Wednesday, December 30, 2015

New Years' Resolutions: NHL Edition



Ah, New Years'. It's a time of change, champagne, and resolutions. Though, in most cases, New Years' resolutions don't last very long, they're still nice to think about, and then forget about three weeks later.

Nonetheless, New Years' resolutions are made by everyone, including some of the NHL's most prolific faces. Here are some New Years' resolutions from inside the NHL.


Philadelphia Flyers: Hire a proofreader for contracts - signed the wrong Manning.

Ryan Getzlaf: While it's nice to see players get invested in charity ventures, maybe, for now, Getzlaf should avoid giving pucks to the other teams' players.

Tyler Toffoli:  Probably should ask why all these reporters are asking him about Cy Young.

Pittsburgh Penguins: Should maybe fix the typo on Mike Sullivan's roster sheet that lists #87 as 'Tanner Glass'.

Jarome Iginla: Should probably look into scoring more, as it seems that his career goal total reflects the winning percentage of the team that he plays for.

Calgary Flames: Buy a trophy to give to Jonas Hiller for winning the Flames' monthly "highest point total award", although, come to think of it, points in the 'GAA' column probably don't mean 'goals'.

Ryan Kesler: Could take up a new hobby, maybe by joining a divers' club at the local pool.

Brian Burke: Allow spending to be done more freely, and hire a clothing stylist. Preferably with experience in dressing necks.

Braden Holtby: It's not nice to keep stealing all these scoring chances from opposing players, should maybe stop doing that.

Erik Karlsson: It might be nice to donate some of his luscious locks to the Jaromir Jagr Mullet Fund.

Dave Tippett: Could maybe give the All-Stars on his roster a bit more playing time.

Jaromir Jagr: Should share his secret anti-aging formula with the rest of the league, hopefully without making them have to get it by playing three years in the KHL.

Anaheim Ducks: Maybe should think to flip the calendar in the dressing room from 'September' to 'December'.

Sidney Crosby: Maybe should think to flip the calendar... oh, wait.

Happy New Year, everyone!



All of the jokes made in this post are made purely with humourous intent, and do not reflect any feelings felt towards any of the individuals or organisations listed above. 

Three Likely Candidates for the Jack Adams

Credit: James Guillory - USA Today Sports

It's common knowledge that the Jack Adams award is more of a "best comeback team" trophy than one for the actual best coach - if it was the latter, then Mike Babcock and Joel Quenneville would currently be sitting at eleven combined and few others would ever be finalists. Here are three likely candidates to win the Jack Adams award at the midway point of the season. 

Lindy Ruff

Remember 2014-15, when the Dallas Stars had all of that offensive firepower (including the Art Ross winner) and failed to make even a wild-card playoff spot? The team was awful defensively, giving up almost three goals per game, and their goaltending tandem of Kari Lehtonen, Anders Lindback, and Jhonas Enroth combined for a miserable .900 save percentage. They were a puzzle, considering how they were second in the league in scoring, but failed so badly defensively.

In the offseason, Lindy Ruff has evidently taught this team how to play defence (and acquiring Antti Niemi and Johnny Oduya has helped, too). The forwards are still scoring at will (Jamie Benn leads the league in points, and Tyler Seguin is 3rd), and the defence is actually, you know, playing defence, with Dallas ranking a much better 15th in the league in goals against, compared to being at the bottom of the pack last year.

The Stars are currently at the top of the Central Division pack. Should they keep this up, there's no reason that Lindy Ruff won't find himself as a Jack Adams finalist.


Barry Trotz

Now, I'm not saying that Washington was bad last year, by any stretch, because they weren't. They finished with 101 points, good for second in the Metropolitan. 

However, what the Caps are doing this year is remarkable, and a big reason for their surge up the standings is their coach, veteran Barry Trotz.

Under Trotz's direction, the Capitals are first in the Metro. By eleven points. They're also one point back of Lindy Ruff's Dallas Stars for first in the NHL.

The scorers are scoring: Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin each have over 30 points. Who else has over 30 points? Sophomore Evgeny Kuznetsov, who has benefited from an increased role given to him by Trotz, and whose goal totals through 35 games are the same as they were in 80 games last year. The Capitals are also fantastic defensively, as is expected from a Trotz-coached team.

Barry Trotz has the Washington Capitals soaring. Should they remain at pace, he'll be a shoo-in for a nomination.


Gerard Gallant

In the tightly-packed race for the Atlantic Division crown, one team currently stands on top: ...wait, really? The same team that finished out of the playoffs by eight points last season?

The Florida Panthers have been a huge surprise this year! They're fun to watch, skilled up front with young stars and old faces, solid defensively, and great in goal!

Florida has the third-fewest goals against in the NHL. Last year, they weren't even third-best in that category in their division. Forwards young and old, such as Sasha Barkov, Jonathan Huberdeau, Jussi Jokinen, and, right, Jaromir Jagr, are providing much more scoring than last year. And star goaltender Roberto Luongo has a .926 save percentage... better than his marks in the past five years.

Clearly, Gerard Gallant has his team going in the right direction, and they're certainly heading in the right direction. Should they make the playoffs, he'll be right in the mix come Awards-time.

Also Considered: John Hynes, NJD; Jeff Blashill, DET; Darryl Sutter, LA; Dave Tippett, ARI







Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Three Possible Hart Trophy Candidates

Credit: Geoff Burke - USA Today Sports

What does it mean to win the Hart Trophy? You have to be valuable to your team, yes, but another factor to be taken into consideration is where your team would be without you. Jamie Benn is having a standout season in Dallas this year, but he's not a likely candidate for the Hart - Tyler Seguin, John Klingberg, and the goaltending tandem would likely have that team in the playoffs without Benn.

No, we aren't looking for players like Patrick Kane on this list; we're looking for players whose teams would be sunk by their absence.

Here, in no particular order, are the three likeliest candidates to win the Hart Trophy this coming summer.

Johnny Gaudreau

The Flames' #13 is enjoying a banner year in the C of Red, leading Calgary in scoring with 39 points in 35 games (through Dec. 28, 2015). Though the Flames suffered through a horrendous start to the season, going 2-8-1 through their first eleven games, the club has enjoyed a massive resurgence lately with a 9-2-0 record thus far in the month of December, a month in which Gaudreau has an astounding 18 points (including 12 goals) and two hat-tricks. 



The Flames are also currently riding a 11-game home-ice winning streak, on which Gaudreau has 22 points (including 15 goals). Since the start of Gaudreau's hot streak, the Flames have jumped from last in the NHL to one point back of 2nd place in the Pacific Division. If Gaudreau, who is currently tied for sixth in the NHL in points, can keep his pace and carry the Flames to the playoffs, he'll be a contender for the Hart for sure.

Braden Holtby

Braden Holtby is having a fantastic season in D.C. His 23 wins rank first in the NHL, as does his sparkling 1.86 goals against average. To further accentuate his 2015-16 greatness, his tallies in the save percentage (3rd), shutouts (9th), and saves (7th) columns all rank in the top 10 for each category. Holtby (23-4-1) is making saves that lesser goalies dream of...


...and he's being called the Caps' best player by a superstar in his own right, Alex Ovechkin. Everything he's doing is working, and he's propelling the Capitals up the NHL standings. As of this writing, Washington was sitting with 56 points - one back of Dallas for the top mark in the NHL.

Erik Karlsson

Hi, I'm Erik Karlsson. I'm a two-time Norris Trophy winner, and here's why I deserve to win the Hart Trophy.

- I currently lead the entire NHL in assists. Not just by a defenseman - I lead the entire NHL.

- I am currently fourth in the entire NHL in points - again, the entire NHL.

- I am currently leading Mike Hoffman, a forward, and the second-highest point scorer on my team, by seven points.

- Among the top 8 scorers on my team, my shooting percentage is the lowest.

- Among the top 20 scorers in the entire NHL, my shooting percentage is second-lowest.

- I have fantastic hair.

- I sometimes make plays like this:


- And because of all of this, my Ottawa Senators team is currently holding on to a playoff spot. Where would they be without me?



Thursday, December 10, 2015

Breaking Down the Calgary Flames' "Ugly Christmas Sweater Miracle" Video


If you haven't seen the above video yet, I feel very sorry for you. Put on by the Flames, the two-minute video is fantastic.

I could write 2,000 words about this video, so I will. Here goes nothing!

- We open with some Derek Wills narration. Nothing wrong with Derek, though he gets rather growl-shouty when he's excited.

- The Flames Quartet of Dougie Hamilton, Brandon Bollig, Sam Bennett, and Markus Granlund are terrible singers, and as such, get treated as all awful Christmas carolers do: with doors slammed in their faces by people they can't see. Note their headgear.

- I'm still trying to figure out whose voice squeaks at approximately the :16 mark.

- The Flames Quartet is shocked by having these doors slammed in their faces. Dougie really feels it, going so far as to drop his book in shock.

- You know, I've always dreamed of watching four dejected Calgary Flames players stumble along a sidewalk over Elvis singing. Was this Brian Burke's idea?

- What's with the arm swing that Dougie does at :28? Does he have a cramp? Is he expressing disgust? I really don't know.

- "Aw, geez guys, I don't know what's wrong. We just don't... have it." - the Calgary Flames in November 2015

- "Christmas [is] the worst day to be [a] bad singer" - [insert your joke here]

- "I don't get it. Maybe we're just... missing something." - How about a good goalie?

- The Flames' doorbell reactions at :51 are all priceless, but Dougie Hamilton's "I-just-signed-a-huge-contract" face takes the cake.

- "What's this?" - I don't have a joke here.

- "Golly, thanks Santa Harv!" - "Santa Harv" aside, don't you think Bennett is trying to act a bit like  Clark Kent here?

- Bollig opens his present with his teeth. Haha! Canned laughter!

- "Gadzooks! It's the new Flames ugly Christmas sweaters!" Haha! I actually laughed.

- Bollig takes the cake back from Dougie in the crazy-face contest at 1:14.

- "Oh gee whiz. I got the Flames... ugly patchwork Chris-sweater," mumbles a forgetful Markus Granlund.

- "Oh heavens me! I got the Flames ugly retro big logo crew sweater." Hey, anyone else getting the impression that Dougie is way too into this?

- Now Bennett's wearing glasses and... has a pipe? I was going to say he really is Clark Kent, but now what?

- Haha, Bollig gets the girls. The girls' sweater, mind you.

- "Only 74.99." Haha, casually-stated ridiculous prices. Seriously, though, that's ridiculous.

- Rover got the Flames' ugly sweater vest, which is also exorbitantly-priced. 

- We end with the Flames dancing arm-in-arm towards the camera. How sweet. That's it for this post, folks. You can exit this page n- 

BUT WAIT! 

- The Flames are suddenly transformed into beautiful singers. How does this make sense!?

HOW DOES THIS MAKE SENSE!? 

Monday, November 30, 2015

My Month-Long Flame-cation

The Calgary Flames are atrocious. That's not good.

Why do I bring up this painfully obvious statement? Why not? It's gotten to the point where this club is so horrendous that calling them 'atrocious' isn't even remotely newsworthy. That's what happens when you're dead-last in the entire NHL. Congratulations, Flames!

Even in the lowest points of the sad exercise in futility that was the Freddy Modin/Jay Feaster era, I have never stopped watching this team. Never. I may have missed some games, but never on purpose.

That has changed.

This past Friday, the Flames were in Glendale, taking on the surprising Arizona Coyotes. I knew that Calgary would lose, like they have all year. So, I decided to go see the new Bryan Cranston movie,  Trumbo, instead. I actually ended up enjoying myself, and I simply shook my head when I learned that the Flames had lost again.

See, like everyone else, I had to deal with the fact that the Flames lost, but that didn't matter, simply because I had actually enjoyed those two hours watching a good movie (go see Trumbo, it's excellent).

I'm not going to begin to try to attempt to figure out the cause of the Flames' repeated failure - it's not worth the inevitable 5,000 word essay, which I could instead write on a different, more interesting topic, like curling, or fly fishing. Instead, I'm just not going to watch this team. What's the point?

I mean, sure - we aren't paying for GameCentre and all those sports channels for nothing. I'll still watch football (Brees is killing it this year!) and I'll tune into the highlights. I'll still shake my head when the Flames lose, and that hopeless shoot of excitement and the thought of "maybe this is their TSN Turning Point" when they win will still exist.

However, I don't need to watch two-and-a-half hours of sloppy hockey. I could be watching a movie, or playing the drums, or eating a casserole. And I'll be back on January 1st, watching all the Flames games I can. Mind, I'll still try to write as much as I can, here, all throughout December.

No watching Flames games, though. It's just not worth it.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

An Embarrassment of Embarrassment: Ranking the Flames’ Goaltenders Since 2010

Credit: Sergei Belski - USA Today Sports

Hoo boy.

So, I recently asked the kind folks over at HFBoards.com to give me their rankings of the Flames’ netminders of the past five years.

The results varied. I agreed with some, and disagreed with some. The Flames haven’t had great goaltending over the past few seasons, but I’ll try to keep mostly positive in this article.

Here are my rankings. At the end of each one, I’ll say who got the most votes for that position out of the eleven serious ballots cast on the website (sorry II).

Here goes nothing!

1. Miikka Kiprusoff


Does this even need explanation? I mean, come on - he’s the best goaltender in franchise history, and while he had subpar numbers in the lockout year, the Flames were trash that season, and otherwise, he was fantastic. Kipper was legendary. 

Now, does he want his number beside Lanny’s or Vernon’s?

How you voted: 11 of 11 ballots had Kipper at #1. No surprise there.

2. Karri Ramo


Fun fact about Karri Ramo: we got him from Montreal for Rene Bourque and prospect Zach Fucale, and normally I’d say that we made out like bandits with that deal alone, except that for some reason the Habs were being charitable and decided to throw in Mike Cammalleri. Montreal wasn’t done there, however - they decided that they had to throw in a draft pick, too, just in case the deal wasn’t sweet enough. That draft pick turned out to be Ryan Culkin, who isn’t the greatest prospect ever but hey, why not?

Cammalleri went on to score 50 goals for the Flames in three more seasons here. Ramo has won 37 games for the club in three seasons of limited playing time. 

Bourque has scored 27 goals since the trade. Fucale is a pretty decent goalie prospect, but he’s in Montreal, so he’ll never play.

That trade alone is worth putting Ramo at #2 on this list, not to mention his solid, consistent play since his arrival here.

How you voted: Exactly two people placed Ramo at #2. The rest put him at #3, with the exception of one #5 vote.

3. Jonas Hiller


He won 26 games for the Flames last year.

He’s moderately streaky, but good when he’s on.

He’s massively overpaid.

He’s a right-handed catcher which you don’t see every day.

He’s better than anyone below him on this list, but not better than anyone above him.

How you voted: Only one person voted for Hiller at #3 - everyone else put him at #2.

4. Joey MacDonald


When Joey MacDonald is your fourth-best goaltender from any period of time, than your goaltending situation has a problem. Nothing against Joey (he was serviceable when he was here, and he managed to actually have a save percentage over .900 on an atrocious 2012 Flames team) but when a guy that was chased out of Toronto (and in 2010, no less) finds himself on the top half of a historical goaltending depth chart… man.

I do remember being legitimately sad when he left, however. Bonus points!

How you voted: Again, one person had Joey Mac at #4. The rest had him lower, with the exception of one #3 vote.

5. Joni Ortio 


“Oh oh Oreo!” - Leah Hextall

Joni Hockey has had an up-and-down career in the NHL. Last year, he was nearly unbeatable. This year… he’s 2012 Playoffs Marc-Andre Fleury.

He’s still just a kid, though. Loads of potential.

How you voted: For the third time in a row, only one person agrees with me.

6. Reto Berra


Remember that great bicycle kick save by Berra during Rob Kerr’s television prime?




That’s all I remember of him. I vaguely recall him losing more games than he won and being beat out by Joey Mac for the #1 spot. Now he’s ripping it up in Colorado.

Also, it’s a shame that “Arret-o Berra” never caught on. I was so proud of that nickname. Get it, because “Arret” is French for “stop”? And Berra stopped pucks? Hahahahaha!

How you voted: 2 votes were cast for Reto at #6. At least that’s more than one.

7. Vesa Toskala



I remember absolutely nothing about Vesa Toskala’s time in Calgary, aside from the fact that he was moderately successful. He apparently lost zero games. Neat.

How you voted: One person voted for Vesa at #7.

8. Leland Irving


We’re getting into the really obscure section of this page now. Irving was fine (I guess) during his time in Calgary, but come on. First round picks (even late ones) should do better than a .902 career save percentage. His last year in Calgary, that number was .883.

Yeesh. 

How you voted: Three! Three! Three people agreed with me, the most since Miikka.

9. Henrik Karlsson


“The Calgary Tower” played like “The Calgary Condominium” during his time here. He let in two out of three shots he faced [citation needed] and almost never played.

Five wins in 26 games.

How you voted: Again, three people concurred with my ranking.

10. Curtis McElhinney


Speaking of someone who never won… I remember being really excited when Curtis McElhinney won his first game in regulation time as a Flame. It was in, like, his tenth game, and I think that it was against Edmonton. I also recall him  once making “some kind of save” against Carolina, because Peter Loubardias was calling that game (just kidding, Peter, you are my absolute favourite).

They lost 6-1.

How you voted: Exactly zero people voted for McElhinney at 10.

11. Danny Taylor


I vaguely remember seeing this guy, maybe once or twice. Otherwise, nope. I believe he lost both of his games. 

How you voted: Seven people voted for Taylor at the bottom spot.

So, that’s that. Do you agree with my rankings? Sound off in the comments.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Why isn’t Eric Lindros in the Hockey Hall of Fame?

Credit: Tom Szczerbowski - USA Today Sports
All right now, hear me out.

For most of the 1990’s - especially during the heyday of the Legion of Doom during the Dead Puck Era - Lindros was, if not the best, but one of the premier players in the world. His booming physical prowess complimented his great scoring touch fantastically, and he formed the deadliest line in the league with John LeClair and Mikael Renberg in the mid-90s. This was all happening during the stingiest defensive era in NHL history, by the way - one where goalies like Dwayne Roloson and Marty Turco were posting upwards of .920 in their respective save percentage columns every year.

With great success in such an extended low-scoring era, it really was a no-brainer for the Hockey Hall of Fame’s selection committee to name Lindros to the prestigious Hall in his first year of eligibility. I mean, come on. This is a guy who put up numbers over a point-per-game pace from 1993 to 2003! He scored 115 points during the height of the DPE in 1996… in 73 games! Lindros fought through injuries late in his career, and still managed to finish it with more than 100 more points than games played! Finally, he played only four years of his thirteen-year career outside of the Dead Puck Era!

Wait, you’re telling me that he’s not in?

And Phil Housley is?

Why?

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Hey, Everyone: The Flames Are Awful!

Credit: Candice Ward - USA Today Sports
Hey, remember that YouTube video from a couple years ago? You know, the one that made Flames fans practically squeal in delight while watching the Oilers completely fail at playing hockey?




Fun video, huh? But has there ever been any time where you wanted to be in on that action? See it happen live? Be part of the event, as it happens? Follow the awfulness on Twitter?

Worry not! Simply tune in to any Calgary Flames game this season, and you can experience all of the above in sparkling 1080p! Your next chance comes this Thursday when the Flames take on the Philadelphia Flyers on Sportsnet 360!

It's not really debatable that the Calgary Flames are one of the three worst teams in the NHL at this present moment; heck, they aren't even the best team in their own province! Even if Connor McDavid is out with his shoulder injury for any length of time, our neighbours to the north still actually seem to have something called a work ethic.

It really is painful to watch such an apathetic team after all of the hard work and guts they displayed last year. At least you could write off a loss as "just a couple of bad bounces - they'll work harder next time". Not this year; instead, it seems that the Flames are barely working, regardless of whether the score is 7-0 in their favour or against. Of course, not that the goaltending will ever let in fewer than five goals...

Get it together, Flames. Two years ago, when you finished 27th and Jarome Iginla's tenure had ended the year before, at least you were trying hard, so we liked you. Last year, the bounces started going your way, and you still tried hard, so you made the playoffs.

The Calgary Flames are currently 27th in the NHL. Hey, remember when I talked about the Flames team from two years ago, and how they were a likable team, because they tried hard?

This team is all that, minus the try.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Flames 3, Red Wings 2 (OT) - WE WON!

Credit: Candice Ward - USA Today Sports
Mark Giordano with three points! Joe Colborne with a beautiful tip! Jonas Hiller with some great saves! Jose Bautista with a two-run home run to tie it up!

What a night!

Sorry, I’m not writing much tonight - I’m off to watch the Jays game. The Flames’ best player was Gio (of course), and their worst was nobody.

WE WON! We passed the Ducks! We actually outshot our opponents! One of our goalies’ records (Hiller) is now at .500!

Enjoy!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Disaster Alert: What's Wrong With the 2015-16 Calgary Flames?


Credit: Sergei Belski - USA Today Sports

At the time of this writing, the Calgary Flames currently sit 1-4-0, good for last in the Western Conference. They are currently in a game against the Washington Capitals, but they may as well be sitting on their couches at home: coming into the second period against the Caps, the score was tied at one. Now, the Flames' defence has allowed three goals, has taken a penalty, and is a collective -6 on the night. That penalty came from Dougie Hamilton, and it's his fifth of the season already. Dennis Wideman just turned a 2-on-1 for Calgary into a fluttering blocked pass, and another missed opportunity for the club to make up for their (many) mistakes.

Yikes.

The forwards haven't done much, either: while Johnny Gaudreau, David Jones, and Sean Monahan have all had varying degrees of success to start this season, much of the rest of the forward lineup has been either invisible, terrible, or both. Meanwhile, the team's goaltending situation is a mess. Jonas Hiller and Karri Ramo have carried the load for the club thus far, to mixed results: they'll collectively lose their fifth game of the season tonight, barring a miracle comeback.

So, what can we do?

Find Hope in T.J. Brodie 


Remember last year, when T.J. Brodie had a banner year, and almost everyone in the hockey world was attributing his success to the great play of Mark Giordano?

Uh... well, Giordano is playing with supposedly-better Dougie Hamilton (more on him later) now, and that pairing has been a total trainwreck. Gio finished top-5 in Norris voting last season. Now, he looks atrocious! He's been brutal!

Doug MacLean is absolutely ripping the Flames, and Giordano, on Sportsnet right now, and I agree with him. It's wasting our time to watch veteran defenceman cause three goals, on "three big mistakes".

So, how does Brodie figure into this? Well, maybe, upon his return, he can regain the chemistry he had with Giordano last year. That pairing was excellent, and it'd sure help the Flames this year.

Blame Hartley 


Imagine that you're Bob Hartley. Life's good, right? You have a Stanley Cup ring, a Jack Adams, and the deplorable situation of carrying three goalies. Oh no! This toxic environment is killing our team!

Well, if you're Hartley, you can't do anything about getting rid of a goalie. That's Brad Treliving's job. Anyhow, you have three goalies. Your two veterans have been, to put it lightly, not good to start the season. You have a guy in Joni Ortio who went 4-1 in every important game that he played in last year.

Come on, Bob! Y'kno, like, you gotta go wid' who's givin' you the best chance to, y'kno, win! It's clear that Hiller and Ramo aren't those guys! #Orts is!

Bench the Underachievers


Dougie Hamilton should be a happy guy right now. He just signed a huge contract in the offseason, he is playing on the top pairing of a deep Calgary defence, and...

Well. He doesn't seem so happy right now. He's taken five penalties already! We're six games in!

Hamilton hasn't been contributing, at all. He's looked soft defensively (Doug MacLean's words, not mine), incredibly undisciplined, and very lost at times.

Remember how Dennis Wideman sat at the beginning of 2014-15 because of his sub-par play? Well, he went on to score 15 goals.

Dougie needs to be revitalized. So do the Flames' other underachievers, like Mikael Backlund, Kris Russell, and Dennis Wideman (again).

So, here's my advice: sit all of them. Make them healthy scratches. Maybe they just need to reconnect to the game.



I'm sure that the Flames will get it together at some point. They're simply too good not to, and they've gotten some horribly unlucky bounces this year.

But honestly. 1-5-0?


Saturday, October 17, 2015

Battle of Alberta Recap - Oilers 5, Flames 2 - Nadir

Credit: Perry Nelson - USA Today Sports
na·dir
ˈnādər,ˈnādir/
noun
  1. the lowest point in the fortunes of a person or organization.
    "they had reached the nadir of their sufferings"
    synonyms:lowest point, lowest level, all-time low, bottomrock-bottom
    informalpits
    "the nadir of his career"

So, about those Flames...

The Calgary Flames played a horrendous game on Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers, playing a apathetic, lacklustre match which could be best described as their nadir. Their lowest point.

Put this game out of your mind. Don't bring it up at work, at school, or at home.

Oh, and don't forget to read this recap!

What Happened?


- Well, Connor McDavid scored twice, and the HNIC panel was talking about him all night (to the surprise of no one). He was pretty excellent, racking up three points. Why can't we get any players like him?

- Speaking of players like McDavid, well, the Oilers have three more of them, and they all scored as well on Saturday. That will not be a one-time occurrence.

- Cam Talbot got his first win as an Oiler. He looked sharp.

Now, onto the Flames:

- David Jones had an excellent game. He scored two goals, nearly deflected in a third late in the final frame, and actually looked like he had the desire to beat the Oilers.

- Dennis Wideman got assists on both of Jones' goals. He also looked solid.

- Dougie Hamilton played an incredibly ineffective game. #27 needs to stop taking penalties - his two minors on the night put him up to 4 on the season. In five games.

- Mark Giordano looks lost out there. Was T.J. Brodie the one who was keeping that pairing afloat last year? Gio was a team-worst -3 on the night.

- Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan had a single shot on the night. Not each. Combined. Monahan had the shot.

- Jonas Hiller made one fantastic save tonight. Other than that, he was really un-good. Joni Ortio needs to play, and soon.

- Brandon Bollig, or Paul Byron. Who would you waive?

- Mason Raymond was not spectacular tonight. Hopefully he'll get back to how he was playing earlier this year.

- The Flames currently sit at 1-4 on the season, the same as the Oilers. Since Edmonton has the tiebreaker against the Flames right now, the Flames currently sit at sixth in the Pacific Division. The only team below them? The Anaheim Ducks.

- The Flames' 19 goals against is the worst mark in the Western Conference.

- The Flames' 0-3-0 home record is also the worst in the West.

Your Flame of the Game 




Two goals. Two shots. Two candidates for this award.

David Jones was easily the best Flame tonight. He was the only player who looked like he was earning his contract (and at $4 million, too!).

Great game, Jonesy.

Also considered: Dennis Wideman, D

Worst Flame of the Game 




He's taking too many penalties, and has very little chemistry with Giordano. 

Also considered: Everyone not named Dennis and David

Up Next


The Flames play against the Capitals at the 'Dome in a battle between Curtis Glencross' two last teams.

Boy, could the Flames have used him tonight.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

RECAP: 10 Takeaways From the Flames’ 3-2 OT Win Against Vancouver

Credit: Sergei Belski - USA Today Sports
The Flames got their first win of the 2015-16 season on Saturday, downing the Vancouver Canucks in the second game of a home-and-home by a score of 3-2. It was also the first game for both clubs involving 3-on-3 overtime.

Want to know more about said game? Well, you're in the right place. Read on for 10 takeaways from this Flames/Canucks match.

The Game


- You know who had a great game on Saturday? Mason Raymond. He was held off the scoresheet, but he still managed five shots, four of which came in the first period. If he's trying to make his case for increased playing time, he's doing it the right way.

- You know who looked terrible on Saturday? Dennis Wideman. The Canucks scored two goals in the second period, both as a result of one of his penalties. He was also fighting the puck all night long, the most notable instance of this being one dreadful giveaway in overtime off a faceoff.

- Jonas Hiller looked sharp in this game. Many of his 28 saves were quite important, including this timely effort late in the first period:


- Dougie Hamilton scored his first goal as a Flame in this game: a slick wrister over the shoulder of Ryan Miller to open the scoring in the opening frame.


- The other regulation goal for the Flames came off the stick of one Sean Monahan. The Canucks' goals came courtesy of Bo Horvat and Jared McCann.

- This game was tied at the end of regulation, so, for the first time for both clubs, the game went to 3-on-3 overtime.

- The Flames chose to employ 2 defencemen and one forward in this overtime period.

- Johnny Gaudreau won the game for the Flames at the 3:03 mark of overtime with this smooth finish on a partial breakaway:
- With that goal, Johnny Hockey now has points on all four Flames goals this season.

- Finally, what is this supposed to mean?

Your Flame of the Game 


Many fans would choose Johnny Gaudreau and his 3-point effort to be given this honour, but instead, it goes to Mason Raymond, who played with the intensity and willingness of a player in risk of losing his job. If he continues to play like this, I'd have no problem with him in my top-nine. Excellent game, Mason!

Worst Flame of the Game


Yeah, it's you, Dennis. Two awful penalties, more awful giveaways... I don't even want to talk about it. Try again next game.

Up Next


The Flames take Thanksgiving off for another 3-day rest between games, suiting back up next Tuesday against the St. Louis Blues at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Puck drop is at 7:00 PM. You can watch it on Sportsnet Flames, or listen on the FAN 960.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

20 (or so) Takeaways from NHL FaceOff 2015 and the Flames/Canucks Game

Credit: Candice Ward - USA Today Sports

Well, that was something.

The Calgary Flames did not start 2015-16 well, losing 5-1 to the visiting Vancouver Canucks! But who cares? They always lose on Opening Night, and NHL FaceOff was in town! I was there, and I actually managed to get up on-stage, being the very important person that I am (or maybe just because of luck). Anyhow, we were partying all night long (in this case meaning eleven)!

Here are twenty-or-so takeaways from the night.

- Fort Calgary. What a great venue for NHL FaceOff. Honestly, very few people were there (maybe two thousand?), but as a result, there was tons of room to move around. Plenty of great kiosks were present.

- Probably my favourite kiosk was Honda's. They had a great game where you could shoot foam pucks into the back of a new 2015 Honda CR-V, a chance to meet Joel Otto (which I did), a cell-phone charging station (which I used). as well as a Plinko-style game where you could win Tim Cards. Hey, speaking of Tim Horton's...

- Tim's was everywhere tonight. They had free hot chocolate and coffee for those chilly 'uns; there was a stand with unlimited hockey cards; and, speaking of hockey cards, you could get a personalized card with your name and picture and everything on it. Sweet!

- A main sponsor was Pepsi. I was drinking a Coke. Tee hee.

- Speaking of sugary goodness, I consumed approximately eight Oh Henry! bars over the course of the night. Oh Henry! also had a kiosk up with a mini-stage where you could answer trivia questions. My best streak: 18 in a row. Plus, Jamie Macoun was there. Another autograph and picture!

- Theo Fleury was there, also, greeting everyone who walked in to the event with a handshake and a picture. Cool guy - I complimented his music.

- Don't even ask me about the music. It was shrill and annoying.

- My highlight of the night was probably when I was chosen to go up on the big, main stage. My task was to race against another, older guy to put on a bag of hockey gear quickest. His bag contained pants, shoulder pads, gloves, socks, a jersey, and a helmet, as did mine; however, his jersey was a Flames jersey, while mine was of the Canucks' design. To make a long story short, I won. My prize: a custom pair of $300 skates, "courtesy of Reebok and the NHL". Very cool.

Now, as for the actual game (these were written live at Fort Calgary):

- Yikes.

- Kris Russell looks out of his element today. Can't seem to make a pass.

- Dougie, no more penalties in this game, or else I will... I will be angry.

- 1-0 Canucks. I forgot that Jannik Hansen was still playing.

- And, it's 2-zip. Nice pick out of mid-air by Sutter.

- JIRI HUDLER! First goal of the 2015-16 season for Calgary!

- Ooh, this lady says that there's a contest going on, and that I'm going up on stage. This is the most excited I've been all night.

- That was fun.

- I sure hope that I spelled my e-mail address right on that form.

- Back to the game:

- ...

- Ouch. Five seconds left, and it's 3-1. Second intermission.

- They're chanting "We Want Jonas" here in Fort Calgary.

- Alex Burrows scores. 4-1. Hey, this Samsung tent looks cool. Hey, there's Boomer and Warrener!

- I guess that the Canucks just scored again. Craziness, I wasn't paying attention.

- Dougie Hamilton's in the penalty box again. I may scream.

- It's 11:30 already?

In short, I had a great time at the 2015 Molson Canadian NHL FaceOff. The atmosphere was electric, the booths and kiosks were very cool, and it was just an overall great experience.

Now, if only the NHL would bring the All-Star Game back here...

Best Flame of the Game 



Jiri Hudler scored the Flames' only goal tonight, and was one of the only Flames out there who looked actually "into it" at points during the game.

Also considered: Johnny Gaudreau, LW; Michael Frolik, RW

Worst Flame of the Game



Kris Russell had an atrocious game tonight. He couldn't make a pass, he was fighting the puck, and he couldn't find a way to break out of his own zone effective at any point in tonight's game.

Also considered: Dougie Hamilton, D; Karri Ramo, G

The Verdict:

Tonight's game wasn't the best Flames game I've ever seen, but I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, here. They never win on opening nights, and their new acquisitions will need time to adjust to the Flames' system. Also, the atmosphere was fantastic, and I got free skates.

I had fun tonight. Isn't that what matters?

Game Score: 3/10
Event Score: 9/10

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Thinking Aesthetically: Ranking the Top 10 Jersey Lineups in the NHL (#8)

Credit: Jasen Vinlove - USA Today Sports
Thinking Aesthetically, ladies and gentlemen! You know the drill. If, for some reason, you don't know said drill:

A) I have a new reader! Hello, new reader! Click on the directory of my posts on the right of your screen.

B) You skipped some early posts on this subject. Follow the same directions as what I prescribed in scenario A.

There you go. Now, let's get started!

8. St. Louis Blues

Home: No discussion to be had here, really. These jerseys are top-5 in the NHL. I love, love, love, love them. The striping is beautiful, the logo is beautiful, all of the colours are balanced beautifully... everything is beautiful. Or blue-tiful.

Super classy jersey, St. Louis.


Road: I like these jerseys slightly less than their home counterparts because of the off-putting navy accents, but otherwise, it's a solid look. I'm a huge fan of the logo and striping, and I think that this jersey would look far better if everything navy was the same shade of blue used on the shoulder yoke. Speaking of the shoulder yoke, it's beautiful. I like how there aren't any shoulder patches.


Alternate: I'm going to list off everything that I dislike about this jersey:

- Too much white
- Not enough yellow

The white is overpowering. On the other hand, the navy blue provides a nicely muted body colour, and I love the logo. There's a reason that these have been around since 2008!

Score:

Home: 10/10
Road: 8.5/10
Alternate: 8.5/10
Overall: 27/30

Thinking Aesthetically will return!




Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thinking Aesthetically: Ranking the Top 10 Jersey Lineups in the NHL (#9)

Credit: Marilyn Indahl - USA Today Sports
Let's skip the formalities, here: the ninth-ranked team in my countdown of the best jersey lineups in the NHL is described here. Enjoy!

Before I begin, I just want to make a note of something: I am very, very tired. I just saw The Martian, which was excellent. You should go see it. This post will feel rushed, and that's because it is. I'm going to continue to post one of these a day until October 6th, when I will post the top 3, all in one long post. 

Thanks. Now, onto our regularly scheduled programming!

9. Minnesota Wild


The Minnesota Wild are, along with the Columbus Blue Jackets, one of the NHL's two newest franchises. Their logo has remained constant since their 2000 inception, but their jerseys have gone through radical changes.

I mostly enjoy their current designs. Read on!
 
Home: I call these jerseys the "Pierre-Marc Bouchard design", simply because they're old and underrated and... that's it. Not a great comparison, huh? Man, I'm tired.

Anyhow, apart from the creative decision to use red as the body colour, the jersey is pretty by-the-numbers: the green shoulder bit is accented rather nicely by a beige striping design. I love beige on jerseys, and this one is no exception - it's beautiful. However, this jersey is a relic from the early days of the ill-fated Reebok Edge movement, and the weird shape of the green blob seems so unnatural and weird that the jersey comes off as odd. I do enjoy the round logo, however, and the beige is nice (have I mentioned that?)

Very good design. Not my favourite, but it's something.

Road: Hey, did you know that the Wild are the only team in the entire NHL to use a different crest on all three of their jerseys? Their road whites remove the circle from "Mr. Forest Star Bear", and I'm not sure if I care. I like the logo either way, and in the case of this jersey, the rest of the design is so mesmerizing that I'm not sure if I noticed and hey, look, a squirrel.

My point is that the Wild's road jersey design is so good that the good logo isn't even necessary to make it feel complete. Seriously, they could go out against the Canadiens just wearing these base design, minus the logo, and not feel bad.

Sarcasm aside, I've got to say that everything in this jersey, from the immaculate piping to the nicely-contrasting red numbers to the clean-looking shoulder yoke, is perfect.

Alternate: I sure hope that I'm not alienating anyone here with my love of beige. Seriously - it's a perfect accent colour that goes with anything. The decent script logo (which, by script logo standards, is phantasmagorical) is helped along by the returning, excellent striping from the road jersey and the same lettering scheme (minus the red, thankfully - it wouldn't have worked on this one) to create a very suitable and appropriate third jersey. There's a reason that the Wild have worn this jersey since 2009 - it's a great design.

Score:

Home: 8/10
Road: 9.5/10
Alternate: 9/10
Overall: 26.5/30


Monday, September 28, 2015

Thinking Aesthetically: Counting Down The Top 10 Jersey Lineups in the NHL - #10

Credit: Eric Hartline - USA Today Sports
Thinking Aesthetically is a series that will run until October 7th, ranking the 30 jersey lineups in the NHL (Home, Road, and Alternates, combined into one score, and ranked). 

Today, we focus on the 10th-ranked team: The Philadelphia Flyers.

Whenever anyone decides to rank the NHL's uniforms, the complaint that classic uniforms are ranked higher simply because of personal bias and history always comes up.

I will not deny that, because a), they're my rankings, based off of which jerseys appeal to me most, and b), because the classic jerseys are, quite simply, better than many of their corporate, money-draining counterparts. Think about it - when the Oilers, a team with a great design, changed to a dull, murky copper-and-blue uniform back when the NHL was going through its Reebok Edge revolution in 2007, everyone hated the change. Since then, they've gone back to the classic "Gretzky look", and suddenly, the Oilers are back into the upper echelon of the rankings.

Now, there isn't a definitive argument for or against classic jerseys that I can give to you to a unanimously good or bad reaction, so I think that I'll stop getting off into a tangent here and start writing. Number ten! Philadelphia!

Home: It's quickly becoming well-known that I am a huge proponent of simplicity in jerseys. As a result, the Flyers, with their simple design, are good in my books. They're the only team in the NHL with orange as their main colour, and that's probably because no one wants to try to replicate the Flyers' aesthetic success and fail.

The stripe at the bottom of the jersey is a nice accent to the bright orange, and the white line along the shoulders is delightfully unique, in that it extends down the arms, creating a barrier between the front and the back of the jersey. The black arm rim is a nice, final touch.

My only real issue with these jerseys would have to be the nameplate, which just feels so forced and wrong. Put white lettering on the orange body, and I'm sure that the jersey would look a lot cleaner on the back.

Road: I'm going to evaluate this jersey in two separate sections (The Front, and The Back), simply because, quality-wise, they're so different.

Front: It's a great look. The Flyers' logo is a classic, and the subtle orange striping is a treat to look at. It's like a creamsicle in a uniform. I love creamsicles.

Back: AAAHGGGH. That nameplate is hideous. I'm also not a huge fan of the orange numbering, although that could grow on me. However, that black nameplate is atrocious. Yikes. Everything else is fine (really fine - I love these jerseys), but the nameplate has to go.

Alternate: These jerseys are fantastic. The orange, while still bright, appears more muted due to the presence of the black shoulder yoke, and the beige striping is beautiful. The nameplate actually doesn't bother me on this uniform, simply because it's beige. I love beige - it's an underused colour in the NHL.

These jerseys are top-10 in the NHL. They resemble pumpkin pie, and I love me a good pumpkin pie, especially now that we're into the autumn and the leaves are falling and hockey is starting and the baseball playoffs are on and... oh, sorry - I got on a bit of a roll, there. Anyhow, I certainly wouldn't mind if the Flyers made these their primary uniforms. It's a great look.

Score:

Home: 8.5/10
Road: 7.5/10
Alternate: 9.5/10
Overall: 25.5/30 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Thinking Aesthetically: Ranking All 30 Teams' Jersey Lineups (Part 5: 12 - 11)

Credit: James Guillory - USA Today Sports
As I reach my fifth post on this subject, I start to realize how few really good jersey designs there are in this league. I only reached jerseys lineups that I overall really liked with Winnipeg's set, and still, it's quite generic.

With these two lineups, however, we're getting more into the high-end level of uniforms in the NHL. Read on, and discover what these two teams are!

12. Arizona Coyotes

Home: I really enjoy these uniforms. The brown body has always been a nicer tone for a jersey, and the streamlined, more updated-looking lettering on the back is a nice, new touch.

The black and white striping on the shoulders and arms is another really cool look. While there could be more beige (or sand?) in this design, it certainly looks fine the way it is.

The 'Yotes have gone from some incredibly dull jerseys to some very nice ones very quickly. If this really is one of their last years in Arizona, well, they're going out in style.

Road: I also quite enjoy these jerseys. I really like how the white contrasts with the black on the shoulders. However, I am not a huge fan of how they changed the shoulder patch from the home design. On the dark jersey, the patch added some needed beige to the uniform. On this one, they've changed the patch to a dark design which I'm not wholly fond of.

The rest of the jersey is quite all right. While I think that the waist stripe might look better in black, the rest of the uniform is a very rustic-looking desert-suiting design.

Nice job!

Score:

Home: 13/15
Road: 11/15
Overall: 24/30

11. Edmonton Oilers

Home: It pains me to write this, but I must admit it: the Oilers have some of the best uniforms in the NHL. The orange-on-blue style is classic, and the striping is very, very nice. I'm also digging the orange numbers on the back of the jersey, as well as the use of the colour overall as an accent. Near-perfection!


Road: These jerseys are also fantastic. I love the lettering on the back of the uniform, and unlike in the conceptually-similar New York Islanders design, the white body doesn't come across as overpowering. The orange accents are also very effective. Also near-perfection!

Home: While I like these jerseys, and I admire the Oilers' ambition to go with orange as the main colour of these jerseys, something about it doesn't look right. The numbers on the shoulder yoke are awkward, sure, but there's something else.

Eh, I can't place it. I like looking at these jerseys too much. There's way too much orange, but even so, these jerseys are spellbinding. I don't think they're quite as good as the home and away jerseys, but they're up there. There's just too much orange.

Score:

Home: 9/10
Road: 8.5/10
Alternate: 7/10
Overall: 24.5/30

Come back tomorrow as I kick off the top 10!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Thinking Aesthetically: Ranking All 30 Teams' Jersey Lineups (Part 4: 15 - 13)

As I continue on with my rankings of the 30 NHL teams' uniform rotations, I've begun to realize how much easier and more enjoyable it is to write about better jerseys. With that in mind, I hope you enjoy reading this article as much as I did!

We start off with:

15. Tampa Bay Lightning

Home: I fear that I may lose some of you with this ranking, but hear me out - these jerseys are pretty decent. Blue and white is an excellent combination on any jersey (see: Maple Leafs, Toronto) and that trend doesn't end in Tampa - as much as many like to hate on these uniforms due to their ripping-off of Toronto's jerseys, it's not like the Leafs own express rights to the colour scheme. The shoulder patches are subtle and don't detract from the jersey, while the simple striping is a plus.

However, these jerseys may be a touch too simple. I typically dislike black on jerseys, but I feel that the Lightning might benefit from an accent here and there, maybe on the stripes' edges.

Otherwise, it's a pretty good look.

Road: Sigh. The Vancouver Lightning are in town.

Why even bother putting the "Tampa Bay" script above the logo? Why? That's just obnoxious, Tampa.

The rest of the jersey is slightly above-average. The striping is maybe a bit too defined, but otherwise, this uniform is all good.


Alternate: There are exactly two things that I hate about this jersey:

1) The blue collar, which, when surrounded by the white shoulder stripe and black body, makes the player look like an ice cream man.

2) The "Bolts" script logo. Seriously? "Sens" was bad enough.

Other than that, I actually do not hate this jersey like everyone else seems to. This is one of very few black jerseys which does not look horrible on the ice, and the white logo and lettering actually looks pretty excellent against the black body.

Not bad, Tampa.

Score: 

Home: 7/10
Away: 6/10
Alternate: 6.5/10
Overall: 19.5/30

14. Winnipeg Jets

Home: It seems as though the Jets franchise actually bothered to hire a competent design team when they moved from Georgia, as evidenced by these jerseys. The crest is fantastic, the dark blue manages to not wash out the logo, and the striping, while imperfect (there's not enough light blue on the rest of the jersey to merit that much in the stripes) is still pretty good. The font looks modern, and the patches, while far from the best in the league, fit in rather nicely with the rest of the jersey.

Great job, True North!

Road: On the other hand, these jerseys, while well-intended, come off as if the Jets' designers were trying a bit too hard. While I was able to handle the use of light blue on the home jersey, it just comes off as obnoxious on this one. There is far too much of it, and it doesn't mesh with its darker counterpart well. The lettering on the back is lined with the lighter colour, also, and, while it's easier to ignore, it is still distracting.

However, other than the light blue, the road jersey is still a good design.

Decent job, True North!

Score:

Home: 12/15
Road: 8/15
Overall: 20/30


13. Dallas Stars

Home: Say what you want about the bright green, but unless it's paired up against the Flyers' orange uniforms, it's one of the better looks in the league. The green is a dynamic, electric colour on the ice, and it helps that it's being worn by a dynamic team. The simplistic striping and patches (which both make great use of black as a supporting colour) help this jersey to become a treat to watch.


Road: These jerseys are also excellent. While the striping isn't as good as it is on the home design (black and green?), the rest of the jersey, from the nice shoulder yokes to the bright green lettering on the back, is eye-poppingly great. These jerseys are very close to being as good as the home version.

Home: 12/15
Road: 10.5/15
Overall: 22.5/30

Now we're getting into the thick of things! 

Come back tomorrow for lineups 12 - 11.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thinking Aesthetically: Ranking All 30 Teams' Jersey Lineups (Part 3: 18 - 16)

Credit: Charles LeClaire - USA Today Sports
This is where it can start to get good. Hello, everyone, and welcome back to Thinking Aesthetically! Today, I'll be ranking the teams with the 18th-best to the 13th-best jerseys in the NHL, starting with:

18. Columbus Blue Jackets 

Home: This jersey is so unremarkable. It's navy blue, a colour seen incredibly often in the NHL. There's no horrible piping, but there isn't really any creative striping, either. The logo is decent, nothing exceptional. The font is relatively conservative. What's to hate? What's to love?

Road: Some road uniforms really work, and some really don't. This one falls into the latter category. The white is so strong against the more muted tones of the logo, and it doesn't really fit when put up against the deep blue of the home jersey. 



Alternate: On the other hand, this jersey is fantastic. The only good jersey design from the NHL's ill-fated "powder-blue movement", the Jackets' design succeeded where Pittsburgh and Florida failed by including a slick colour in light beige, and by designing a spectacular logo. The block-lettering on the back helps, and the stripe at the bottom is beautiful.

Near-perfect from Columbus.

Score:

Home: 5/10
Road: 3/10
Alternate: 9/10
Overall: 17/30

17. Washington Capitals

Home: I probably like this jersey more than I should. It's simple, I don't hate the logo, and the font is dynamic and striking. But the random strips of white under the arms seem so off to me, and it's red, which is far too overused in the league (however, they've used it for so long that it could qualify as too classic to change). Seriously, six teams, at most, should use red: Calgary, Chicago, Detroit, Montreal, Washington, and New Jersey. They've used it the longest, and it makes at least some sense for each of them. Flames are red, the Blackhawks and Canadiens have always worn red, the Detroit Red Wings, the Devil is commonly depicted as red, and... the American Flag is red, white, and blue? Is that a good-enough reason?

Why not make the jersey a deep blue with red accents? That might look cool.

That was a long tangent. Let's continue.

Road: I like these a bit more than their home counterparts because they don't have that weird white underarm stripe. Otherwise, all of the same arguments from above apply here (except for the red, because what option other than white do the Capitals have in this situation?).


Alternate: Oh, these are classic. Whenever I think of the Capitals, I think of Rod Langway, Peter Bondra, Michal Pivonka, and Don Beaupre. The red, white, and blue are so perfect together, and the stars are a great touch. The modernized version of these feels so corporate and cold, while these are a nice hug and a cup of hot chocolate to look at.

These are one of under ten jerseys on my entire list to garner a perfect 10 rating. You'll see another soon.

Score:

Home: 4/10
Away: 4.5/10
Alternate: 10/10
Overall: 18.5/30

16. Pittsburgh Penguins

Home: I don't have much to say about these first two jerseys, because I'm saving my energy for typing 600 words about the alternates. However, I will say that these jerseys introduced the world to Vegas Gold, and the world has not benefited from that reveal. This uniform also seems to have a bad case of "Senator-itis": that is, random splotches of colour down the side of the jersey.

The crest is classic, though, and it gets bonus points for no horrible striping or piping. Like Columbus' design, it's very average.

I lied about not writing much about these jerseys, which rank lower than the "Robo-Gradient Penguin" and the "New York Rangers knockoff Non-Penguin" in my dedicated Pittsburgh Penguins jersey rankings, at the 541 spot.

Road: Next time you go to Consol Energy Center to buy a jersey, just ask the sales associate at the  team store for "those things that Crosby wear that make your arms look like they've burst out in giant Vegas Gold and black-coloured pimples", and they'll hand you one of these, and a pocket schedule.


Alternate: I love the Boston Bruins' jerseys. They're so simple and elegant, and their colour combo of black and a riveting yellow makes them impossible to take your eyes away from.

Vegas Gold is such a bland colour. This yellow is certainly not. Mario Lemieux, Jaromir Jagr, Ron Francis, Paul Coffey, Kevin Stevens, Tom Barrasso, and countless other Penguin greats wore these jerseys, which (in my opinion) are the finest in all of professional sports.

Score: 

Home: 4/10
Road: 3/10
Alternate: 12/10
Overall: 19/30

I will be writing about rankings 15 - 13 tomorrow, 12 - 11 the day after that, and then one a day until I finish these rankings on the scheduled ending date of October 3, 2015.

Keep checking back until then!