NHL Playoffs (Round 3) HbD-Style
After Henrik Lundqvist shook Braden Holtby’s hand, the second round ended and the wackiness that is this year’s playoffs continue. Three more upsets and, overall, a miserable round of predictions for HbD, going 1 for 4. That’s 5 for 12 overall, so if this continues, this could be the least aesthetically-pleasing Cup Finals since the Avalanche and the Panthers in 1996.
But, onwards and upwards. Let’s keep going with comparing each team’s branding. There’s only 4 teams left, and here’s the match ups:
(1) New York Rangers v (6) New Jersey Devils
Here’s what I said, way back in Round 1, about the Rangers:
“The Rangers were ranked with the 12th best logo in the league…The Rangers have a history of a solid logo concept since the 1920s and nobody in the league can match the uniqueness and iconic nature of the Rangers’ home jerseys that have stood the test of time. Often imitated, never duplicated. Their alternate logo is just okay, but not enough to take away from the brand overall, and their recent jersey for the Winter Classic more than compensates. Although the Rangers haven’t enjoyed the most on-ice success of the Original Six teams, the Blueshirts still hold an edge.”
And the Devils:
“The Devils have stayed true to their logo throughout their existence, making only the change from their eternal-Christmas colours to a more fitting black and red. This is good and bad in my opinion, as it’s almost playing it too safe. No alternative logos, no third jerseys, nothing. Solid identity maybe, but also very stoic and not extremely crowd-pleasing, or sales-inducing. Also, they got a bad name for their incredibly boring style of play during the ’90s and early ’00s, but they’ve become more exciting and aside from a couple seasons, have had a fairly consistent quality of on-ice play over the last two decades. They’re still fighting for crowds sometimes, but their brand is solid and, at the same time, uninspiring.”
The battle of the NYC area isn’t that much of a battle. As usual, the Devils have to be commended for sticking to their guns for their whole existence. And being ranked 17th in the BTLNHL countdown isn’t much worse than the Rangers’ 12th, but there’s too much history to fight here. The Ranger’s logo hasn’t changed much more than the Devils, so there’s still consistency, but the classic Ranger jerseys, and overall better look, gives them the edge.
Rangers in 5.
(3) Phoenix v (8) Los Angeles
This is a dream traveling match-up for both teams, as the Western Conference goes. But, it’s a bit of an odd one too. Neither has a history of excellence or consistent branding. Neither has ever won the Cup. It feels like a bit of a strange combination, but here’s what I originally said about Phoenix:
“Phoenix doesn’t have the fan base or security to build a definite identity within Phoenix itself, and their constant lack of an audience proves that…If you take away their first seven years of existence, they might do better, as their current logo came in at #9 on the Countdown. But their original logo and jersey is an over-designed mess. I understand and commend their attempt to connect to the Arizonans through the use of local Native motifs, but it was a miss. The new logo toned that down considerably and left a solid and minimal coyote in unique colours that connects the landscape and area to it. That’s absolutely commendable. For alternative logos, their two current ones are great, especially the PHX one. If there was an interested community behind them, and not the constant fear of being moved, it might be a tougher opponent.”
And for the Kings:
“The Kings…have been retooling the logo for years. In 14 years, they’ve had 4 distinctly different logos, and each of the previous three are better than their current one, with a crown too small to make out and letters that look awful on a home plate shape. And they forced the greatest player to play the game to wear one of the worst jerseys ever created in the NHL (and yes, it’s worse than anything the Canucks came up with). But, they’ve kept to their black and white motif (with flashes of a regal purple thrown in now and again, which also makes a connection to their original colours) for over 24 years, a scheme that no one else in the league has toyed with, so it’s all their own. That’s a great bonus for establishing an identity, but overall, it’s a bit of a mess with no solid future ahead, aside from their (lack of) colours.”
Both teams have had a bit of a mess in the past, but Phoenix (ironically) seems to have a more solid future with theirs. The Kings are rehashing old ideas to create something that they hope will work. So far, it hasn’t.
Phoenix in 6.