Stanley Cup Playoffs Viewing Guide
As the Stanley Cup Playoffs kick off tonight, tomorrow and Friday (screwing us all up, Florida), the NHL will have each and every playoff game on “national television” (NHL Network shouldn’t really count in this, but again, screwing us all up, Florida). These games are going to be on at conflicting times and on networks that may not be next to each other on your personal dial. How are you supposed to choose?
We here at the Logo Asylum are here to help you with that by doing what we do best, analyzing the series from a visual and aesthetic standpoint. In HD, the ice can sometimes be bright enough, and we don’t want you to strain your eyes with a horrible uniform clash. To save your eyes and make you as happy as possible, we’ve ranked the series in term of pure watchable beauty or horror.
1. Nashville Predators vs Detroit Red Wings – As you’ll find a theme, bright colors win me over, and this series wins with bright on both sides. Not only is this going to be a great competitive series from an on-ice standpoint (but you don’t come here for that), this is going to be a great match-up in terms of aesthetic philosophies. You have a modern classic with Nashville’s new bright yellow homes vs an Original Six classic in both of Detroit’s sweaters. The Predators have the first yellow home sweater since some of the Bruins jerseys of old accented by navy fang-like swooshes, simple piping, and numbers bisected by guitar string details. This sweater is a large improvement from past Preds sweaters if only because of the simplification of their logo. Detroit’s jersey is an unchanging classic. Bright red, winged-wheel, block numbers, vertically-arched nameplate, the red-armed white jerseys to symbolize actual red wings. While match-ups in Nashville or Detroit will have fantastic contrast, this series will look the best in Nashville with the bright gold going against the red-winged Detroit whites. In Detroit, this series will still be a beautiful watch with the full-bodied red uniforms of Detroit against Nashville’s simple white/navy.
2. Pittsburgh Penguins vs Philadelphia Flyers – Philadephia’s bright orange homes are one of my all-time favorites in hockey. One of the best recent moves of returning a vintage jersey to the primary status was the Flyers’ move of changing from the Edge-templated click-and-fill the Flyers had. While the contrasting nameplate could have stayed in the 1970s, the Flyers’ orange is class. Pittsburgh also has the Edge-templated, paint-by-numbers style, but they’ve pulled it off better than some of the others. My one downfall to the Penguins jerseys is the vegas gold and the black uniforms. That part of the set is slightly drab. However, the gold patches and Penguins logo pops a bit more on the white uniforms. That is why this series will look it’s best in Philadelphia with the bright orange of the Flyers against the white with gold/black accents of the Penguins.
3. Phoenix Coyotes vs Chicago Blackhawks – Both teams have a traditional striping template. Both teams wear a shade of red. Both teams have head logos. On the surface, Phoenix and Chicago are similar and boring, but simply, the Chicago Blackhawks have the best jersey in all of sports. No one is talking me down off of the Blackhawks red home. Bright red just pops. The white and black stripes just pops off the red. Chicago’s classic indian head and tomahawk-C logos just pop off the red. It is just so damn beautiful, and the Coyotes road uniform is a good foil to the Hawks red. While the all-maroon home is kind of drab (perfect for the Hawks quite drab white/black roads), the maroon contrasts with the white much better in its limited capacity on the yoke and stripes. The howling coyote logo is an extremely underrated logo in the NHL (and will shamefully be dumped once the Coyotes are liberated to Quebec). Simple jerseys, but simply beautiful series.
The Middle (Just Watch for Hockey’s Sake):
4. Vancouver Canucks vs Los Angeles Kings – The Canucks’ home blue/green is bright and a nice jersey, but not enough to really move. The “VANCOUVER” draped over their chest brings it down. The Kings’ white/black road provides a nice contrast to the blue/green, but the whole thing is just black and white with hints of silver. The Kings logo also wouldn’t make you look twice. It’s a nice match-up but nothing to be too excited. The games in LA will be quite dull.
5. New York Rangers vs Ottawa Senators – The Rangers blue homes are some of the best around. They aren’t called the “Broadway Blueshirts” for nothing. Absolute classics. However, New York is what holds this match-up afloat. The Senators were blessed with the same exact paint-by-numbers template that the Penguins currently wear and Tampa Bay smartly switched away from. The Sens have potential with the bright red homes, but none of their jerseys are close to some of their previous sweaters. If Ottawa comes out in their new heritage “barberpole” sweaters at home, this match-up makes a huge jump.
6. Boston Bruins vs Washington Capitals – Another case in which the Original Six team gives you the only thing to look at. Boston’s sweater’s are classics. Same basic design as the traditional Bruins sweater, but with some decent modern updates. Washington’s look though, I’ve never been a fan of. The logo is fine, nothing we haven’t seen, and the red is nice and grabbing. The thing that brings it down is the number font and the slash stripes down the length of the arms. The white/navy away for the Capitals is also quite drab.
The Bottom (Unless an Upset is Brewing or You’re a Fan, Don’t Bother):
7. St. Louis Blues vs San Jose Sharks – St. Louis had one of the best jerseys in hockey before the Edge transfer, but the piping killed a classic shoulder yoke. It’s been rumored that the Blues may break out their navy blue, Gateway Arch third jersey which might improve this a bit, but not enough. San Jose is known as Team Teal. So logically, the Sharks will wear their black thirds at home for the second straight season. It was a player’s decision, but a dumb decision. Their teal is unique and recognizable, but the minimal teal gets lost on the black. Huge downgrade to this series.
8. Florida Panthers vs New Jersey Devils – Both teams have the same shade of red on their home jerseys, so there will be little contrast. The Panthers did improve their jerseys by going back to majority red and losing the piping, but they are still unexciting. They could use some separation from the red/blue. The Devils have what some call a modern classic uniform, but I call them dull. Their home reds are fine, but boring. The road white/blacks are just boring. I guess they really encapsulated New Jersey, but not for the good. Not only the worst series in these playoffs, but the worst looking series in these playoffs. (Thanks Florida. You’re doing a great job.)