Now, don't get me wrong, Christmas is a great holiday. It means being a day away from the World Juniors, and everyone loves that.
But everyone and their dog gets excited for playoffs. The game gets 100% more intense, exciting, and fun to watch this time of year. I seriously escape from life for a while this time of year, as everything usually takes a backseat to whatever game is on at that particular time.
And by "whatever game is on", I mean all of them. I'm usually in the living room with the TV playing TSN games, and any available laptop streaming the CBC games, all at the same time. Why? Because its The Cup!
I could verbally-drool about the playoffs all day long, but I have a post to write, so lets get to it!
Oh, and by the way, voting is going good lately, but it could always be better, and we have a few big votes this week, so make sure you get your vote in! Also, you should check out the details of the HJC Meet Up, and send in your Oilers concepts if you haven't done so yet. Hey, I even got a concept in this time (its been almost 2 months since my last concept *sigh*) so you have no excuse. Anyways, to the post!
1st Quarter Vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
COTW April 7-13 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Oilers Competition entries (due Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
******************************************Oiler Competition Entries:
New Jersey Devils Concept - Stuart R.
Yay: We start this post with a sequel for one of last week's concepts, from England's own Stuart R. This jersey is very much toned down from that last concept, but considering he aimed for a Nike Swift jersey, that definitely worked out well for him. This definitely could pass as a Nike alternate, or possibly a Stadium Series uniform.
Nay: I just don't like the logo being that large on the front of the jersey. Whether it was intentional or not, it just looks sloppy. I really think you need something on the arms or the hem (or both). While it isn't bad, considering Nike would do something like this, to me it looks like a practice jersey with a yoke. A 3rd should be more exciting than that.
Overall: The funky jersey last week cleaned up nicely, but now it's almost too plain. Good Nike concept, but overall, it's just okay. 7.4/10
Vancouver Canucks Concept - Stephen T.
Yay: Stephen has been the receiver of much criticism from myself and others lately, based on the lack of originality on his concepts lately. So immediately I want to applaud him for going in the complete opposite direction with this concept. This uniform is a very interesting mix of different jerseys, logos and colours through the years, including the red 3rd which is pretty much forgotten about. I'm not sure where the one-sided cuff/arm style came from, but overall its a very solid, unique design.
Nay: I think the red jersey needs some white, possibly in the front striping, and in the secondary patch, replacing the red (its just to dark and unclear as is). I think I'd rather see straight, diagonal arms instead of the modern, curvy ones here, since the rest of the jersey has a 90's look to it. This concept would be awesome, but the solid black pants, socks, and lack of helmet decal or anything really spoil it.
Overall: You have the makings of a really awesome, original concept. Just a little more work and polish, and you'd be COTW-worthy for sure. But right now, its a 7.6/10.
Phoenix Coyotes Concept - Stephen T.
Yay: Stephen comes for round two with a Phoenix Coyotes jersey, a team we'll see a lot of today. He takes the 3rd jersey, removes the "desertscape" besides the sides and top of arms, and brings in the main logo from this era instead of the close up version. The black arms and sides, along with the scenery, look so much better than the original full-body scenery jersey with awkward green to black transition.
Nay: I'm not crazy about the number font. The text font is sleek, and matches the theme of the Coyotes well, while the '3' is just a big, round 3. Refer back to the jerseys of this era, and choose a similar font. Some number outlines would help as well. Good job with the socks, but I'd switch the brown and purple locations, and add some similar striping to the pants.
Overall: I wouldn't be embarrassed to wear this. I can't say the same about their actual 3rd of the era. Not perfect, but definitely a neat look. 7.5/10
Phoenix Coyotes Concept - Christian L.
Yay: Our second Coyotes concept comes from Christian. This refreshing new look throws in a lot more design elements that stand out, including a whole new stripe pattern, the body "Arizona flag" stripes, and a genius reworking of the captains patch. The logo wouldn't be my first choice, but I think it looks good enough for an alternate. This jersey has Phoenix/Arizona written all over it.
Nay: The body stripes are fine, but it looks weird how it just ends at the top. Maybe having a black or beige yoke could make for a better transition. Then the shoulder patches could be closer to the collar too, which would look nicer. Right now they look really low, and kind of uneven. Finally, why is the red darker on the back side? And the 'Reebok' text isn't really their patch, and its not the same shade of beige.
Overall: It's a nice, new look, that has Arizona pride all over it, but needs a bit of polish. 7.3/10
Arizona Coyotes Concept - Scott M.
Yay: It's Scott's turn to show us his Phoenix/Arizona Coyotes concept. He takes the best of both eras of Coyotes jerseys, keeping the colours and traditional straight striping, but changing the middle stripe to look like a modern re-do of their original stripes. The result? Fantastic! It's not too busy, not too plain, and definitely has the Coyotes brand all over it.
Nay: I love the font used on the numbers, but the letters are a bit of a let down. Kudos for rolling your own with a new font, but it looks to modern and "techy" to really match the Coyotes theme. I'd also change the beige outline on the white jersey, or add a thin black outline to it. Beige on white is near impossible to see without getting right up close.
Overall: Very solid concept! I'd love to see both eras mix like this if they ever change their look. 8.5/10
NHL All-Star Game Concept - Thomas H.
Yay: Now for some more non-Coyote concepts. This one is from Thomas H., who redoes the All-Star Game uniforms with orange and brown. Very interesting colours, but I think it relates back to the 80's ASG uniforms, with brown subbing in for black. I personally love the colour combinations, and miss the days when the NHL didn't stick exclusively with red and blue. This would be a great "blast from the past", while still looking like a modern uniform.
Nay: The problem is, all of the past ASG jerseys have been different colours almost completely. The light and dark jerseys contrasted well with each other. This time, not so much. With the same pants, same stripe style, and same colours in different locations, this would be complicated to watch, like when Slovakia and USA played at the Olympics. Instead, use different colours on each uniform, or a different striping pattern, or even just thinner stripes, anything to create more contrast.
Overall: It is a very fantastic jersey set, but not a great logistical choice. Since this isn't a logistics blog, your score won't sink much. 8.2/10
Houston Aeros Concept - s2dio
Yay: s2dio returns with his "Back In The Game" series, this time with the Houston Aeros. I was really surprised when they left the AHL this season, being one of the most iconic non-NHL hockey teams in history. I'd definitely love a return to blue and grey, and to not look like Minnesota Wild knockoffs. Not much I can say, these jerseys are just extremely solid, classic, and capture the identity of the Aeros.
Nay: The stripes on the white jersey definitely look busier than on the dark jerseys. The thin grey stripes against white really don't show up, they just make the white look thicker. That's my theory anyways. I like how it looks on the green jersey, so I don't know how to fix the white jersey stripes without changing too much. I think blue pants with the green jersey would look better than an all-green uniform too.
Overall: The concept is fantastic, and makes me miss the Aeros even more. 8.5/10
Carolina Hurricanes Concept - Colin M.
Yay: Colin is up next with a grey Hurricanes jersey. Why grey? I'm not sure. But good job for doing something different. The stripe pattern is simple, but colourful enough to ensure the jersey doesn't look too plain. The yoke/upper arms with the warning flags look cool, and definitely make this uniform set believable for the Hurricanes.
Nay: Since white only appears on the logo, it looks out of place. Maybe having the stripe between the black and red stripes turn white instead would help. The black font with red outline look really dark and unprofessional, can't explain why, just looks MS Paint-like. The red cuffs seem unnecessary and out of place. Either tone them down or add a red hem.
Overall: It's a neat idea, but I don't see the need for the Hurricanes to go grey, and this concept didn't sway me at all. 7.5/10
New York Islanders Concept - Colin M.
Yay: Colin made a bit of a misstep in his last concept, but this Islanders concept makes it all up. The Islanders in orange is simply just a great look. I never got the "barber pole" orange and white stripes the Islanders use (I think it represents Cup wins), but it actually makes the arms and pants look perfect for this uniform. This looks like a jersey they've always had, but in reality they've had nothing like this ever, which makes this concept fantastic in believability and execution.
Nay: The white outline on the text makes it look a little distorted and messy. White clashes with orange when such a thin outline is used. The number with its thick outline is fine, but the name's outline is not. I get what the socks are trying to go for, but it just doesn't look as good. I think a simple orange sock with thin white/thick blue/thin white pattern would work just as good.
Overall: Much better. This is the 3rd jersey to end all 3rd jerseys for the Islanders. 8.3/10
New York Islanders Concept - Bastian
Yay: Now we'll go to Bastian and his version of an Islanders concept. Front the logo and yoke, you can see that this would be a good Stadium Series uniform. I'd definitely rather this, with orange jersey and full arm stripes, than their actual SS uniform. It looks classic, like anything Islanders should look, but with a yoke and logo that still speaks "Islanders", but makes the jersey unique. Execution is flawless.
Nay: Maybe some stripes on the pants would be nice, just to get some more colour in. But that's really all I have to complain about.
Overall: Perfect blend of new and old, and since its universally agreed upon that NYI should avoid anything "new", this is perfect. I think I'd take their current main set over this, but as a 3rd or special game jersey, I'd take over their other jerseys any day. 9/10
Buffalo Sabres Concept - Bastian
Yay: We end today with another Bastian concept, this time for the Buffalo Sabres. This is basically their old colours, with a more complicated striping pattern similar to their current set. I personally like the lighter blue colour of old here. Nothing to flashy about these jerseys, but it is very retro, and very Buffalo. Like the Islanders, the Sabres have a difficult time looking flashy, so its best to avoid it and stick with what they do best, which this concept does.
Nay: The striping pattern on these jerseys bring this concept down a lot. It just looks messy and poorly executed when arm stripes and hem stripes are different, especially when the style is the same, but the colours aren't. In both jerseys, the arm and hem stripes basically invert the yellow/white or yellow/blue, and make the main middle stripe different in the process. There's no scientific way to explain my dislike for it, I just don't.
Overall: Besides the stripes, this concept is really good. It captures everything a good retro Sabres jersey should. 7.8/10
******************************************It was close, but then I got to Bastian's New York Islanders concept, and it ran away with my COTW nomination. Great stuff.
I've been nagging people a lot lately about the lack of originality in their work. Today was a huge improvement, glad to see designers taking more risks, and stretch the current looks to the point of making something new with them. Awesome work, hopefully it keeps up.
Thanks for reading, and enjoy the playoffs!