Mikko Koivu

Best and worst sweaters of all-time: Minnesota Wild


Best: For a team that doesn’t have a long history of sweaters, the Wild got it right with their beautiful third sweater they unleashed two seasons ago. When you think of the wilderness you think of the color green and that’s just what this sweater has. It’s green all over with “Minnesota Wild” in script across the front. It’s simple, elegant, and honestly beautiful. It’s got a touch of that old school feel to it and reminds us of the All-Star Jerseys from when the game was held in St. Paul in 2004.

Worst: Oddly enough, the Wild’s worst sweater is also an all green affair. The team’s original road jersey was even-handed match to their white home sweater just green all over. The red and gold piping wasn’t enough to help distract from the heaps of green all over this sweater and was roundly disliked in Minnesota and elsewhere. It’s odd that this one was so disliked while the home whites (still the look of their road sweaters now) are beloved. That says something more about making things look nice for one’s eyes rather than blowing them away with one color. It just goes to show you more reasons why the design of their new third is so particular and special to the fans.

Circular Madness: In 2003, the Wild introduced an “iron range red” third jersey that featured the Wild logo within a circular ring that had the team name going around it. The design made the team’s logo look instantly old school and for us hockey fans, anything that looks old-time hockey-like is something we’ll warm up to right away. Well, most of the time anyway. For the Wild, going away from the forest green and into their other team color in red was a huge success and the sweater took over as the team’s home sweater in 2007 and remains that way now. When it’s done right, the circular logo can be perfect. Minnesota’s one of the few teams that’s pulled it off right.

Assessment: The Wild’s current sweater array is about as good as it gets and looks like a “best of” collection of what they’ve done through their short history. The home red is great, their road whites have sustained years of changes, and their green alternates are a thing of beauty. While the Wild are still finding their way on the ice with their play, they sure look good while trying to figure things out.

Kane scores OT-winner, caps Islanders’ bumpy start in Brooklyn

Patrick Kane

On paper, it’s the perfect way to kick off meaningful hockey in Brooklyn, as the New York Islanders faced the defending champion Chicago Blackhawks on Friday.

In reality, there were some highs and lows, culminating with Patrick Kane scoring a power-play overtime-winner to give Chicago a 3-2 (OT) win.

The Barclays Center crowd was going to be a big part of the story one way or another, but even by building-opening standards, the audience made some waves.

Indeed, Kane was greeted with some jeers during his first road appearance of the 2015-16 season, though he didn’t sound surprised.

(There were other controversial chants, apparently.)

Speaking of the crowd, it may not have been the greatest turnout:

ESPN goes way, way in depth on how the change of locale was received, by the way.

It wasn’t a perfect night inside the rink, either, as there weren’t exactly rave reviews about ice quality. New York Newsday’s Arthur Staple compared the ice to a “slushy” and “soup,” with an anonymous Islander (or Islanders) describing the conditions as “awful.”

Kane was pretty diplomatic about it, for what it’s worth.


So, no, it was not a perfect night for the Islanders.

They probably envisioned a teeming, perfectly mannered crowd. Management likely expected Jaroslav Halak to be in net, too.

Sometimes breaking ground is often about overcoming those early stumbles, though, and maybe the best review is to parallel the on-ice results: the Isles at least got a point out of it.

Let’s not forget that there are some cool perks that come with this situation, even if the specifics may vary.

If you want even more information/photos/etc., you’d probably do well to check out #IslesOpeningNight.

Columbus collapse: Rangers spoil Blue Jackets’ opener

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For a little more than a minute, Brandon Saad was going to be the story of the Columbus Blue Jackets’ opener. Instead, his power-play goal merely got the ball rolling on a flabbergasting finish.

The New York Rangers scored three goals in 1:17 of game time to manage a 4-2 win.

They’ve now spoiled home openers for the Chicago Blackhawks and Columbus Blue Jackets to begin their 2015-16 season.

It might be easiest just to show you when the goals were scored, noting that the third period began with a 1-1 tie.

Brandon Saad power-play goal: 16:10 into third period (2-1 Columbus)
Oscar Lindberg: 17:24 (2-2 tie)
Kevin Hayes: 17:41 (3-2 Rangers)
Mats Zuccarello: 18:41 (4-2 Rangers)

Yikes. Zuccarello scored two of the Rangers’ goals, while a beauty by Cam Atkinson is likely long forgotten.