So you’re coming here thinking I’ll be talking about how great Dale Hawerchuk and Teemu Selanne looked back in the day, right? Wrong. Instead, this is just going to be really, really awkward as I talk about great and ugly Thrashers sweaters of the past while we wait for the Jets to unleash their new look upon the masses. Consider this the fashion eulogy for the Atlanta Thrashers.
Best: Well this is awkward. The Jets are the ex-Thrashers and they don’t have a sweater identity of their own yet. The Thrashers, sadly, had a mostly forgettable history of sweaters. Sadly that’s how it works out for their hockey team as well. Their original home and road set were simple yet uninspiring.
What really grabbed people by the face were their final home blue sweaters. They did things really different by having “ATLANTA” going vertically down one sleeve with a baby blue sweater. It was striking, it was odd, and it was different. In a city that had a hard time getting noticed for hockey, those sweaters made you take notice of the team.
Worst: Hands down the worst sweater in Thrashers history was their final third sweater. For a team that was billing their home games at Philips Arena as “Blueland” thanks to their full-on adoption of baby blue sweaters, having a burgundy third sweater that eliminated the team logo and had a football-like “THRASHERS” word mark across the front it was a cavalcade of stupid. From a marketing perspective, playing games in a place you called “Blueland” and wearing a deep red color is dumb. Creating a third sweater that is thoroughly unattractive is a terrible way of trying to make a sale. Dumb, stupid, and ugly are three words you could use for this approach. They’re also three words Thrashers fans would use for the Atlanta Spirit Group.
Looking like a bird?: Something you may not have noticed about the Thrashers’ original sweaters is that when you look at them with the arms wide open, the curious sleeve design made it look as if the body of a jersey was a set of wings. I’m either constantly on drugs or it’s one of those sneaky things that’s there as plain as day and you just don’t look at it curious enough to notice. Please tell me I’m not crazy and that I just discovered a secret gem about these sweaters.
Assessment: We’re going to have to hope the Jets and True North’s designers are going to do something classic looking with their honestly awesome new logo. With the nod to the Canadian Royal Air Force, there’s a lot of reason to have high hopes for what the Jets will do. If they’re taking nods from what the Thrashers were doing, I’m terrified at what might come out. We’re not likely to find out what the Jets sweaters will look like until September so here’s to hoping they do it right.
–Pittsburgh Tribune writer Jonathan Bombulie breaks down the four things the Penguins need to do to close out the Ottawa Senators in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final. It starts with being ready to play, being desperate, scoring first and showing Ottawa some respect. (Pittsburgh Tribune)
–A few weeks after they were bounced from the playoffs, the Sharks are still deciding if they should bring back Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. If anything, it sounds like there’s a good chance they chose to keep Thornton over Marleau at this point. (CSN Bay Area)
–The city of Nashville has come a long way as a hockey market. They went from having fans that needed “Hockey 101” lessons to now being fully invested in their team. There were some lean years in Nashville, but they’ve seen the benefits of education young fans over the years. (New York Times)
–The Nashville Predators locked up their first berth in the Stanley Cup Final by beating the Ducks 6-3 on Monday night. Colton Sissons, who was the unlikely hero in Game 6, scored a hat trick. You can check out the highlights from that game by clicking the video at the top of the page.
–The Philadelphia Flyers own the second overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, and there’s at least a chance that Nolan Patrick could be available at that spot. Despite dealing with some pretty significant injuries over the last year, Patrick believes he’s capable of staying healthy and playing in the NHL next season. Oh, and by the way, Patrick doesn’t like pizza, but he loves cheesesteaks. (Courier-Post)
–The Hockey News recounts the story of the old Cleveland Barons, who found out they were entering the NHL just three months before the start of the 1976-77 season. As you can imagine, those are some difficult circumstances, and problems arose from the beginning. “I couldn’t even give tickets away. I asked my mailman if he wanted tickets, and he said, ‘I’ve got bowling tonight,'” said former captain Al McAdam. (The Hockey News)
–Tennessee Titans offensive lineman Taylor Lewan was at the Preds-Ducks game last night, and yup, he threw a catfish on the ice after the Predators won the game. Here’s the visual evidence:
After reaching their first ever Western Conference Final, the Nashville Predators topped that in a big way, advancing to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in franchise history.
There were a lot of firsts and rarities along the way.
In ousting the Anaheim Ducks with a 6-3 victory in Game 6, GM David Poile’s team advanced to the championship round for the first time in his lengthy time as an executive.
Peter Laviolette also became the fourth coach in NHL history to bring three different teams to a Stanley Cup Final. The Predators are also the first 16th seed to make it this far.
Yep, that’s a long list of milestones (and not a comprehensive one). And, to think, the Predators haven’t even been on the brink of elimination during the postseason yet.
It’s special stuff, so don’t be surprised by the boisterous celebration you can see in the video above this post’s headline.
If there’s one thing we can agree upon about the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it’s that these months have really cemented just how hockey-mad Nashville has become for its Predators.
(Yes, you can call it “Smashville” if you’d like.)
The scene at Bridgestone Arena was as boisterous as ever in the Predators’ 6-3 Game 6 win against the Anaheim Ducks, with legions of fans packing and surrounding the building.
Sights like these have becoming resoundingly normal for a hockey market that was once questioned by media and other fan bases:
As the Predators advanced to their first-ever Stanley Cup Final, plenty of people were making jokes at the expense of the Montreal Canadiens for trading P.K. Subban. Of course, Subban wouldn’t take a shot at the Habs during such a great moment, but his praise for puck-nutty Predators fans says a lot in itself.
“I played in an A+ market my whole career,” Subban said, via Jeremy K. Gover of the Nashville Predators Radio Network. “There’s not a city in the league that has anything on Nashville.”
Whether their opponent is the Pittsburgh Penguins or Ottawa Senators, we already know that Nashville will begin the Stanley Cup Final on the road. That’s OK … Predators fans might need some time to get their voices back and recover from celebrating, so waiting until Games 3 and 4 might be a blessing in disguise.
The Anaheim Ducks battled their way to Game 6 of the Western Conference Final, but Colton Sissons and the Nashville Predators ended their season on Monday.
The Ducks are processing that disappointment – being just two wins away from a trip to the championship round – and some of their reactions might spark a little controversy.
Specifically, it sounds a bit like Bruce Boudreau believing that his Minnesota Wild were superior to the St. Louis Blues despite falling in that series.
Andrew Cogliano, it must be noted, was spurned by Pekka Rinne on some early chances in Game 6. He likely feels as frustrated as any Ducks player right now.
Sisson’s hat-trick goal, making it 4-3 before two empty-netters cemented the 6-3 finish, was the dagger that finally put the hard-working Ducks down.
One can understand some of those feelings from Anaheim, especially considering the frustration of a) getting over Jonathan Bernier‘s early struggles to make a very real game of this and b) occasionally carrying the play in a dramatic way, including in Game 6.
Still, the Predators got the right combination of great stretches of play from Rinne and strong work from the expected and the unexpected, such as Sissons.
For an aging star like Ryan Getzlaf – a player who produced some of his best work late in the season and during the playoffs – you have to wonder how many chances remain.