When it comes to sports uniforms, simpler is almost always better. Maybe that’s why teams in just about every league are gradually (or some might even argue rapidly) going back to “retro” designs, even if there are occasions in which retro only means the ’90s.
Jersey-obsessed hockey blog Icethetics made some educated guesses that 11 NHL teams might change one of their three sweaters next season, whether those alterations come in their home, away or alternate (“third”) jerseys.
The author believes that the Atlanta Thrashers, Buffalo Sabres, Dallas Stars, Edmonton Oilers, Florida Panthers, Los Angeles Kings, Nashville Predators, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs will change their look in some way.
Here are a few stray thoughts on some of the teams’ jerseys. Click here for further discussion on unis from Icethetics.
- Thank goodness that the Sabres came to their senses over the years, as they went from the shameful Buffaslug to the widely missed old design.
- It’s cool that the Kings are about to leave their bland purple-and-black design behind, but why not just go all the way back to the Gretzky-era duds instead of going almost all the way back with their current alternate jerseys?
- Best (potential) news of all: the Senators and Lightning might do away with their respective (and goofy) “Sens” and “Bolts” third jerseys. What a relief.
- I agree with Icethetics that the best Panthers jerseys came from their original days, modeled by the likes of John Vanbiesbrouck. It would be great if they went with that look … especially if they force their goalies to steal the Bieser’s sweat panther head mask too.
Anyway, those are some of my thoughts on some of the possible changes. Naturally, those changes are far from official, but we’ll clue you in to new duds as they come along.
Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk has been the most difficult goalies to score against this season. Leave it to a high-level player like Leon Draisaitl to make it look this, well, “easy.”
Draisaitl scored his 13th goal of 2016-17 by capping this pretty give-and-go play with Benoit Pouliot. You can see the frustration from Dubnyk at the end of the tally, as if he was saying “How was I supposed to stop that?” (though probably with more colorful language).
Draisaitl came into Friday with five goals and three assists in his last five games, so he’s been almost unstoppable lately.
Read more about his rise here.
In his fifth NHL game, intriguing Washington Capitals prospect Jakub Vrana scored his first NHL goal (and point).
Let’s be honest, though; Evgeny Kuznetsov deserves plenty of the credit, as he sent a fantastic pass for Vrana’s tap-in tally.
See it for yourself:
Even if that was mostly Kuznetsov, Vrana has been getting his chances so far.
He generated four shots on goal in two separate occasions so far in his four games of NHL action, so maybe he was due for a chance like this.
Considering he’s just 20 years old, the Capitals could get used to Kuznetsov to Vrana.
Update: The Capitals won 4-1, and Vrana’s first goal wasn’t the only noteworthy “first.” After piling on shots, John Carlson finally scored his first goal of the season:
No one’s going to confuse Dmitry Kulikov with Jack Eichel, but the Buffalo Sabres are likely happy to have him back after a long absence, too.
The Sabres have been on an upward trend lately (5-2-2 in their last nine games), and now they get a key defenseman back against the Washington Capitals on Friday night.
Kulikov last played on Nov. 9 and hasn’t recorded a point in 12 games, making for a tough start to his stint with the Sabres. Maybe he’ll begin to get a little more traction with his new team tonight?
He’s far from the only returning Buffalo player, either, as Josh Gorges and Nicolas Deslauriers are also back in the mix. Kulikov is slated to be on the Sabres’ second pairing with Cody Franson.
Buffalo sent Brendan Guhle to the AHL to make room for these tweaks.
The Columbus Blue Jackets will be without captain Nick Foligno because of an illness on Friday, opening up an opportunity for interesting prospect Oliver Bjorkstrand.
The team tweeted out his linemates as Matt Calvert and Lukas Sedlak as a solid fourth line facing the Detroit Red Wings.
He failed to generate much (zero points, two shots on goal) in three games so far with Columbus this season, receiving about 25 minutes of ice time over that span.
With eight goals and 12 points in 19 AHL games so far in 2016-17, there’s the thought that he could eventually make the next step to becoming a decent contributor for the Blue Jackets.
Perhaps this will constitute his first real step in that direction?
Apparently this is a pretty abrupt situation for the 21-year-old: