NHL Playoff Predictions According To Your Mom: A Guest Post about Hockey Jerseys and the Western Conference Matchups


Redacted Ed. note: because I’m busy obsessing over baseball and John Watts Young, I didn’t realize that the playoffs start in like a minute.  My Rangers-rabid wife cued me into that one.  Whatever, I like the Flyers. You need to know that as of press time, I’m working on a computer that literally has a self-destruct botton.  Keeping in Sylvester’s spirit, I’m using my mom’s computer, which is great, but IE on a Windows PC sure doesn’t have the sparkle and shine of the (evil but spectacular) OS I’m used to.  That said, I can’t do pictures until I get back to my house, so I apologize.  I just wanted this piece to go up before the pucks start dropping.  More to come asap).

Ed. note: Eric, thanks so much for these two fantastic posts.  Not only did they generate a ton of views, but I expect them to generate some fairly biased comments now that the playoffs have started.  Readers, check back in to harass Eric as these series play out.  An extra special note to Paul Lukas, whose awesome blog UniWatch inspired much of the obsession that went into this idea for both Eric and myself.  And finally, a note to Eric’s mom: Thanks for sharing your system with the world.

If you missed the Eastern Conference piece from a few days ago, do check it out.  The basic set-up here is that Sylvester’s mom rocks at picking playoff wins based on nothing more than seed and jersey.  I jumped at this because 1) it’s awesome 2) moms are awesome and 3) there was an episode of Cheers where Diane did the exact same thing.  And now, enjoy the soulful stylings of the most Canadian American on the internet, Mr. Eric Sylvester!

NHL Playoff Predictions According To Your Mom: A Guest Post about Hockey Jerseys and the Western Conference Matchups

Hi. I'm Eric Sylvester. No photos of me without at least one thumb up exist.

by Eric Sylvester, Super-Special to The Daily Cocca

As I returned to my dorm room after working my minimum wage job cooking Chinese food in the dining hall here at UNI, I quick pulled up an email from Chris.

“Paul Lukas linked to us.  1000 people have read your post today so far”.

My jaw hit the floor.  My biggest blog post got 120 hits, and THAT was incredible to me.  It’s an honor to know that many people read this rambling, but it’s also a little concerning.  There’s far better stuff out there those 1000 people could be reading.  But I digress.  ON TO THE WESTERN CONFERENCE!

#1 Vancouver Canucks VS #8 Chicago Blackhawks

This poses an interesting matchup in a similar vein to the Washington-NY Rangers battle in the Eastern Conference.  The top-seeded Canucks are wearing an old school color scheme of green and blue with a more recent logo.  The Blackhawks are wearing the same sweaters they’ve worn for years, and the Indian head is one of the most timeless logos in all of sports.  However, both teams have their flaws.  Vancouver has an awkward “Vancouver” that sits above the logo, which is rather distracting.  The ‘Hawks?

The Hawks have the diaper effect.  They kept their classic black stripes at the bottom hem of the jersey, but the new Reebok Edge jerseys are shaped with a contour that leaves an extra bit of jersey down South.  This creates an issue with horizontal stripes, and the Hawks elected to keep that region white.  Not a bad move, but the diaper effect is unavoidable.  However, EVEN WITH Jonathan Toews rocking some Depends, the white bottom is only an issue with the home jerseys, as the roads sweaters are white anyway.  The Canucks “Vancouver” front nameplate is obnoxious both at home and on the road.


#2 San Jose Sharks VS #7 Los Angeles Kings


Not in the running.

Ahhh, the battle for California puck supremacy.  San Jose takes a risk by rocking teal, one of the least intimidating colors in the spectrum.  However, they make it work.  They have a great logo, although many people will argue with me on this one, and a fantastic color scheme.  But where this jersey shines is in the detail.  Instead of having a gigantic “20th anniversary patch” like every other team in the league, they quietly and tastefully put an “XX” logo below the numbers on the sleeves.  The orange trim on the socks, numbers, and piping on the sweaters make this jersey absolutely pop.  The Sharks own the best non-traditional jersey in the league.  The Kings?  A tired, dull, flat black and purple color scheme with an uninspired crown.  I like their secondary logo more, but not by much.  Furthermore, the “Los Angeles” trim at the bottom of the sweater seems hokey and very Hollywood.  Los Angeles?  This jersey feels more like LOST Angeles, am I right?

……..So what’s the deal with airline food?


#3 Detroit Red Wings VS #6 Phoenix Coyotes

…This one is gonna hurt.

I will always hate the Red Wings.  There’s no beating around the bush.  Even though the rivalry isn’t quite what it used to be, I’ll always be a proud Detoilet Dead Wings hater.


Those jerseys are classics.  The winged wheel is as important to the game of hockey as the puck itself.  The Wings’ sweater is another example of a jersey that won’t be tinkered with.  Ever.  While Phoenix has made INCREDIBLE improvements on their old, puke-worthy jerseys that had more going on than a Jackson Pollock piece, they got an incredibly difficult first round draw.  It’s a shame, because I’m a big fan of those Phoenix jerseys, especially since this is the last season they’ll be around before the team ships off to Canada.


#4 Anaheim Ducks VS #5 Nashville Predators

…Wow.  In easily the ugliest matchup of the first round… just…


Anaheim features a decent color scheme of black, gold, black, black, black, orange trim, and black.  However, the swoopy thing at the bottom of the sweater just sort of reminds me of something you’d see on a WNBA jersey.  This feels like a cheap, Japanese knock-off of the Penguins jerseys, and I’ve never been a fan.

Nashville has a LOT going on with these sweaters, and most of it is bad.  Ugly shoulder patches, weird silver/grey side panels, apron stripes going up the sides to the collar, and some very boring and awkward looking socks add up to a horrid jersey.  No wonder Nashville has never won a playoff series.


Ugh.  I HAVE to pick?  I guess the lesser of the two evils is the one that is less busy.


I then have the Sharks pulling the jersey upset and knocking off the defending Cup champions in 7, and Detroit walking all over Anaheim in 4.  Then….deep breath… Detroit in 6 to advance to the Stanley Cup Finals to face Montreal where…


In all honesty, if Montreal actually wins the cup, they’ll burn that city to the ground with the party they’ll throw.  It’ll be pandemonium for at LEAST four consecutive months.

And it’s gonna happen.

Thanks again to Chris for letting me talk some hockey aesthetics on his wonderful blog.  He was incredibly and encouraging throughout this whole process, and got me linked on Paul Lukas’ blog.  Paul Lukas is a columnist for ESPN who specializes in jersey talk, so having him link to me was a complete honor that couldn’t have been possible without Cocca’s help.  Thanks again for everything buddy!  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be secluding myself in a hole for the next two months doing nothing but eating, sleeping, and breathing hockey.

Life is good.  It’s playoff time.

14 thoughts on “NHL Playoff Predictions According To Your Mom: A Guest Post about Hockey Jerseys and the Western Conference Matchups

  1. 1) Thanks for the very kind intro, sir!
    2) When 5:00 rolled around and there was still no post up, I was a little worried this wouldn’t happen in time for the first game. Way to beat the buzzer, Cocca!
    3) My mom appreciates the shout-outs, but she’s mad at me for picking Montreal over Boston, so she won’t like my Cup winning pick…
    4) I love Cheers.
    5) I catch crap ALL THE TIME for defaulting to the thumbs up pose. It’s actually so common that one of my senior pictures from high school has me doing a double thumbs up. Mom was mad at first, then almost bought a bunch based on the fact that it’s “classic Eric”.

    Thanks again for having me, Cocca! I’d have you write a guest post for me, but you’d have to do it in true Sylvester Says fashion: no fact checking, at least fifteen grammatical errors, and the post must be written from start to finish in under fifteen minutes, no second thoughts, and NO NO NO edits. That’s a big one. Once you write it, it’s there.


  2. I totally agree with the Black Hawks pick, though I don’t think it has a “diaper effect”. It’s more like a shirt that needs to be tucked in.
    The Sharks definitely outshine the Kings. The Kings look like girly princess meets hockey. How can you take a tiara/crown seriously? Love the classic Detroit jersey even though I’m not a fan. I do TOTALLY disagree with the Ducks pick. Nashville is a serious jersey. The Ducks look like they were pulled from the “some irregularities” bin. But don’t beat yourself up too much, son. You’re new at this game! – Love Mom


    1. As soon as I published this post, I knew I made a mistake on those Anaheim jerseys. In fact, after reviewing, they’re actually “busier” jerseys than Nashville’s. While it’s too late to change my choice, I’ve been rooting for Nashville all series thus far, and already realize the error of my ways.

      Also, I’m so proud of you for remembering how much your kid hates Detroit :)


      1. I love the “some irregularities” comment- spot on! It looks the the fabric got caught in a machine and the stripes ended up lopsided by mistake!


        1. you know, I think you should start your own blog called “Cocca’s Wife” wherein you talk about all of the trouble I seem to get myself into. You know, my crazy misadventures, my antics, my shenanigans, if you will.


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