NHL Playoffs 2020: Round 2 Countdown and Predictions
Well, the superior visual brands had another rough go of it in the Round of 16, going 3-for-8, with just Tampa, Boston, and Colorado correctly predicted. That makes it 5-for-16 so far this postseason. Ouch. Maybe the next round will even things out a bit?
As a quick recap, here’s how this works. 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.
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 8 post-seasons (not including 2020), we’re 62-for-120, or 51.7%.
Okay, like last time, let’s start with the worst jersey match-up in this, the Conference Semi-Finals.
Last round had a strange list made mostly of match-ups that were somewhat good, but also somewhat bad. But this round has almost exclusive excellent match-ups, from a visual perspective. It’s really tough to rank this one so low, but someone had to be last.
Red and green are complementary colours, which means that one works as an excellent accent against the other. But when placed beside each other in relatively equal amounts, it’s an aggressive onslaught for the eyes…in the best possible way. And while red and green makes you think of something usually not associated with the month of August, it’s less aggressive here because of Avs using burgundy instead of a traditional red. But the different styles of jerseys hurt the match-up just a touch, enough to barely keep it at the bottom of a list full of visually excellent match-ups.
Colorado Avalanche Visual Brand: They’ve been remarkably consistent in their visual brand since moving from Quebec City in 1995, using the same (relative mediocre) logo and recently going back to a jersey inspired strongly by their inaugural jerseys – the best they’ve worn. And their third jerseys (and Stadium Series jerseys) have been pretty good too.
Dallas Stars Visual Brand: Their jerseys are really nice (and their recent Winter Classic jerseys don’t hurt either), but for everything else, they’re pretty average. They have a good, but not great logo, and a visual legacy that includes some truly iconic jerseys, but also the mooterus. It’s a decidedly mixed-bag.
Prediction: Avalanche in 7
The Golden Knights probably have the worst jersey set of all the 8 teams left, but for them to look good, they need to match-up against a team the brings a lot of colour to offset the mostly grey Vegas jerseys – and preferably nothing that clashes with gold. Enter Vancouver. Tons of blue and green with the blue really setting off the gold quite well. The styles of the jerseys are relatively similar too, but there’s just a bit too much going on here, with the green and red added in, to rank it any higher than this.
Vegas Golden Knights Visual Brand: The Golden Knights get some decent kudos for their jerseys, but the consensus take on their logo is that is buried in the bottom half of the league. Understandably, there’s not really a visual brand legacy to help them out either. What you see on the ice this season is all there is for Vegas.
Vancouver Canucks Visual Brand: The Canucks have had a spotty past in terms of logos and jerseys, and regular rebrands every 10 years or so doesn’t speak to having any confidence in your visual identity (although the current one is finally seeming to stick). They’ve had jerseys that have pretty much been universally reviled. And a putrid home jersey. That being said, the Canucks have a solid concept for a logo (the execution is a bit too ’90s though), and one of the best alternate logos in the league. But again, their current jersey set is one of the best in the league. But yes, their first 30+ years prior were a bit of a mess.
Prediction: Canucks in 7
This is a a really fantastic visual match-up. Blue and gold play off each other really well, and both teams have a jersey set that has a classic style to them, with Tampa’s being the more minimalist. Mix in a lot of contrast with healthy amounts of black and white (too much maybe for games “in Boston”), and you’ve got a simple, classic, and great-looking match-up.
Tampa Bay Lightning Visual Brand: Decent logo, pretty good uniforms, and a disastrous jersey legacy featuring some of the worst things that ever graced the ice, not to mention their latest addition to a Bolts third jersey
Boston Bruins Visual Brand: This is an incredibly strong visual brand, epitomizing the “big, bad” moniker attached to it, using a consistent logo concept since 1948. 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.
Prediction: Boston in 6
Another match-up of complementary colours, this time featuring blue and orange against each other. And these two jersey sets bring tons of colour to their jerseys, with the orange working as a thread to visually connect the two, and lots of white to add some contrast. It’s bright, aggressive, colourful, and the best matchup in this round. Now, if they would just let them go colour-vs-colour jerseys…
Philadelphia Flyers Visual Brand: The Flyers have been remarkably consistent since their franchise began in 1967. Aside from some small adjustments to the shade of orange, they have exactly the same logo. They’re back to wearing their inaugural jerseys, and they continually set the bar high on what an orange jersey can be. They’ve had some weird diversions in the ’90s (which, to be fair, a lot of teams did), but this is a solid, and difficult to beat, visual brand.
New York Islanders Visual Brand: 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 their third jerseys don’t stand up against some of the others in the league (and they have a history of some much, much worse ones). Oh, and Captain Gorton is still too recent to be completely forgotten.