Look, I hate to say this because a lot of smart hockey people out there get paid good money to break down games and cover the NHL using their expert analysis. I enjoy them all and we should be thankful for the coverage they provide us. That being said, there is one thing that all the experts overlook when trying to decide who will win the Stanley Cup. And that’s the jersey pattern the team has.

You can’t win the Cup if your jersey has an armpit pattern. I’m sorry but you just can’t. You can have the best goalie, the best system, a talent pool as deep as the ocean blue, and the grittiest of grit that grit lovers crave, but that can’t make up for your jersey. The teams that currently have the vertical armpit pattern need to stop it if they want any shot at glory. And if I’m the one that has to bring it to their attention because the experts are too afraid to then goddamn it I will.

Case in point, right here:

Clean vs. Pitted

We have a young gentleman, a 2-time Stanley Cup winner, proudly standing in a classic #87 black torso jersey with yellow sleeves. Simple, neat, a clean look. Businesslike. Next to him however, a perennial playoff disappointment falling in a vertical blue stripe up to the armpit sweater that clutters things up like a Pro Beach Roller Hockey jersey. And it doesn’t stop there.

For instance…

Forgettable franchise red with white pit pattern.

What is the most boring franchise in the NHL with no modern day Cups? Ottawa. Check out the armpit pattern. Maybe their front office should start there before they address arena location and their impending roster issues.

How about out west in Calgary? Big up and coming team right? Johnny Hockey, Sean Monahan, an explosive blue line. The future is bright in Alberta. Not so fast. calgary-sun-calgary-herald23Check your pits, Calgary. They smell like first round exits. Lanny McDonald himself would be rolling over in his beach front retirement cabana if he knew this was the direction the franchise was heading.

Crisp, clean, traditional armpit patternless Calgary jersey accompanied by a perfect Lanny McDonald with a perfect matching Stanley Cup.

While we’re out west why don’t we cruise down the beautiful PCH and check out those Anaheim Ducks. Everyone is high on their SoCal smell right now. They might be the hottest thing in the NHL the past couple months. And the franchise has won a Cup too:

2007 Stanley Cup winner Chris Pronger showing off the clean pits.

Except since that 2007 Stanley Cup they’ve always come up short in the playoffs. Like, up 3-2 in the 2015 Western Conference Final with Game 7 at home and choking, short. Who’d they lose to? These guys:

Jonathan Toews, the Stanley Cup, and clean pits.

Why did the Ducks lose? Oh, that’s right…

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We may like what we see from the Ducks right now but the 2007 jersey’s aren’t walking through that door any time soon.

Lastly, I find it funny how Buffalo fans to this day constantly complain about Brett Hull’s toe in the crease “no goal” that ripped the Stanley Cup from their lake effect snow frozen hands when in reality they have no one to blame but their seamstress:

Stick with the traditional “blue and yellows” and that 1999 Stanley Cup Final is probably the Sabres in a sweep. Instead, Buffalo will have to settle for losing to a starfish pattern. Hope it was worth it.

I don’t get any joy out of writing this blog so don’t kill the messenger. Telling it like it is isn’t easy. But some one has to do it. Like helping anyone who has a problem you have to be honest and admit the problem exists. And if these franchises have an ounce of desire to win big boy Stanley Cup Final games then they’d go right down to their local Reebok sweatshop today and demand those little kids tiny hands get working on a new traditional jersey pattern. Otherwise, don’t say I didn’t warn you. I can’t make you change. You have to want to. And all the proof you need to do that is in your jersey.

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