Leading up to this game, I must admit that I have a completely irrational hatred of the Toronto Maple Leafs, all stemming from 2002. I had only gotten into hockey a year and a half before the Islanders and Leafs met in the playoffs. They say rivalries are built in the playoffs and this one did not disappoint. Between Mike Milbury ranting at the media about officiating after Game 2 (specifically former Islander Bryan McCabe's signature "Can Opener" move that is considered tripping), the Shawn Bates penalty shot, the fights between Darcy Tucker and Bates, overshadowed by Shayne Corson vs. Eric Cairns (and subsequent kick), and most notably the awful hit Tucker lays on Islanders captain Michael Peca in Game 7. The Leafs would advance in 7, with each team winning at home (Leafs were a 4-seed vs the #5 Islanders, granting Toronto home ice). While Peca may have forgiven Tucker, I have not. Thus the irrationality of this. The more miserable Leaf fans are the better.
One other memorable moment was during the Islanders worst year in recent history. They lost in 2008 3-1 in Uniondale. The scoreline is sadder when you see that this was the only goal scored by the Islanders all game, courtesy of one-time Islander Rob Davison:
Ok, now that I got that out of my system, I encourage you to comment below on why the Toronto Maple Leafs aren't the worst* franchise in the NHL.
*Behind the Rangers, Devils and Penguins of course.
THE PAIRS COMPETITION FIELD IS SET! Steven M and I are going to put aside our differences from last night and work together in the Intermediate Division as we look to brand an NHL event coming to a borough near, well, me. Stay tuned for the finished product. For all of us competing, presentations are due on Friday, March 25, so LET'S GO!
If you still want to participate, it's not too late! email Ryan at firstname.lastname@example.org to join in and he'll pair you up with someone! Unless of course you already have someone else set up for this. If that is the case then email him about your partnership and get going!
The Buffalo Sabres previous third jersey was AWFUL! TURDBURGERS! We want YOU to replace them and send them in by Friday.
We have two votes going on: COTW- February features the four COTW winners during February (duh), with some fantastic concepts that may win the whole thing (not duh). But you can't get there without winning COTW, so help out our 4 artists up for that this week and choose the one of 7 concepts nominated.
Fun vote: Best Heritage Classic jersey? I'd say Ottawa, but you may say different. If so then bite me. Or vote otherwise. Whichever is easier.
COTW-February vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
COTW Feb 29 - Mar 5 vote (ends Friday @ 11:59pm Eastern)
Buffalo 3rd Jersey entries (due Friday @ 10:59pm Eastern)
ON TO THE CONCEPTS!
Jared L: Philadelphia Flyers Concept:
Jared, I will say that you have significantly improved from previous concepts to now a better executed jersey. However I have some tips for you to make your execution better:
1) Ditch MS Paint. MS Paint is a basic program for people to use to get started in graphic design. You've been submitting concepts for a couple of years now. Upgrade to paint.net. It's free to use.
2) Find a clean template to work with. We have plenty of templates here which have lines that aren't blurred. Blurred template lines can cause any color fills to look messy.
That said, this is a basic Edge-ification of the Lindros era Flyers jerseys. And while the template may restrict it from a pure Edge-ification, why should that restrict you? Color outside the lines. Be creative. Numbers and lettering looks superb on the back, and could be closer to the template lines on the sleeves.
Best work yet from you, but still a long way to go: 55%
Jay S: San Antonio Spurs (NBA) Concept
Crossover concepts are always fun. Comparing these to the actual jerseys, these look very good and a plausible look if they ever were to take the ice instead of the Spurs-owned Stampede of the AHL. A very classy look for a classy team. Two things I would like to point out, one reliant on the other. Firstly, a double outline would do wonders for the numbers, in addition to no outline on the name. The reason being leads me to my second point: color-blending. Silver is a beautiful color. Silver against white blends unless the silver is dark enough, as it is on the basketball jerseys but not here. Don't be afraid to alter the color scheme ever so slightly to make it look good.
Bouncing off the rim and out: 79%
Lucas D: Dallas Stars Concept
Well this is interesting. That collar is GORGEOUS! That yoke is... weird. Second look? Ah yes... ADIDAS! While Adidas' contract with Michigan hockey leaves me hopeful, the World Cup of Hockey jerseys do not. Get those three stripes off hockey jerseys and leave them to soccer jerseys. Adidas nonsense aside, these are simple, basic jerseys with identical striping if you look carefully enough, and a star on the front. Nice touch with a simple design. and thank you for the number outlines!
Adidas ruins this like they did with the World Cup: 84%
Lucas D: Washington Capitals concepts:
The one thing I liked about the Winter Classic logo they designed was that the negative space was used to incorporate the Washington Monument. This logo makes it quite prominent. I do like the split colors, but I think this is a downgrade from what they previously used. The whole thing is also not symmetrical like the previous logo was. I won't rate this because the real concept for this logo is below:
Um, wow. Talk about 'Murica. Thirteen red ans white stripes on each sleeve and on them hem, totalling 39 red and white stripes, and that doesn't even include the Adidas branding or the gold trim. Very busy. Almost too busy. On the white jersey, the upper portion of the sleeve is identical to the blue jersey, so there's no reason why the numbers should be blue. Simplify this please.
Too much Murica bleeds over into your score: 76%
Taylor R: Michigan State (NCAA) Concept
Michigan's Green and white look fantastic without any of the dopey black pants they currently use. A brighter green helps too. A classic logo deserves a classic jersey and Taylor delivers. A blend between the Flyers jerseys and their current alternate jerseys create this masterpiece with a logo on the front instead of the wordmark logos usually seen on NCAA jerseys. A great look that Michgan should consider using.
Sparty would be proud: 95%
Zeke G: Dallas Stars Concept
Points are also missing: 83%
The winner of my COTW nomination is TAYLOR R and his Michigan State Concept!
My pick for tonight? Islanders win 3-1.
My exit for today? Now.