NHL Playoffs 2019: Round 2 Countdown and Predictions
Well, branding probably had a better run of the first round than most people’s brackets/predictions, going 4-for-8: Carolina, San Jose, St Louis, and Dallas, including calling the Sharks in 7. At this point, with how these playoffs are going, we’ll take a 50% for the first round. The second round? Well, let’s get to the countdown/predictions for the Division Finals.
Are they still the Division Finals now that the cross-divisional wild card teams won?
As a recap…how does it work? 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, general legacy and everything else that builds a team’s brand. And it will be drawn from just the visual brand component (aka: categories 1 through 4) from our handy and comprehensive brand rankings that we did at the beginning of the season to help us out.
• More: 2018 NHL Brand Power Rankings
But on top of that, the match-ups are going to be ranked according to which will be the best to watch from an aesthetic standpoint. Some jerseys work better together than others, and you’ll see why. After 7 post-seasons, we’re 53-for-105, or 50.5% (not counting the 2019 1st round).
Okay, like last time, let’s start with the worst jersey match-up in the second round…
Damn, this pains me to place this match-up last, but I think this is one of the best all-around round of match-ups from a visual/aesthetic perspective that I can remember. All four matchups have good contrast, bold colours, and complementary styles, but someone’s gotta be last. So, take these with a grain of salt, because there’s a valid argument for any of these to be last…or first.
But the Isles-Canes matchup drops to 4th because of the Carolina third jerseys that they’re wearing throughout the playoffs. The games in Brooklyn is a classic red-vs-blue match-up with some orange thrown in and matching classic styles. But in Raleigh, it’s a grey/black ultra-modern style against a bold, colourful, and classic Islanders design. It drags down the whole match-up down.
New York Islanders Visual Brand Ranking: 29th. Their current classic look is great…for the Islanders. The consensus is that they still don’t have a great logo, their jerseys are not too bad, and nobody seems to like their third jerseys. Oh, and Captain Gorton is still too recent to be completely forgotten.
Carolina Hurricanes Visual Brand Ranking: 19th. Carolina’s logo ranking doesn’t fare much better, but they have better jerseys and – all apologies to Connecticut – seeing those amazing Whalers unis on the ice again was absolutely fantastic! Having them as part of their legacy brand certainly helps.
Prediction: Hurricanes in 6
This is a great visual matchup to showcase more modern colours. It’s teal-vs-burgundy (a contemporary take on the classic blue-vs-red) with matching modern styles of simple, strong lines. Hey, they’re even both wearing black pants to match. But the games in Denver will be a little bland because of the Sharks über-minimalist road whites.
San Jose Sharks Visual Brand Ranking: 24th. The highest points the Sharks get with their visual brand is for their third jerseys, which confuses me as, personally, I think they’re boring and awful. And if that’s the best part of your brand (it’s not, as the teal jerseys are great), you’re in trouble. But, the Sharks get lucky this round!
Colorado Avalanche Visual Brand Ranking: 16th. Their third jerseys are nice, but the rest of the visual brand is decidedly middle-of-the-pack.
Prediction: Avalanche in 6
I wanted to dislike this matchup more, but I just can’t. As always, the Bruins bring a classic jersey with great punches of gold that elevate their basic black/white jerseys. Mix that with the red and blue of the Jackets, and you’ve got all your primary colours involved, but it’s balanced by the darkness of the navy blue and the good amounts of white thrown in. The styles of the jersey seem to match up well too, even though the Jackets have a more contemporary take on theirs.
Boston Bruins Visual Brand Ranking: 5th. All the Bruins’ visual brand categories rank between 4 and 7. They’re among the best in every single category from a visual brand perspective: great logo (2nd best imo), great jerseys, great legacy. They’re a beast. Really, how could they lose?
• BTLNHL Finals: Boston Bruins v Detroit Red Wings
Columbus Blue Jackets Visual Brand Ranking: 26th. Columbus continues to rank as having one of the worst visual brand legacies in the league. Uninspiring jerseys and mediocre results elsewhere in their visual brand keeps them well in the bottom part of the league. The saving grace, keeping them from falling too far in the basement, is their third jersey.
Prediction: Bruins in 5
This matchup is (aesthetically) fantastic. Two teams – both with a great mix of classic and contemporary jersey designs – bring a ton of colour and aggressiveness to the party. The victory green-vs-royal blue is great, and the bursts of yellow from the Blues jerseys just bump things up a notch. It’s still tough to put this above the other matchups on the list, but for my eyes, this will be a great series to watch.
St Louis Blues Visual Brand Ranking: 10th. Their brand is solid, with their logo, jerseys, and visual legacy all in the top half of the league, with their historical third jerseys being among the absolute best in the league. They’ve made missteps in the past, but there’s no denying the strength of their visual brand at this point.
Dallas Stars Visual Brand Ranking: 14th. Basically, they’re smack dab in the middle on all their visual brand categories aside from a top 10 jersey set. Sure, we can never forget the mooterus, but it’s not hurting them too much at this point.