The Dallas Stars and Pittsburgh Penguins swapped familiar assets, while the Toronto Maple Leafs added a defender in a deal with the Los Angeles Kings. Red Kelly’s number is going to be retired (again– this time by the Detroit Red Wings) and we now know the opponents in the 2020 Winter Classic and 2020 Stadium Series games.
With Tuesday’s latest leak of the Los Angeles Kings, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs third jerseys comes time to finally announce one DTFR writer’s thoughts and power rankings of all the latest threads around the National Hockey League for 2018-19 and beyond.
Teams often try to generate a look that is representative of their brand and generates a buzz. Some of the new jerseys certainly generate a buzz, but for being so off-brand or so far-off from what was previously conceptualized as reality.
The last sentence was full of jargon to remind you this isn’t some serious reading. It’s a light-hearted ranking of one taste in threads– not representative of the masses who for some reason still think The Mighty Ducks is a great movie franchise or whatever.
19. Tampa Bay Lightning (leaked, Nov. 6, 2018)
What in the– what?
What is this? Seriously.
1 star on Yelp! (and on Uber or however that works.)
BUT WAIT THERE’S MORE!
— Joe Smith (@JoeSmithTB) November 6, 2018
Hold the phone on those strong Lightning takes (unless they’re bluffing and this is really what they have or were going to go with until everyone released a collective “what the [expletive] is that?”).
18. Pittsburgh Penguins (unveiled, Oct. 9, 2018)
A blend of heritage from the 1980s and our recent Stadium Series sweaters.
Learn more about our new third jerseys ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/yL95Kz0yKM
— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 9, 2018
The Penguins brought back their 2017 Stadium Series jersey, minus the triangle surrounding the captain and alternate captain designations. They also put the numbers on the shoulders and gave them yellow helmets. It’s gross.
17. Philadelphia Flyers (unveiled, July 26th, 2018)
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) July 26, 2018
Congrats Flyers fans, you beat Pittsburgh at something. Granted, by one position in these rankings. No amount of Gritty can save you now.
Philly took their 2017 Stadium Series jersey and kept with their own tradition of making an outdoor game jersey part of their regular lineup by fitting it to ADIZERO standards. It’s… fine? The black numbers outlined in white could’ve been white numbers with an orange outline, just to make them distinguishable from the balcony or something.
16. Colorado Avalanche (unveiled, Sept. 13, 2018)
— Colorado Avalanche (@Avalanche) September 13, 2018
The 2015-17 era third jersey that’s meant to look like a modern-retro interpretation of the Colorado Rockies if the Rockies existed as the Avalanche today (did you get that all?) was brought back in the ADIZERO technology.
15. Anaheim Ducks (unveiled, July 21, 2018)
— Anaheim Ducks (@AnaheimDucks) July 21, 2018
Anaheim introduced a mashup of their entire 25-year franchise history and produced… this. It’s not the original look and it’s not even original. It’s a bunch of recycled bits, plus a weird, new yoke thing. That’s exactly what they wanted me to call it. No, the Ducks didn’t tell me to say that.
At least they didn’t come out here and lay an egg in my review, but it’s pretty close to it. Good news, these are only a one-season thing. Try again next year.
14. New Jersey Devils (unveiled, Aug. 21, 2018)
Our Heritage. ❤️💚 pic.twitter.com/cXaflAb8X1
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) August 21, 2018
Every time the Devils bring their Heritage Jerseys out, I think of 1) pizza, 2) the Italian flag and 3) the 1980s. I wasn’t even alive until the ’90s, but I think of vintage Martin Brodeur.
A rarity in today’s league, New Jersey introduced a white alternate to their palette of sweaters to choose from any given night. Luckily, it doesn’t look terrible, since it’s just their 1982 sweater modernized in the ADIZERO styling.
13. Columbus Blue Jackets (unveiled, Sept. 17, 2018)
— Chris Creamer (@sportslogosnet) September 17, 2018
The Blue Jackets brought back their 2015-17 alternate sweaters, but with an updated number and letter font to match their home and road jerseys in addition to the overall ADIZERO cut.
Overall, Columbus’ resurrection of these isn’t terrible– it’s middle of the road.
12. Edmonton Oilers (unveiled, Sept. 4, 2018)
We’re also excited to unveil the #Oilers retro jersey that will be worn four times this season vs. former Smythe Division opponents, plus the 40th anniversary jersey patch that will be worn on all jerseys during 2018-19! pic.twitter.com/cLgrQBxWY9
— Edmonton Oilers (@EdmontonOilers) September 4, 2018
Edmonton debuted an ’80s era Throwback sweater in the ADIZERO style and the only thing I have to say (other than there’s nothing special about it that sets it apart from the rest) is that royal blue should still be their primary color, really.
Maybe take my word for it, Oilers.
11. Los Angeles Kings (leaked, Nov. 6, 2018)
It’s just their 50th anniversary specialty sweaters without any gold and updated to the ADIZERO cut, so not terrible, but not great. Kind of like their team in a nutshell. They’ve won a couple Cups, they’ve got some big names, but they’re not in their golden days anymore. I guess Kings fans like them, so it’s not all bad. Oh there’s a little purple in the inside collar with the old-school 1967 crown, so that’s cool.
10. Toronto Maple Leafs (leaked, Nov. 6, 2018)
It’s just their 1920s Toronto St. Pats sweaters that they last used in 2016-17, but ADIZERO-fied and they’re only going to be used as throwbacks and not, technically, an alternate jersey. These are fine. So fine, they’re great. Toronto shouldn’t go back to being the St. Pats full-time again, but green and white suits them well, especially for– you guessed it– St. Patrick’s Day games.
*Full disclosure, green is the author’s favorite color.
9. New York Islanders (unveiled, Oct. 1, 2018)
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) October 1, 2018
The Islanders saw what the Washington Capitals wore against the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2018 Stadium Series game and said “Yeah! We want something just like that!”, so they ditched the Brooklyn black sweater for these nifty threads. The traditional four orange stripes on the “Y” in “NY” represent the four Cups the franchise has won and serve as tape on the hockey stick the “Y” just so happens to make.
It’s a little nice touch to an otherwise bland looking sweater. At the very least, the numbers are in orange– outlined in white– just like they were on the original blue sweaters the club wore in 1972-73, so creativity points?
8. Ottawa Senators (unveiled, Sept. 12, 2018)
— Ottawa Senators (@Senators) November 1, 2018
While not originally planned– necessarily– as part of the return of third jerseys from their one-year hiatus as adidas took over for Reebok as the league’s jersey supplier, Ottawa took their 2017 Centennial Classic sweater and made it their regular alternate jersey for the foreseeable future on Thursday nights.
It’s possible the silver-O jersey may stick around past 2018-19, since the team is said to be working on a brand new primary logo for 2019-20 and beyond.
7. Winnipeg Jets (unveiled, Sept. 14, 2018)
Introducing the #NHLJets AVIATOR jersey.
— Winnipeg Jets (@NHLJets) September 15, 2018
For the first time since relocating to Winnipeg, the Jets introduced a brand new third jersey featuring a new wordmark crest (an homage to the original Jets franchise from their WHA days), striping that’s reminiscent of the old Jets franchise (but from the 1990s and updated to the current club’s colors) and baby blue as the primary color of the sweater, presumably paying tribute (though not actually) to their original days as the Atlanta Thrashers.
Winnipeg also has a new number font to complete the look.
It’s not bad, just a little disappointing considering the goldmine of a shoulder patch logo on the home and road sweaters that could’ve really made an alternate jersey pop.
6. Calgary Flames (unveiled, Sept. 21, 2018)
— Calgary Flames (@NHLFlames) September 21, 2018
Calgary brought back their 1989 sweater in the ADIZERO styling as their “new” alternate jersey– excuse me, Retro Jersey. It’s a classic look that’s hard to beat.
Sure, but there’s better ones than this in the rest of the league.
5. Washington Capitals (unveiled, Sept. 24, 2018)
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) September 24, 2018
Washington brought back their 1974 original look that they also used the white version of for the 2011 Winter Classic in Pittsburgh. The Capitals switched to the red ones in 2015 and used them as alternates through 2017, then took the mandatory one-year hiatus of all third jerseys in accordance with the switch to adidas as the jersey supplier and ADIZERO as the jersey style.
4. St. Louis Blues (unveiled, Aug. 26, 2018)
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) August 26, 2018
St. Louis went with their original threads that they wore back in 1967 and the 2017 Winter Classic at Busch Stadium, but just, like adidas-ified. #ADIZEROtechnology
Tired of the white numbers on the blue home sweaters? Don’t worry, in 1967, the Blues got it right and they’re bringing those jerseys back to a regular basis as their alternates, so they’ll look right some of the time this season and beyond.
3. Arizona Coyotes (unveiled, June 22, 2018)
We wanted to create the most beautiful jersey in the world.
Then we realized, the most beautiful jersey in the world was already created.
— Arizona Coyotes (@ArizonaCoyotes) June 22, 2018
One of the few good things to come from the 1990s was the classic, outlandish, look of the Arizona Coyotes kachina sweaters. These throwback thirds have been updated to the ADIZERO fit and aren’t anything new, but nostalgia sells and in a time where everything old is new again, the Coyotes timed it right to bring back some ’90s-chic.
2. Carolina Hurricanes (unveiled, June 22, 2018)
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) June 22, 2018
The Hurricanes introduced a brand-new third jersey featuring the correct hurricane warning flag display as a crest, the North Carolina state flag– slightly modified to a greyscale– as a shoulder patch (which they had to get approved by the state government to add to the sweater), a grey yoke with a red outline on a black jersey with two red sleep stripes and a red trim.
Overall it’s a glamorous combination of modern, sleek and stormy. This isn’t actually all that bad once it’s flying around the ice or flossing– did I get that right?
AND (unveiled, Sept. 27, 2018)
It’s back. 🐳
— Carolina Hurricanes (@NHLCanes) September 27, 2018
Carolina introduced a special throwback sweater that’ll be worn twice this season as the team will rebrand itself for a couple of nights. Yes, blast “Brass Bonanza” from your speakers, ladies and gentlemen, because the Hartford Whalers have returned (kind of).
These ADIZERO Whalers threads have been updated to the current jersey cut and branded with blue hurricane warning flags inside the collar and will be worn on Dec. 23rd in Raleigh against Boston and on March 5th in Boston against the Bruins.
Hartford, Connecticut residents may be unnerved, but I’ll step right up and take 20 as a hockey fan, thanks.
1. San Jose Sharks (unveiled, Sept. 22, 2018)
— San Jose Sharks (@SanJoseSharks) September 23, 2018
Re-introducing a black third jersey, the Sharks went full-on stealth mode by calling these teal and black masterpieces Stealth Jerseys. Think of those midnight jerseys Reebok made for all the teams a few years ago and that’s pretty much it for San Jose. Take out a lot of white and orange, replace it with black, teal and a microchip design in the sleeve.
They actually don’t look that bad, especially when Erik Karlsson was the one to debut them in the preseason much to the surprise of the fans at SAP Center.
We’re still waiting on the Los Angeles Kings, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs to officially unveil their new sweaters, but all three already leaked so let’s just assume nothing’s going to change between now and when the sweaters hit the ice.
Also, at some point the Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks will officially reveal their 2019 Winter Classic sets (like Thursday at 10 a.m. ET for Boston and sometime in the future for Chicago). Like the leaked thirds, we already have an expectation of what’s to come January 1, 2019. Especially the Bruins road Winter Classic threads (those have been very much leaked).
You heard the camel, it’s Hump Day!
Like most, there’s not many teams in action today, and ones that are playing are scheduled for a shotgun start. Florida at the New York Islanders starts the festivities at 7 p.m., followed half an hour later by Montréal at Winnipeg (RDS/SN). 8 p.m. brings with it the Pittsburgh at Washington (NBCSN/TVAS) contest, with tonight’s nightcap – San Jose at Calgary (SN/SN1) – dropping the puck at 9:30 p.m. All times eastern.
- Florida at New York: The Isles ended the Panthers‘ season last year in six games in their Eastern Quarterfinals matchup.
- Pittsburgh at Washington: The same goes for these clubs in the Eastern Semifinals, but a game between these two is about more than a single playoff series.
One of these matchups is a rivalry; one isn’t. One is between teams qualifying for the playoffs; one isn’t. Guess which game we’re watching.
It’s the third time these squads have played this season, and the third time we’ve featured the matchup. The stories of their rivalry have been told before, with yet another chapter added last May when the Penguins eliminated the Capitals in six games. There’s no point in delving into them further other than to say that these clubs simply do not like each other.
In a sense, it is a special rivalry. The Nationals and Pirates have no animosity towards one another. Neither do the Redskins or the Steelers. It has nothing to do with the cities, only the clubs. Maybe it’s the fact that this rivalry doesn’t face a weird sort of peer pressure from the city brethren that makes it so intense. These teams just don’t like each other.
Making the visit to the nation’s capital this evening are the 26-8-5 Penguins, winners of their last five games and the second-best team in both the Metropolitan Division and the Eastern Conference. As one might expect , they’ve found that success by being very good at scoring the puck, already notching 137 goals in 39 games this season – the highest scoring-rate in the NHL.
Leading that charge has been the one and only Sidney Crosby with 44 points – one more than Evgeni Malkin. He’s been most impressive when he’s the last one to touch the puck, lighting the lamp a club-leading 26 times. Good for .79 goals per game, Crosby could be in line for a record year. His career-high came in the 2009-10 season when he buried the puck 51 times. At the pace he’s at right now, he could exceed that tally by nine goals if my math is correct.
One of the reasons Pittsburgh has been so good offensively has been due to their explosive power play, converting 22.6% of their opportunities – tied for the fourth-best mark in the league. Phil Kessel, who could miss tonight’s game due to illness, has led the charge in this department with his 16 man-advantage points, but once again Crosby takes the clubhouse scoring title, notching nine power play goals.
What could hold the Penguins back from reclaiming the Stanley Cup this season might be their penalty kill, which ties for ninth-worst after stopping opposing power plays only 79.8% of the time. Although Ian Cole has been effective with his team-leading 16 shorthanded blocks (tied for 33rd most in the league), he’s been let down by Marc-Andre Fleury, whose .852 save percentage on the penalty kill ranks 15th-worst among the 50 goalies with 11 or more appearances.
Hosting the Pens this evening are the 26-9-5 Capitals, winners of their last six games and the third-best team in both the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference. They’ve found that success by playing a brick wall of a defense, allowing only 80 goals against – the fewest in the league.
As mentioned Monday, 19-8-4 Braden Holtby is having himself a whale of a season, saving .931 percent of shots faced for a 1.9 GAA – the third and second-best marks in the league, respectively. For those wondering, he earned the Vezina Trophy last season with a .922 save percentage and 2.2 GAA. In other words, there’s no telling yet how good this guy can be.
He hasn’t done it alone, though. Thanks to Karl Alzner‘s 76 blocks and the rest of the blueline, he’s faced only 27.9 shots-per-game, which ties for the fiffh-lowest average in the league.
Where that defense has been especially helpful has been on the penalty kill. Washington ranks third-best in this situation, nullifying 86.8% of their penalties. Just like he does in even-strength situations, Alzner has headed the charge for the special teams too, notching a team-leading 20 shorthanded blocks.
Currently, the season series favors the Capitals thanks to Andre Burakovsky forcing overtime during these clubs’ first game of the season on October 13. Although the Pens won that game in a shootout, they fell 7-1 a month later on this surface.
Some players to keep an eye on this evening include Pittsburgh‘s Crosby (26 goals [most in the league] among 44 points [third-most in the NHL]), Kessel (26 assists [tied for seventh-most in the league]), Malkin (43 points [tied for fourth-most in the NHL] on 27 assists [tied for fifth-most in the league]) and Justin Schultz (+24 [tied for best in the NHL]) & Washington‘s Holtby (five shutouts [tied for most in the league] on a 1.9 GAA [second-best in the NHL] and a .931 save percentage [tied for third-best in the league] for 19 wins [seventh-most in the NHL]) and Alex Ovechkin (19 goals [tied for seventh-most in the league]).
I’m somewhat surprised that Washington is favored -121 by Vegas, but they claim to be the experts.
Then again, what do I know? I miss my picks more often than not.
In my opinion, the Caps are more than capable of neutralizing Pittsburgh‘s offense, so the game could come down to if the action on the other end of the surface. Given the Penguins‘ inability to keep pucks off their own crease, I’m giving the edge to Ovechkin and the Capitals.
- Rob Ramage (1959-) – The first pick in the 1979 NHL Entry Draft by the Colorado Rockies, this defenseman played 1044 games in the NHL, most of which in St. Louis. He won two Stanley Cups and was a four-time All Star.
- Rory Fitzpatrick (1975-) – The 47th-overall pick by Montréal in the 1993 NHL Entry Draft, this blueliner played 287 games over 10 seasons in the NHL, spending most of that time in Buffalo. He was not a very good defenseman, ending his career with a -48 and only 35 points scored. But, he owns the distinction of being the only Rory to play a game in the NHL, so he’s got that going for him – which is nice.
Led by Brad Marchand‘s two-goal night, the Bruins leveled the season series against the Blues to 1-1-0 in yesterday’s DtFR Game of the Day.
Boston didn’t waste much time getting to work, as First Star of the Game Frank Vatrano (Second Star Torey Krug and David Pastrnak) scored his power play wrister only 8:19 after the initial puck drop. With 4:40 remaining in the opening period, Brandon Carlo (Vatrano and David Krejci) doubled the Bruins‘ score, followed 2:32 later by Marchand’s (Pastrnak and Patrice Bergeron) first goal of the night. Boston took the 3-0 lead into the first intermission.
Only 1:31 after returning to the ice for the second period, it was more of the same. Krug (Ryan Spooner and Marchand) takes credit for the power play wrister that proved to be the game-winner, but Colton Parayko (David Perron and Jaden Schwartz) pulled the Blues back to 4-1 only 2:26 later with his first goal of the season. That differential that held to the second intermission.
St. Louis tried to make a game out of the evening with a power play wrister from Patrik Berglund (Perron and Alex Pietrangelo) with 9:46 remaining in regulation, but was unable to truly get anything else going. Marchand (Pastrnak and Bergeron) took advantage of an empty net with 77 seconds remaining to ensure that Kyle Brodziak‘s (Scottie Upshall) goal with 25 seconds to go wouldn’t affect the outcome of the contest.
Tuukka Rask earns the victory after saving 14-of-17 shots faced (82.4%), leaving the loss to Third Star Carter Hutton, saving 26-of-27 (96.3%). The reason he was named a star is because he came into the game as relief for Jake Allen, who saved only eight-of-11 (72.7%) before being lifted after the three-goal first period.
Boston‘s victory was the fourth-straight by the road team in the DtFR Game of the Day series, pulling the visitors within seven points of the hosts and their 47-29-14 record.