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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Return of Hump Day Hockey Thoughts

Between getting married and watching my day job "...catch the last train for the coast", I've been a bit distracted for the past few weeks. Lack of regular paycheck aside, I must say it's good to be able to focus on hockey again. I can't think of a better way to climb back into the saddle than to discuss the odds & ends which caught my eye recently, so here goes:

With his shootout-winning goal late last night, Colorado's Matt Duchene merely confirmed what we OGA boys have known since last October: The Avalanche are IN the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Did anybody see this coming back in September? Did anyone in the Avs organization see this coming? Surely not this year, but maybe after their core group of talented kids had a season or two under their belts. While a number of factors are responsible for Colorado's success, my nominee for team MVP is goalie Craig Anderson. Talk about making the most of an opportunity: Anderson's GAA (2.64) and Save pct. (.916) aren't stellar, but they're quite good for a career backup who, prior to 2009-10, hadn't played more than 31 games in a season. After 70 appearances, Anderson leads all NHL goalies in Shots Against (2200), Saves (2016) and...Penalty Minutes(?!?) (16). While my October launch of an "Anderson for Vezina" campaign proved premature, the follicularly-challenged netminder has been worth every penny for Colorado...

After ringing up four straight wins, it looks like the Chicago Blackhawks are starting to get the hang of playing without Brian Campbell on the blueline. With injuries to Campbell, Brent Seabrook and Kim Johnsson, the 'Hawks have struggled since returning from the Olympic break...and so have the San Jose Sharks: both teams are 9-7-2 since March 2nd. Currently, the Sharks lead the Blackhawks by two points in the standings, but Chicago has a game in hand. Unlike most seasons, when the top teams spend the last week or two of the regular season merely trying to stay healthy for the playoffs, both of these clubs have plenty of motivation to win their remaining games, as there's a good chance the no.2 seed in the West will have to play Detroit in the first round...and nobody wants to play Detroit...

My hometown team, the Dallas Stars, won't be selling any playoff tickets again this season, so let's discuss their uniforms, instead: Blatant marketing ploy or abject stupidity? You be the judge:

According to Icethetics - THE source for all things jersey-related - the Stars will swap their road and third jerseys for the 2010-11 season. Thus, the "new" road jersey will be white, with "DALLAS" across the chest. The "new" third jersey will also be white, but will feature the Stars logo on the chest. I'm fine with that change, BUT...I expect the next change to be the unveiling of a NEW home jersey, which will be a black version of the "new" third jersey, replacing the current home jersey, which is black and says "DALLAS" across the chest. Now, I have nothing solid on which to base this theory, but it only makes sense: WHY would you splash a city name across the chest of your home jersey? Do your fans not know where they live? From Day One, I wondered if the Stars' "DALLAS" home jersey was a very expensive design error. Now, I suspect it was actually part of a cynical marketing strategy designed with the knowledge that fans would buy the new home jersey, no matter how stupid it looked, and then shell out more money for the "new and improved" home jersey a couple of years later. Unfortunately, this strategy will undoubtedly work, as the "DALLAS" home jerseys are simply asinine. Right now, I don't know if I'm more angry at the Stars organization for (possibly) taking advantage of their loyal fans, or at myself, because I know I'll be first in line for one of the "new and improved" home jerseys.

Take me back to On Goal Analysis.

1 comment:

Frozen Pill said...

I had read about the swap on the whites (road for 3rd) earlier this season and had hoped they would not do this. To have the STARS logo (w/ the top point of the star as the 'A') on only the 3rd sweater is what is ridiculous. The organization is trying to break away from the North Stars era (tell shop.NHL.com that!) but to abandon the 'star' itself for the word DALLAS (it's a baseball/basketball hybrid) is annoying. Having said that, the design itself of the Stars sweaters (piping on sleeves, etc.) is fantastic for both home and away. I just fear the lack of a star on a Stars sweater since it's a great and defining logo.