Why are they winning now, after years of being kicked around by the top teams like an old soup can, or being down in the lower division? Well, Cristobal Huet is playing like an NHLer again, their backup has been just as solid, and Antoine Roussel (their lone current NHLer) has been dynamite for them. But that's not what I think is helping them the most...
(image from iihfworlds2014.com)
That jersey... It has the power to baffle, confuse, and disorientate anyone who watches or plays against them. The "Sailor Boy" front with the boring word mark, the Canada-esque one-sided arm stripe, and the "2017" patch that is thoughtful and commemorative yet stands out like a sore thumb. This jersey is so bad. Its cool, in a weird sort of way, but still bad.
You know what else is French? The Statue of Liberty. You know where you can see the statue? On the very awesome New York Rangers alternate jersey that we're raffling off. That's right, you can win this awesome jersey! What are you waiting for? Check the link above to find out more.
Wait...I still have a post to do! Read this, then check link. I promise, it's worth it.
COTW May 12-18 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern time)
Jokerit Competition Top 5 vote (due Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern time)
Team Belgium Concept - Stephen T.
Yay: We'll start today with some more international hockey, with Stephen's Team Belgium concept. Belgium isn't exactly known for hockey, but it is one of the original members of the IIHF. Their current jerseys are modern, which seems weird for a country with as long of hockey history as them (even if it wasn't good history). The black jersey is more traditional, and the yellow jersey is definitely out there and different, which is awesome for any of Stephen's concepts.
Nay: On the black jersey, I get the reason behind the contrasting shoulders, so the flag is noticeable. But the flag doesn't really stand out, the whole arm just looks too busy, same with the sock. The text outlines on the yellow jersey look really messy, and I'm not sure if a white outline is really appropriate given the team colours. Pants design would be nice, as always.
Overall: It's kinda different, and I like it, but still needs work. 7.7/10
Toronto Arenas Concept - Stephen T.
Yay: Stephen is back for more, this time with an old throwback to the Toronto Arenas. I think its safe to say we'll never see this team again, but a throwback version for the Maple Leafs would be interesting. This doesn't fall far from the Maple tree (hah), but isn't a direct copy of existing uniforms, so solid effort here.
Nay: The thin stripes seem really far apart, especially on the hem and socks, and it just looks weird to me. I don't mind the altered logo, but using an arena in the background may be taking the name and logo too literally. The outlines on the numbers are really unnecessary, and don't match the throwback feel of this set.
Overall: Another decent concept. If this ever happened, I'd rather see something closer to the original, but I'm happy to see Stephen branching off into his own design. 7.3/10
Calgary Stampeders Concept - Taylor R.
Yay: Now it's time for some football! Taylor brings us a pair of concepts from the CFL, the first being for the Calgary Stampeders. They're going through a bit of an identity change from old to "old with a hint of modern, and this jersey suits it perfectly. The colours and style match well with the Stampeders, and this would be a nice looking transition from the field to the ice.
Nay: Busy, this whole concept is busy. This is a definitely modern looking jersey, with all of the signs of one, but they are mostly unnecessary and distract from the raw, classic look the Stamps' are known for. The "apron" arc stripes can go, the stripes can be simplified, and the half-arms can probably go as well. The pants on the white jersey could probably work for both jerseys.
Overall: Lots of work was put into this piece, I can tell. Its sharp, but too modern and busy for what the Stamps' look best in. 7.5/10
Toronto Argonauts Concept - Taylor R.
Yay: This is much, much better. No team in pro sports flaunts their double-blue colour scheme better than the Argos, and this classic style is perfect for them. The stripe style, equipment, and overall classic feel has Argos written all over it. The number outlining was done well, and execution looks good for the most part.
Nay: Only one thing really bugs me on this concept; the outline/gap on the stripes. You can see dark blue/white gaps between the stripes of the jersey, and while it doesn't look bad on the blue jersey, it's really distracting on the white jersey. There's no need for it on either jersey. Also, the numbers on the back look a little big, and uncentered.
Overall: Two things are all that separate this from a great score. 8/10
Toronto Maple Leafs Concept - Daniel C.
Yay: Hey there, want to give your team a nice throwback outfit? Or how about a uniform that celebrates St. Patricks Day? Why not both? Toronto has their "St Pats" jerseys to beautifully reference on March 17th every year, and this does just that. But the difference here is moving the stripes from the hem to the arms, and using one of their alternate logos. Just as good as the original.
Nay: Jerseys with chest stripes live and die by the number outline, and this one sadly dies. The outline is nowhere near thick enough to make the number stand out enough to be noticeable. When this image is shrunk (to fit on the blog post), you can see the white and green start to blur together. That's never a good sign.
Overall: Not exactly inventing the wheel with this concept, but its a nice look. The number in the back is a killer though. 6.7/10
Columbus Blue Jackets Concept - Maxx B.
Yay: Not too many concepts say "America" like this one does. Red, white, and blue are all over this Blue Jackets concept from Maxx. As boring as their first jerseys were, this '15th Anniversary' jersey (as explained in the email) is really flamboyant, but clean, which is difficult to do. This is definitely a good flashy way to celebrate 15 years of jersey mediocrity.
Nay: As far as anniversary jerseys go, this really doesn't tribute the past much besides the main logo. And while we're on that subject, there is nowhere on the concept that has 1) your name or ID, and 2) any indication that this is supposed to be for the 15th Anniversary. I only know that because of the email. Beyond that, the shoulder patches are huge, and should be shrunk a little, and the green in the logo would look much better in white or silver.
Overall: It's cool, but not very throwback-like. 7.6/10
Detroit Cougars Concept - Mike S.
Yay: Back from the dead comes this classic Detroit jersey, as designed by Mike. This is the first time I've seen the shield used as the logo, and it looks perfect. I'm happy to see something other than the large chest stripe with the "D" mark inside of it. This is almost a happy medium between the classic Cougars look, and the modern Red Wings look, just with more stripes.
Nay: And I mean wayyyyyyyy more stripes, too many in fact. Working with the apparent theme of the day, this supposed classic jersey is way too busy looking with these thin stripes, and not only does it make the jersey look more modern, it also makes it not as pleasing to the eyes. Again, you can start to see the red and white blur, due to the stripe being too thin. I also don't like the square yoke look, especially for classic teams like this.
Overall: Good effort, but not a great design. 6.9/10
Spiderman Concept - Tristan M.
Nay: This isn't exactly the best design for a hockey team, and we've already seen one team try to do two different colours on the front and back (talking about you, Buffalo), with terrible results. But given the fact that this is supposed to resemble Spiderman's non-hockey outfit, the transition is made very nicely. That's right, I don't even have a complaint about this concept.
Overall: Not perfect, because this isn't exactly original. But the execution is flawless and looks fantastic. 9.1/10
Arizona Coyotes Concept - Josiah B.
Yay: Haven't seen Josiah on my posts for a few weeks now, and I notice that not much has changed in his execution. He chooses a black jersey, I assume as an alternate, and I'd be happy with that decision. Not many teams look great with a black 3rd, but I think Arizona could pull it off. Glad that there is enough of the old design to really make this look like it belongs with the Coyotes.
Nay: AZ? Not Arizona, or Coyotes, or For Sale? Alright, I'm kidding with that last one, for now at least. I know Josiah tends to stick with text for his logos because, well, it's a lot easier. I can't blame him, I rely on text a lot too. But in order for Josiah's concepts to reach the next level, he has to learn to implement old logos, or create new ones, and not just with text. Oh, and put some ID on the concept, and the name on the jersey doesn't count.
Overall: Still a work in progress. 5.2/10
Atlanta Thrashers Concept - Dylan W.
Yay: Here is Dylan's concept for the Atlanta Thrashers. Contrary to the aforementioned Blue Jackets, the Thrashers had the opposite of a boring jersey history. They had some really interesting jerseys in their time. Awful, but interesting. Their originals were the best, and those bring Dylan the inspiration for this concept. The biggest differences are making the arm styles a little more rounded and styled than before, and bringing in some more colour to both concepts. Getting rid of that "T" logo was also a change for the positive.
Nay: Not much to say, this concept is executed as well as I would expect from Dylan. The yellow outline on the text bugs me quite a bit, especially against white text or background. The originals had this as well, and I hated it then too. Later jerseys kept the outline but made it thicker, and it helped, so I think that would help this jersey as well.
Overall: Like a burnt steak, very well done. 8.8/10
New York Islanders Concept - Mazzz
Yay: The last concept of the day goes to Mazzz, who I believe hasn't posted anything on HJC for quite some time. Welcome back! (And sorry if I'm mistaken). As for the concept, many have tried to create the perfect Brooklyn Islanders concept, few have succeeded. This one passes with flying greyscale colours. The logo looks great in black and white, much better than their original logo looks in B/W. The jersey style is traditional, and it suits the Islanders just fine. Very sharp looking uniform
Nay: The number and name on the back look a little small, as does the captains patch. The stripe pattern on the white jersey is perfect, but I wish the black jersey matched it better, mainly with the cuffs/lower arms being white instead of just staying black. If that doesn't work, you could change the hem of the black jersey to match the current arms, with no white finish at the bottom. The jerseys won't match as well, but it would look a little better than as is.
Overall: Very solid concept! 8.5/10
This could go to a few different concepts, but my Spidey Senses are telling me to pick Tristan's Spiderman Concept as my COTW nominee. Dylan and Mazzz have great concepts too, and I hope you guys give some nominations to them as well, or any other concepts that you like.
Another post in the books. Thanks for reading, and happy playoffs!