Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Getting It Right Four Times

Look closely at the New Jersey Devils logo to the left. Notice anything significant about it? At first glance, there isn't anything that significantly different from the logo worn every other season by the Devils, but did you check the colour of the circle? That's right - it's green! The New Jersey Devils, who have never worn an alternate jersey, still won't wear an alternate jersey in 2018-19, but they will honour their beginnings by wearing these Heritage Night jerseys four times this season! The green-and-red Devils live, and that's exactly how they should dress for the remaining 78 games if I had anything to say about it!

... but I don't. So four nights total in green-and-red. Merry Christmas!

I have to say that these jerseys throw me back to the days of Sean Burke, Brendan Shanahan, and Peter Stastny. The Devils were never the contenders that Lou Lamoriello built them into back in those days, but they were always a thorn in everyone's sides in the Patrick Division. In 1991, they took the eventual Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins to seven games in the opening round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, even leading 3-2 in the series at one point before Pittsburgh rallied with a 4-3 win backed by an incredible goaltending performance from Frank Pietrangelo in Game Six and a pair of Jiri Hrdina goals in a 4-0 Game Seven shutout. John MacLean had five goals for the Devils in that series and Claude Lemieux added another four markers as the Devils were the only team to have the Penguins on the precipice of elimination that spring.

As you can see, there are a few inconsistencies on the throwbacks introduced today. The green stripe around the shoulder yoke and on the sleeve are smaller than they originally were. The numbers worn on the Heritage Night jerseys are in the current font, not the old block numbering that the Devils used thirty years ago. The font for the name is also thinner on the new jerseys compared to the old ones. All in all, the Devils did fairly well at replicating their old uniforms, but these are fairly noticeable inconsistencies that wouldn't be hard to correct.

I like the fact that the Devils are wearing green and red this season. I don't like that it will just be for four games, but it's still better than none. Green is a sorely underused colour in hockey, and seeing the Devils return to their roots is both pleasing as a uniform traditionalist and a fan of green in hockey.

If teams are going to do alternate jerseys, they should be jerseys from their past. It honours the past while still promoting the future. Kudos to the New Jersey Devils for doing Heritage Nights in their old uniforms. They're going to look outstanding... even if it's only for four games.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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