When you relocate a franchise, coming up with a new look can be a perilous thing. For the Colorado Avalanche, having to come up with something to replace the iconic look the Quebec Nordiques ran with was a tall order. They did the best they could though and carved out an identity of their own.
Best: Avalanche sweaters are an acquired taste. Some adore the logo, the colors, and the look of the whole thing with burgundy and baby blue being big factors of it all. Others find the whole thing to be foul and look at it like a demented Baskin Robbins uniform. That’s a bit harsh, but their original home sweaters really make for a great look. With the huge crest on the front, the burgundy and white sleeves and the Bigfoot foot print secondary logo on the shoulders, it’s a look that Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg made stylish.
Worst: Depending on your opinion of the Avalanche’s look already, there’s almost no argument that their most recent third sweater is an abomination. The Avs took inspiration from their original third that was an all-burgundy affair that had “COLORADO” written diagonally down across the front. The new one, however, took that look and turned it blue with a burgundy shoulder yoke. Vomit city.
I’d rather look like a chocolate bar than a blueberry, personally. Perhaps Willy Wonka was part of the creative process for the Avalanche’s third sweaters. At least that would explain a few things. What I’m left wondering about is why they haven’t done anything with the Bigfoot foot print secondary logo. That’s instantly a winner.
Old-Timey Goodness: While the Avalanche won’t really recognize it, their past in Quebec City as the Nordiques is one that left behind a legacy of sweater beauty. The Nordiques sky blue road sweater is one that goes down in history as one of the all-time best. The funky logo on a background of blue and white with the fleur-de-lis adorning the entire sweater is a look that could not be topped. For the Avalanche when they relocated from Quebec City, they had a really high bar to reach in order to keep up fashion-wise. They did their best but nothing tops the Nordiques. Consider this the same problem the Hurricanes had in changing locations from Hartford and ditching the Whalers moniker.
Assessment: All told, the Avs current sweaters are average. Their original look was solid but with the RBK Edge system taking over after the lockout, the old design just couldn’t keep up with the new “technological marvel” that was the Edge sweater. If your sarcasm detector went off reading that, congratulations it’s in working order. The Avs home and away set is helped out by looking like a work of art in comparison to their nightmarish third. Consider it a moral victory.
What a start.
This series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals might be headlined by Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, but as many have said in the lead-up to tonight’s opener, there is so much more to this second round matchup than that. Washington’s 4-3 overtime victory in Game 1 tonight could be offered up as Exhibit A.
This game had everything except big offensive showings from Crosby and Ovechkin. They had their moments, but in the end combined for just one assist.
What we got instead was a hat trick by T.J. Oshie that was completed with a game-winning goal that made it past the line by such a narrow margin that it warranted a video review:
This game also featured a sequence of three goals in 90 seconds and yet also some great saves by goaltenders Braden Holtby and Matt Murray. At the other end of the spectrum, there was a controversial hit by Tom Wilson that might lead to a suspension.
There was even some odd stuff. Like how Jay Beagle got a stick stuck in his equipment.
If this game sets the tone for the rest of the series, then we should be in for a closely contested, highlight filled affair.
— Nick Bonino had a goal and an assist for the Penguins. Evgeni Malkin and Ben Lovejoy accounted for the Penguins’ other markers.
— Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky scored the game’s opening goal. It was his first marker of the 2016 playoffs.
— Washington outshot Pittsburgh 15-9 in the first period, but Pittsburgh ended up with a 45-35 edge.
— This is the first time in the 2016 playoffs that Braden Holtby has allowed more than two goals. He surrendered just five goals in six games to Philadelphia.
— Matt Murray suffered his first career postseason loss after winning three straight contests against the New York Rangers.
Tom Wilson has already found himself in a controversy for delivering a late, knee-on-knee hit to Penguins forward Conor Sheary in the third period of Game 1 Thursday night.
You can see that incident below:
Wilson spent two minutes in the sin bin earlier in the contest for crosschecking Evgeni Malkin, but there was no penalty on this play.
Fortunately Conor Sheary was able to stay in the game. The question now is if Wilson’s actions will lead to him being suspended prior to Game 2.
This isn’t Wilson’s first brush with controversy. He delivered a big hit to Brayden Schenn in 2013, but Wilson wasn’t suspended for that incident. Lubomir Visnovsky’s final campaign was cut short due to a check by Wilson that angered the New York Islanders. More recently, Nikita Zadorov was concussed by a crushing blow from the Capitals forward.
In 231 career regular season games, Wilson has 50 points and 486 penalty minutes.
Related: Wilson says ‘I’ve never been a dirty hitter’ after teams voice complaints
For the first 30 minutes of Game 1 between Pittsburgh and Washington it looked like goaltenders Matt Murray and Braden Holtby might outshine these star-studded offenses. Then the floodgates opened up, if only for a moment.
Washington already had a 1-0 lead going into the second frame courtesy of Andre Burakovsky‘s first marker of the 2016 playoffs, but Ben Lovejoy and Evgeni Malkin scored back-to-back goals within the span of 57 seconds midway through the second period to tilt the scale in Pittsburgh’s favor. That lead didn’t last for long though as Capitals forward T.J. Oshie got a breakaway opportunity and took full advantage of it.
In total, there were three goals scored in the span of just 90 seconds and you can see all of them below:
After that sequence, the 2-2 tie held for the remainder of the frame. However, Oshie was able to reassert Washington’s edge just 3:23 minutes into the third period.
Through 40 minutes of action in Game 1 of the second round series between Pittsburgh and Washington and we’ve already seen some big moments, along with a pretty unusual one.
Beagle ended up with a stick lodged into his visor towards the end of the second frame. He tried to get it out himself, but ended up having to go to the bench for assistance. You can see that below: