I've been doing some behind-the-scenes work on the site, but I realized it's been two weeks since I last posted to the blog. Rectifying that today with a little side project I've been working on.
For the last three seasons, I've been keeping records of every jersey worn in every regular season NHL game (playoffs too!) and assembling the Jersey Standings. It shows you how certain sweaters perform. To be honest, it's not quite as interesting this season since we went without third jerseys for the year. But I thought I'd share nonetheless.
I decided to use winning percentage as the metric to sort them. That leaves the Capitals' Stadium Series and Maple Leafs' Arenas throwback at the top. Even though neither jersey was worn more than twice during the season, they were both undefeated.
The real champion of the regular season was the blue jersey worn in front of the white-out crowd in Winnipeg. The Jets' home sweater was an impressive .805 on the season. What's interesting is that the best-performing road jersey of the season belongs to the Nashville Predators. (As I write this I'm watching these two jerseys go head to head in Game 6.)
The closest thing we got to a third jersey this year was the Ottawa Senators' NHL 100 Classic sweater. They wore it eight times and went 5-3 in those games. It was the 20th-best sweater out of 69 worn this season.
It's not surprising to see home uniforms overwhelmingly topping this list since many teams tend to perform better at home. But that's not always so. The Los Angeles Kings were the only playoff team whose road jersey topped its home jersey in the standings. Of course they were swiftly swept out of the postseason by an expansion team. So there's that.
The lowest-finishing jersey that made an appearance in the playoffs is the Colorado Avalanche's road sweater in 52nd place. Though it wasn't far from the Penguins' away jersey in 50th — which presents us with the biggest gap between home and road jerseys. Pittsburgh's black home uniform was 4th — or 2nd if you don't count specialty jerseys.
I don't know if anyone finds these stats as interesting as I do. But it's worth noting that, while for the most part these stats align with home and road records, there are some cases where teams wore white at home and colors on the road. Admittedly it's not terribly significant. In 1,271 regular season games, the home team wore white just 8 times — or 0.6%.
Obviously things didn't go so well for the teams toward the bottom of this list. And you have to feel for Sabres season ticket holders. Buffalo just reached double digits in wins while wearing the blue home jersey. I wish I could say royal blue was the answer, but in three extra home games wearing their Winter Classic sweater, the Sabres only won once. Then again, maybe it was just a bad year for Winter Classic jerseys as the Rangers lost the two extra games they played while wearing theirs.
The all-white Maple Leafs Stadium Series jersey proved to be a mistake both visually and in terms of performance. But by far the worst jersey of the 2017-18 season was the one Montreal wore to the NHL 100 Classic. Not only did they lose the game — probably by bragging about all of their 24 Stanley Cups on their sleeves — it was the only sweater worn all year in which the players wearing it never once got a chance to raise their arms to celebrate a goal.
Did you spot anything else of interest in these Jersey Standings?