The 2019 Bucket Bracket Showdown: Conference Finals

By Ally Koss
In Ally Koss
May 10th, 2019
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In the words of everyone’s favorite precious little angel, Brad Marchand, we’re on to round three. The better buckets batted a .500 average in the conference semifinals, but now the field has been narrowed to just four, and the competition is getting tighter––at least on the ice.

• More: The 2018 Bucket Bracket Showdown (Round 3)
• More: The 2017 Bucket Bracket Showdown (Round 3)
• More: The 2016 Bucket Bracket Showdown (Round 3)
• More: The 2015 Bucket Bracket Showdown (Round 3)

If you haven’t already, take a look at our picks from rounds one and two to see which bucket winners moved on, and then keep reading to see who would punch their ticket to the Stanley Cup Finals of mask supremacy.

Let’s go!

Eastern Conference

Boston Bruins (A2) vs. Carolina Hurricanes (WC1)

Tuukka Rask (Ron Slater, Slater Lettering and Graphics) vs. Petr Mrazek (Dave Gunnarsson, Daveart)

In the eastern conference series that kicked off Thursday night in Boston, we have “dented” Tuukka Rask and the Bruins taking on Petr Mrazek and his bunch of jerks (hey, we have shirts for those!) from Carolina.

• More: HbD Interviews: Ron Slater

We’re frankly running out of new things to say about Rask’s mask (say that ten times fast), painted by artist Ron Slater, who’s already previewed Tuukka’s in-progress buckets for next season that, to no one’s surprise, haven’t changed a bit. From the conference semifinals:

Rask has been the picture of consistency, sticking with the same gold-trimmed bear design year after year. While the excitement factor has somewhat faded from this design, given that we’ve been seeing it every season for the last decade or so, it’s still super dynamic and eye catching.

Across the ice, Mrazek returned from injury last night to take the net back over from Curtis McElhinney, who stepped in to finish off the Islanders in round 2. Mrazek’s Daveart design is certainly an improvement in the bucket department, given that McElhinney’s is currently decorated using Cageskinz, but it comes up short when it comes to packing the punch carried by Rask’s. The design’s predominantly gray color palette and simple composition lack the richness and depth created by the colors and dimension in Rask’s, so while Mrazek’s mask is by no means terrible, the Bruins take this round in 5.

Result: Bruins in 6

Western Conference

San Jose Sharks (P3) vs. St. Louis Blues (C3)

Martin Jones (Steve Nash, Eyecandyair) vs. Jordan Binnington (Dave Gunnarsson, Daveart)

After a series of INSANELY lucky game 7 breaks (don’t kill me, San Jose fans), Martin Jones and the Sharks are headed to the west final to take on Jordan Binnington and the Blues. It should come as no surprise by now that former BBS Champ Martin Jones’ mask RULES. Painted by artist Steve Nash, the composition is thoughtfully put together and skillfully executed with precision––everything you want to see in a mask. It feels like Jones’ style, unlike anything else in the league, but still fits with the Sharks look and brand.

• More: HbD Interviews: Dave Gunnarsson

Across the ice, Binnington’s Daveart mask unfortunately doesn’t bring much to the table in terms of personal style or composition. As we mentioned in the conference semifinals, this mask looks more like a collectible the team would sell online than an actual NHL goaltender’s bucket. Any detail work that Gunnarsson included gets lost due to the cluttered effects and similar tones in the color palette. Sorry Blues fans, but this one’s no contest.

Result: Sharks in 4

Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook! And don’t forget, we’re now on Instagram too.

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