As opposed to writing an in-depth Zbynek Michalek retrospective as the Pittsburgh Penguins prepare to face the Phoenix Coyotes this evening, I hope you’ll indulge me a brief discussion about one of my obsessions: sports uniforms.
While Uni Watch is the most complete source of sartorial sporting news out there, Icethetics is the authority on the ever-changing world of hockey jerseys, logos and uniform sets. Somehow, in the run-up to the Penguins’ unveiling of their Stadium Series sweaters, I missed an interesting tidbit reported by the Tribune-Review’s Rob Rossi relating to a new “third jersey” for the team.
Chris at Icethetics didn’t let it pass him by, however. He wrote a recent post about Rossi’s report, that the Penguins were looking to the early 1990s to inspire an alternate jersey for 2014-15. From my perspective, anything close to this design would be welcomed by Pens fans:
That’s the Penguins’ uniform set from 1991-92, a season that ended with the team’s second straight Stanley Cup title. Judging by the number of people I’ve seen wearing those jerseys with the names of Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin stitched on the back, I’d say a throwback of this ilk would be wildly popular, probably even moreso than the powder blue sweaters first worn at the 2008 Winter Classic.
Hearkening back to the first Cup teams would mean seeing true “Pittsburgh gold” on the ice for the first time since 2001-02, when “Vegas gold” made its debut on an alternate jersey. Sure, the skating penguin logo is superior to its anatomically-correct cousin from the mid-to-late ’90s, but a more vibrant gold would not only be more striking in person and on TV, it would once again be consistent with the shade the Pirates and Steelers wear.
I can dream about a complete uniform overhaul involving a brighter gold, but seeing it a few times a year on a third jersey would be better than nothing.
Tonight’s Game: Penguins (38-14-2, 78 points – 1st Metropolitan) vs. Coyotes (25-19-10, 60 points – 5th Pacific) at Jobing.com Arena in Glendale, Ariz., at 8 p.m. Eastern. Root Sports Pittsburgh and 105.9 The X will have the broadcasts.
Marc-Andre Fleury will start in net for the Penguins, with Mike Smith handling the Coyotes’ goaltending duties. It’s Pittsburgh’s first visit to Arizona since Nov. 2010; the Pens have won three straight in the series between the interconference opponents.
The Coyotes, who just announced they will go by the Arizona Coyotes starting in the fall, went 5-9-1 in January and are coming off a 3-2 loss to Buffalo, the NHL’s worst team. Phoenix is three points behind Vancouver for the West’s final playoff spot with 28 games to play.
The Penguins, meanwhile, are 15 points up on the Rangers for first in the Metropolitan Division and seven up on Boston for the top spot in the East. They’ve won four of five and are 9-2-1 in 2014.