NHL Playoffs 2013 Predictions (Round 3) HbD-Style
And as for my design-based picks, I went 2-4 in the second round, so a respectable 7-for-12 overall. So, I’ve established a new record already after the miserable record of 5-for-15 from last year. Designers everywhere, rejoice that the better brands are advancing more than not this year.
For those just going, I’m taking a look at the playoff matchups from a branding/design perspective. Some of the content is regurgitated from last year, but there’s some new stuff too for the new teams that weren’t invited to the dance last year. We’ll compare the overall branding of each series and see how they match-up. This includes the logos, alternate logos, jerseys, historical logos and jerseys, and everything else that builds a team’s brand.
(1) Pittsburgh Penguins v (4) Boston Bruins
As I said previously about the Pens, there was generally a lot of disagreement about ranking the Penguins logo at #6, but I’m obviously still a huge fan of it. It’s the best logo they’ve had in their history, ahead of the yellow (not gold) penguin of the ’70s – ’90s, the corporate-looking winged penguin of the ’90s, the older penguin within the thick band of text, and the original penguin who looks like he’s going to join Bonhomme at Quebec’s Winter Carnaval. But the Pens do get points for a fantastic Winter Classic jersey (but also get points taken away for a not-so-fantastic one). It’s a bit of mixed bag with the Pens.
As for the Bruins, they were ranked with the 2nd-best logo in the BTLNHL Coundown. It’s iconic, it’s got history and they have lived up to their brand of being the Big, Bad Bruins almost every season. They know their team, they like their style of play, and everything meshes together beautifully. When teams play the yellow and black, they know what they’re in for. They have their brand, their identity, stamped on everything. Their big misstep is their alternative logos and jerseys over the last 40 years. From the bizarro leopard-bear of the ’70s, the smiling Smokey Bear in the ’90s and ’00s, the overly complex and oddly shaped alternative logo of today, and the “meh”-inducing logo for their Winter Classic jerseys, they’ve kind of stunk up the joint. And the alternative jersey with Smokey on it? Awful.
So the Bruins, although being a solid Original 6 brand, have made some sizable mis-steps, but it’s still too much for the Pens to contend with.
Boston in 6.
(1) Chicago v (7) Los Angeles
Hahaha! This one’s not even close.
As I mentioned about the Blackhawks, their logo ranks at #7 in the BTLNHL Countdown, which is very decent, but they also have one of the absolute best jerseys in the league, both home and away. They have history (as the logo hasn’t changed at all since 1964, and the same concept since their inception in 1926), the Madhouse on Madison, a passionate fanbase, overall high-quality design and a good Winter Classic jersey addition. Overall, from a branding perspective, they’re a beast.
As for the Kings, they’ve been retooling their 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 (not as bad as that St. Louis one though). 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.
Like I said, not even close. I’ll give the Kings a game because they did win the Cup last year, which always helps a brand.
Chicago in 5.