Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The 2011 Third String Goalie Jersey Bracket - Round 3

With college basketball's, "March Madness" having concluded last night 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 3rd 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 Heritage 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 3!

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Matchup #1 of Round 3 is #1 the Chicago Blackhawks Alternate against #33 the San Jose Sharks Alternate. Chicago steamrolls the Sharks with their awesome alternate first worn at the Winter Classic they hosted at Wrigley Field. There's just nothing to dislike about this jersey. A great color scheme, wonderful retro logo, lace up collar and secondary logos score points in all categories, as does maintaining the use of their regular and unique number font, ensuring continuity across their entire set.

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Matchup #2 has #16 the Toronto Maple Leafs Home jersey up against then #81 the Phoenix Coyotes Road. All the things that make the Coyotes road sweater a good one are inspired by jerseys like the Maple Leafs home jersey with it's classic hockey striping, lace up collar and simple color scheme. Respect your elders. Toronto advances.

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Matchup #3 gives us #8 the Chicago Blackhawks Road jersey taking on #40 the Calgary Flames Road jersey. Another no contest as the Flames are doused by having a retro lace up collar combined with their modern striping template. It's a clash of eras and cannot compare to the timeless Blackhawks look which dates back to 1955.

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Matchup #4 is #9 the Toronto Maple Leafs Alternate up against the #41 the Buffalo Sabres Road jersey. A tough challenge for the Sabres which they cannot quite overcome. Toronto learned from the Turn Back the Clock throwbacks first worn in 1991-92 by the Original 6 teams and incorporated the multi-point leaf logo as the shoulder patch on their jerseys the following season. In 2000 they took that one step farther and created this beautiful alternate jersey which owes it's inspiration to the 1958 Maple Leafs jerseys.

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Matchup #5 brings #4 the Detroit Red Wings Home jersey up against #36 the Ottawa Senators Alternate jersey. We've acknowledged we like the Senators black alternate jerseys more than most people, but would we really pick it over the Red Wings iconic home jerseys? No, of course not. The winged wheel motors on.

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Matchup #6 sees #13 the Chicago Blackhawks Home jersey taking on #84 the Philadelphia Flyers Road jersey. Somehow the Blackhawks get points for sticking with their same design for so long, but the Flyers get penalized for the same thing. It doesn't sound fair, but when you choose to immortalize a hockey sweater from the 1950's when things were done right, you get a classic. But when you immortalize a style from the late 60's and early 70's, you get a jersey that looks dated, and having the stripes run down the length of the arms and then wrap around the wrists was not a good style to settle on for all eternity.

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Matchup #7 sees #5 the Boston Bruins Alternate jersey taking on #28 the Los Angeles Kings Vintage jersey. As much as we like the Bruins alternate, we just cannot forgive the omission of any waist striping essential for jersey perfection. Combine that with our genuine excitement whenever the Kings wear their vintage jerseys gives Los Angeles the win.

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Matchup #8 has #12 the New York Rangers Home jersey against #21 the St. Louis Blues Home jersey. If this were 2001 or 1981, St. Louis would have put up a heck of a fight, but the apron string piping, and odd white slashes just below the shoulders doom the Reebok template to the scrap heap.

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Matchup #9 pairs #66 the Edmonton Oilers Home jersey and #31 the Florida Panthers Road jersey. Florida's tournament, and it's Reebok template, come to a merciful end at the hands of the Oilers dynasty jerseys.

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Matchup #10 is #15 the Montreal Canadiens Road jersey paired against #82 the Minnesota Wild Home sweaters. The Wild's retro themed home jerseys nearly make you forget that the team was not a member of the Original 6 and have only been around 10 years. Montreal's solid road jerseys put up a fight, but Minnesota's unique faux-back lives to fight another day.

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Matchup #11 sees #71 the Washington Capitals Home jersey paired against #39 the Los Angeles Kings Home jersey. The Capitals move on thanks to their modern take on their original logo as we've never cared much for the Kings current crown logo, as we find it too busy and detailed for it's size, and really do not care for the number font on the back at all.

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Matchup #12 has #10 the New York Rangers Road facing off against #23 the Dallas Stars Home jersey. Another blowout in favor of a classic design over the minimalistic and generic Stars home jersey as the worst jersey remaining in the tournament is easily ousted.

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Matchup #13 pairs #3 the Detroit Red Wings Road jersey against #30 the Philadelphia Flyers Home jersey. Not being a fan of the Flyers stripes down the arms which wrap around the wrists puts them at a disadvantage when facing the Red Wing white body with red sleeves. We particularly like how the white shoulders take a notch out of the top of the top of the red arms and reward Detroit with the win.

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Matchup #14 has #14 the Montreal Canadiens Home jerseys facing the #46 St. Louis Blues Alternate jersey. Montreal's iconic red jersey is just too much for the Blues terrific new alternate to overcome. An unfortunately tough draw for St. Louis sees it bounced from the competition.

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Matchup #15 sees #15 the Minnesota Wild Alternate jersey taking on #27 the Carolina Hurricanes Home jersey. The simplicity of the Wild's green alt is pleasing to the eyes, while Carolina's jersey just throws too much at the viewer all at once with it's repeating geometric waist stripe and swirling main crest. We also just can't get past the Hurricanes logo having the puck in the center upside down and die-hard Whalers fan's description of it being a puck flushed down a toilet. The Wild move on.

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Matchup #16, the final one of Round 3, has #11 the New York Rangers Alternate jersey against #22 the Tampa Bay Lightning Road jersey. The Rangers excellent new alternate keeps their tradition of great third jerseys alive. The use of antique white makes this retro design even more effective. Although a new design, whenever we see it, it just looks like it's been around for ages. A clear win for the Rangers over Tampa's stark whites, which look too much like a practice jersey to advance any further.

The Original 6 had another strong round winning 11 of 13 possible matchups but will begin to face each other in the quarterfinals. Tomorrow is the final day of the tournament, as the sweet 16 battle it out all the way to the finals as we crown our champion in the 2011 Third String Goalie Jersey Bracket!

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

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