Monday, April 4, 2011

The 2011 Third String Goalie Jersey Bracket - Round 2

With college basketball's, "March Madness" concluding tonight and college hockey's Frozen Four taking place this week, brackets are currently all the rage to determine the best of the best, hence we bring you the 2nd Round of the 2011 Third String Goalie Jersey Bracket to determine which NHL jersey we feel stands alone above all others.

As a reminder, some very basic rules we used were to use an online bracket creator to randomly seed all 86 NHL jerseys used this season as documented by NHLUniforms.com, leaving out any one time only jerseys such as those worn in the Winter Classic, giving the top 16 seeds in random order to the Original 6. Beyond that, we let the chips fall where they may. Now, on to Round 2!

To follow along with the tournament as it develops, please visit our bracket online.

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Matchup #1 of Round 2, is #1 the Chicago Blackhawks Alternate against #65 the Pittsburgh Penguins Alternate. Both jerseys were born out of the Winter Classic, but Chicago's gorgeous jerseys based on their 1935 sweaters are no match for the Penguins powder blues.

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Matchup #2 has #32 the Washington Capitals Road jersey up against #33 the San Jose Sharks Alternate. While we like the Capitals road jersey well enough, the Sharks sinister alternate gets the nod for it's menacing look.

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Matchup #3 has #16 the Toronto Maple Leafs Home jersey up against the #49 New York Islanders Home jersey. In a tough, tough call the Maple Leafs advance over the Islanders due to the improvements made with this new jersey over it's predecessor. Reverting back to the single color numbers, adding a white collar with laces and a return of the waist stripes and vintage Maple Leaf shoulder patches make this once again everything a classic hockey jersey should be. Costing the Islanders points is the annoying shirt tail look being enhanced by the lower white portion of the Islanders striping pattern.

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Matchup #4 is #17 Nashville Predators Home jersey taking on #81 the Phoenix Coyotes Road. The Coyotes stay alive for no other reason that the fact the sleeves on the Predators turn white halfway down the arm for absolutely no fathomable reason whatsoever. The apron strings don't help either.

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Matchup #5 gives us #8 the Chicago Blackhawks Road jersey against #72 the San Jose Sharks Road jersey. Chicago easily advances with it's iconic logo and solid color scheme easily handling any jersey containing teal and orange.

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Matchup #6 has #25 the Vancouver Canucks Vintage jersey taking on #40 the Calgary Flames Road jersey. Surprisingly, the Flames win over the Canucks, as their vintage jersey is just too similar to both their white road jersey and their blue alternate, which also uses the stick in rink logo, albeit the modernized version. We know it was based on their original jerseys, but it just didn't stand out from the rest of their set in the least.

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Matchup #7 is #9 the Toronto Maple Leafs Alternate up against the #73 Vancouver Canucks Home jersey. Vancouver doesn't stand a chance against the finest alternate jersey in league history. The simple striping, colored shoulders and vintage logo make this jersey more than Vancouver's cluttered home jersey can handle.

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Matchup #8 has #24 the Ottawa Senators Home jersey up against #41 the Buffalo Sabres Road jersey. While Buffalo's home jersey has a modernized look when compared to the original, the Sabres white road jersey visually adheres more closely to the original Sabres sweaters of the 1970's since the silver does not stand out as much against the white background. Meanwhile the Senators home jersey, while sharing the better of Reebok's limited number of 2007 templates, it pales in comparison to the previous generation of Sens jerseys, particularly due to it's lack of waist stripes. Decision Sabres.

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Matchup #9 brings #4 the Detroit Red Wings Home jersey up against #61 the San Jose Sharks Home jersey. Any jersey that evokes memories of Gordie Howe puts a headlock on a teal jersey and day of the week.

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Matchup #10 has #29 the Anaheim Ducks Road jersey and #36 the Ottawa Senators Alternate jersey paired up. Despite popular opinion regularly trashing the Senators alternates, we like every aspect of the jersey, save for the cresting on the front, as we personally favor red and black. If only they would have put a proper crest on the front this would have been a blowout. The Ducks reedy wordmark and overly thick numbers score no points with us. Sens advance.

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Matchup #11 sees #13 the Chicago Blackhawks Home jersey taking on long time rivals #52 the St. Louis Blues Road jersey. In past times this would have been a knock down, drag out contest, but the Edge version of the Blues jersey pales in comparison to the Blues jerseys of the past, giving Chicago an easy win.

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Matchup #12 has #20 the Ottawa Senators Road jersey versus #84 the Philadelphia Flyers Road jersey. The Senators white jersey is the weakest of their three, while the Flyers Winter Classic-bred road jersey is lightyears ahead of their first Edge jerseys making for an easy time for the Flyers.

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Matchup #13 sees #5 the Boston Bruins Alternate jersey enter the competition against #69 the Pittsburgh Penguins Road jersey. The Bruins alternate logo, a modernization of it's original logo from the 1920's rules from the highest mountain. Thankfully they did not put it on a gold sweater. We have to take it down a notch for not having waist stripes, but it still easily wins over the white Penguins jersey, which is not as strong as it's home counterpart.

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Matchup #14 is #28 the Los Angeles Kings Vintage jersey up against #37 the Phoenix Coyotes Home jersey. Phoenix deserves better, but they exit the competition when faced with the revival of the Kings original sweaters, which were a thrill to see in action. Phoenix isn't bad at all, it's just not as exciting as the Kings.

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Matchup #15 has #12 the New York Rangers Home jersey in a tough pairing with #53 the New Jersey Devils Road jersey. The Devils road jersey is a darn fine jersey, but when compared with the diagonally lettered pioneer and the jersey which gave the team it's nickname "The Broadway Blueshirts", the Devils come up short.

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Matchup #16 sees #21 the St. Louis Blues Home jersey taking on #85 the Florida Panthers Alternate. While the Panthers alternate is a respectable jersey in many ways, St. Louis' blue jerseys with their yellow numbers have been an NHL staple since 1967, even with the apron strings. St. Louis moves on.

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Matchup #17 begins the bottom half of the bracket, paring #2 the Boston Bruins Home jersey against #66 the Edmonton Oilers Home jersey. A close battle which goes into overtime, minor details determine the Oilers dynasty revival jerseys move into Round 3, as the Bruins overly busy three color names on the back prove to be the difference between these two fine jerseys.

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Matchup #18 is frankly a stinker as #31 the Florida Panthers Road jersey meets the #34 Dallas Stars Alternate jersey. Since both of Dallas' white jerseys are less interesting than a wet paper towel, somehow Florida's mediocre jerseys with needless piping and arm stripes that don't go all the way around the arm manages to survive. For now.

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Matchup #19 gets back to the serious contenders, with #15 the Montreal Canadiens Road jersey meeting #50 the Pittsburgh Penguins Home jersey. The classic Montreal white jerseys with their colored shoulders date back to 1941 and take a closer than expected win over the Penguins black home jerseys. The revival of the original skating penguin logo was solid move, but the pale "old gold" color makes us long for the return to the black and yellow colors of the Penguins of old.

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Matchup #20 has #18 the Dallas Stars Road jersey against the #82 Minnesota Wild Home sweaters. As bad as the Stars jerseys are, that's how good the Wild's are. Minnesota gets it, Dallas simply does not.

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Matchup #21 is #7 the Boston Bruins Road jerseys against #71 the Washington Capitals Home jerseys. Boston has probably changed jerseys more than any other Original 6 club. Had they only stuck with their 1974-1990 jerseys, they likely would have won, but the Captials advance with one of the better jerseys of the Edge era as the Bruins are one and done.

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Matchup #22 unfortunately paired #26 the Los Angeles Kings Road jersey with the #39 Los Angeles Kings Home jersey. The black homes advance for making the Kings look more intimidating than their road white brothers.

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Matchup #23 sees #10 the New York Rangers Road facing off against the #74 New Jersey Devils Home jerseys. New York and New Jersey once again meet in Round 2. Another tough contest goes to the Rangers in overtime for their unique shoulder striping treatment, something we are amazed has not been appropriated by other clubs.

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Matchup #24 is #23 the Dallas Stars Home jerseys against #42 the Edmonton Oilers Road jerseys. Two terrible sweaters, but someone has to win, and the game goes to Dallas for having stripes that go all the way around the arms and no senseless apron string piping.

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Matchup #25 pairs #3 the Detroit Red Wings Road jersey against the #52 Buffalo Sabres Alternate. While the Sabres alternate is a fine effort, what it's trying to say is "What if we were around a long time and kept our sweaters as long as the Red Wings have kept theirs?" Detroit moves on.

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Matchup #26 sees #30 the Philadelphia Flyers Home jerseys taking on the #35 Colorado Avalanche Home jerseys. Philadelphia's return to the basics with the addition of the early 1970's contrasting color nameplate easily defeats Colorado's Reebok template done up this time in Colorado's colors.


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Matchup #27 has #14 the Montreal Canadiens Home jerseys schooling the #78 Phoenix Coyotes Alternate jerseys. Montreal's iconic red sweaters with the blue band easily dispatch the Coyotes modern jerseys.

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Matchup #28 is the #19 Vancouver Canucks Road jersey facing the #46 St. Louis Blues Alternate jersey. The Blues gorgeous navy blue alternate bounces the Canucks white sweaters from the competition in a walkover.

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Matchup #29 sees #6 the Toronto Maple Leafs Road jersey taking on #59 the Minnesota Wild Alternate jersey. A big upset in overtime, Minnesota advances in a shootout with their highly effective faux-back jersey, lucky to have not faced Toronto's blue or throwback.

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Matchup #30 features #27 the Carolina Hurricanes Home jerseys and #38 the Florida Panthers Home jersey. Carolina's home jerseys have it all going for them, clever waist striping, one of the too few italicized number fonts in the NHL and a red and black color scheme. Now nearly 15 years old, it's showing no signs of going anywhere. Florida just can't compete when saddled with a Reebok template they would do themselves a favor by dumping yesterday.

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Matchup #31 has #11 the New York Rangers Alternate jersey taking on #75 the Calgary Flames Alternate jersey. A tough contest which goes the way of the Rangers, as their tribute to their early days is a simple, effective jersey that shows that less is more.

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Matchup #32 brings Round 2 to a close, as #22 the Tampa Bay Lightning Road jersey faces off against #43 the Atlanta Thrashers Road. What a down note to end this round on. Tampa's white jersey only exists because it has to. Still, we give it the nod over the Thrashers road white, which is so inferior to it's predecessor it's not funny.

Following Round 2, 13 of the 16 Original 6 jerseys continue on to tomorrow's Round 3.

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