafs, to being one of their best players so far.  Gotta love it.


It sounds like the plan for Teemu Selanne is that he's going to sit at least once for every back-to-back game this season.  If healthy, that gives him a 70 game season max.  It's kinda sad to see that happen, but its an obvious sign that he can't keep up with the game full-time anymore.  Hopefully as the season continues, he can prove everyone, including Father Time, wrong.


And finally, I had my HJC blog post on Thursday go live without a hitch.  Lots of good, interesting concepts on there.  If you'd like to see, go here:

Thats all I got today.  Being the first HNIC Saturday of the season, you can bet I'll be watching lots of hockey tonight.  Hope you all have a good night, and thanks for reading!