Wednesday, May 13, 2009

We've moved.

We've moved

Well, I came to realize pretty quickly that I had painted myself into a corner with the name I chose for the blog. A rather tight corner. I actually don't plan on posting a different jersey each and every day, as yesterday's entry showed.

So, before I get too far down this path, I've made an adjustment and changed the name of the blog to Third String Goalie and, as a result, there's a new address for you to bookmark.

Same great taste. Same great flavor. More jerseys than you can shake a broken composite stick at. I've already moved all the existing posts over there so you won't miss a thing and I've got a tasty new one just waiting for you when you come on over.

Why "Third String Goalie"? It comes from a "Sport Page Dictionary" article in a 1956 Baseball Digest where a "Third String Catcher" was defined as "A spectator who wears a baseball uniform".

Well if that isn't me, I don't know what is.

I've also set up a blog called "Third String Catcher" for posting my baseball jersey collection and I'll let everyone know when that has some content added. I just thought with having two blogs with similar names it would be a much better Brand Management with Integrated Synergy, Cohesive Strategy Formulation, Improved Relationship Models and all those other good Marketing Science Keywords, so, please update your bookmarks and continue to enjoy the journey. We've just gotten started so there's plenty more ahead of us. Like Icelandic Beer Day.

I kid you not.

See you on the other side!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Firewagon Hockey

I hope you caught the third period of the Blackhawks vs. Canucks game last night. It was a return to the Firewagon Hockey of the 80's, with 12 goals, 6 of them in a third period that included 3 lead changes in 10 minutes alone. The game itself had a total of five lead changes. When was the last time you saw that in a playoff game?

I'll tell you when...

Earlier the same evening after Washington forced a Game 7 back at home by defeating Pittsburgh in overtime in a game that also featured five lead changes. Wednesday night's Game 7 could be an "instant classic" as these two teams meet up one final time. Clear your calendars for that one.

It's a far cry from the Anaheim Ducks vs. Minnesota Wild pre-lockout series in 2003 where the first goal won, a four game series that featured a total of 10 goals, followed by a seven game finals between the Ducks and Devils that included no less than four shutouts.

In the meantime, we get a legitimate double header tonight as Boston visits Carolina followed by Detroit traveling out West to try to eliminate Anaheim.

One nice thing about Carolina making a playoff run is some rare national TV time for the 'Canes and an opportunity to see The Storm Squad, the classiest Ice Girls/Cheer Squad in the whole NHL.


Monday, May 11, 2009

2005 Miroslav Satan Slovakia World Championships Jersey

The Republic of Slovakia was founded on January 1, 1993 when Czechoslovakia peacefully separated into Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Slovakia were first placed, somewhat unfairly, by the IIHF in the "C" Pool, while the Czech Republic, whose players dominated the former Czechoslovakian National Team, started life by being placed immediately into in the "A" pool.

Showing they were, in fact seeded too low, the Slovaks won the "C" Pool in 1994, earning promotion to the "B" Pool, which proved no problem for them either, as they would go on to win that in their first try in 1995 as well.

It was tougher going now that they were among the world's hockey elite in the "A" Pool, placing no higher than 7th over the next four years, but comfortably in the top group, never being threatened with relegation either. A glimpse of what was to come was shown by a fine Silver Medal in 2000, losing to rivals Czech Republic 5-3 in the final in St. Petersburg, Russia. The next year was a return to their previous form, as they again finished 7th.

But it all came right in 2002. Placing second in their group. Slovakia defeated Poland and Ukraine, but lost to Finland in the Preliminary Round. In the Qualification Round, they defeated Sweden, Austria and Russia, proving they were to be reckoned with. In the Quarter Finals they eliminated Canada in regulation, coming from behind with two goals in the third, before having to go to a tense shootout to defeat Sweden to move into the Finals, again vs. Russia, where they won on a goal by the great Peter Bondra.

The jersey I've chosen to feature today is from the leading scorer of the 2002 Slovak team, Miroslav Satan. This style was used in the 2005 World Championships, where Satan captained the team. It's a Nike home white jersey, again featuring one of my custom made sponsorship patches from automaker Skoda, loyal sponsor of the IIHF World Championships.

Slovakia 2005 F
Slovakia 2005 B
Slovakia 2005 R P1 Slovakia 2005 P1

Since that time, Slovakia has not been able to sustain the success they once achieved, finishing with the Bronze in 2003, then slowly sliding down to 4th, 5th, 8th, a bump back up to 6th and then having to fight off relegation for the first time while finishing a disappointing 13th in 2008 due to a combination of the retirement of stars like Bondra and Ziggy Palffy, as well as the NHL obligations of stars such as Marian Hossa and Zedeno Chara. For comparison, the 2002 team featured recognizable NHLers such as Visnovsky, Bartecko, Bondra, Handzus, Nagy, Orzaugh, Palffy, Petrovicky, Stumpel and Satan, while the 2009 team has two NHL regulars, Jaroslav Halak from Montreal and Handzus.

Dasherboard: Speaking of the World Championships, Russia defeated Canada yesterday in a hard-fought 2-1 win with the game winning goal coming from stick-spinning former Nashville Predator Alexander Radulov.

Radulov finished the tournament with 4 goals and 6 assists for 10 points in 9 games, second in team scoring only to tournament MVP Ilya Kovalchuk (9-5-14). Russia was a perfect 10-0, surrendering only a single point in the standings to Sweden in a Russian win in overtime.

Radulov, perhaps the first player in hockey history to defect from the USA to Russia. Apparently the thought of another winter in Nashville proved too much to bear, as he chose to play this season in the sunny climes of Ufa, in the heart of scenic Bashkorostan.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

1996 Martin Brodeur Team Canada World Championships Jersey

Ovechkin this and Crosby that. It's the heart of the NHL playoffs, but the highlight of my hockey day is the Bronze and Gold Medal games of the 2009 IIHF World Championships in Bern, Switzerland.

The USA will be taking on Sweden for the Bronze with the headline matchup being old rivals Canada vs. defending Gold Medalists Russia.

With that in mind, today's jersey is a 1996 Martin Brodeur Team Canada "Waving Flag" style Bauer jersey. If you are going to collect jerseys from this era, be aware that Bauer jerseys from this time period of the "Waving Flag" style consistently run a size larger than others.

Canada 1996 WC F
Canada 1996 WC B
Canada 1996 WC P

The "Warsteiner" sponsorship patch was one that I made myself since patches like that cannot be purchased. It's not an embroidered one like the game worn jerseys have, but from any sort of distance look quite nice, especially without the shine the flash has given the one in my photo. Some day when I don't have a relevant jersey to post, I'll publish a tutorial on how to make your own printed patches.

It's rather rare to see a Brodeur jersey from the World Championships since the Worlds unfortunately coincide with the NHL playoffs where Brodeur is annually busy tending goal for the New Jersey Devils. Due to the consistent level of play from the Devils, Brodeur has only participated in the World Championships twice, in 1996 and again in in 2005.

Brodeur played 3 games in the 1996 World Championships, finishing with a record of 0-1-1, but behind the goaltending of Curtis Joseph, Canada did earn a silver medal in 1996.

Brodeur also wore this same jersey in the 1996 World Cup of Hockey later that fall, only wearing the unusual for him jersey #1 due to #30 Bill Ranford also being on the team and having seniority when it came time to assign numbers.

Dasherboard: It's been nice to see the fans of some of the downtrodden teams of the last 10 years have some success in the playoffs this year. St. Louis made a return to the playoffs for the first time in a while, while Columbus made the show for the first time ever at the expense of regular playoff squads like Colorado and Dallas.

Good times have returned to Pittsburgh in a big way after a long period of losing. The team is now obviously stacked with Crosby and Malkin, plus the construction of a new arena for the fans is also a just reward for sticking with the team. But my favorite story is the return to relevance of the Chicago Blackhawks. As a Chicago native, I've got a soft spot for the 'Hawks and their future looks bright, as they are not only "just happy to be here", as perhaps Columbus was, they are back and going on a deep run into the playoffs, having pushed Vancouver to the brink of elimination last night with the next game back on home ice.

And just how relevant has Chicago become? In breaking news, the Chicago Blackhawks have been chosen to represent the NHL in the second annual Victoria Cup next September 29th in Zurich, Switzerland vs. 2009 Champions League winners ZSC Lions.

From the article on the IIHF website, here's an interesting fact:

"The Chicago Blackhawks established an NHL club record this season by attracting an average of 21,783 to their 40 home dates at United Center (not including the 40,818 who filled Wrigley Field for the Winter Classic vs. Detroit on New Year's Day).

This makes Chicago not only the best drawing hockey club in North America, but also in the world. The Blackhawks were playing to 106% capacity which is a 31% increase from last season and a 72% increase from 06-07.

Pretty good for a franchise that averaged 12,727 in 2006-07, a mere 62.1% capacity.

Relevant hockey certainly has returned to the city of Chicago and the Blackhawks.

1991-92 Steve Yzerman Detroit Red Wings jersey

Since today, May 9th, is Steve Yzerman's birthday, it only seems appropriate to kick things off with a tribute to Stevie Y.

This is a 1991-92 Detroit Red Wings CCM Authentic size 48. The classic Red Wings sweater, essentially unchanged since the dawn of time, or more accurately 1932, when I believe the color red was invented, still rates very highly in "favorite jersey" polls and is a true icon of hockey sweaters.

Yzerman had 45 goals and 58 assists that year for 103 points. He would go onto win the Stanley Cup 3 times, a Canada Cup in 1984 and an Olympic Gold Medal in 2002, play in 10 All-Star Games, win the Pearson, Selke, Masterton and Patrick trophies and was the youngest and longest serving captain in Red Wings history. In addition, his number 19 was not only retired by the Red Wings, but the Canadian National Team as well.

Detroit Red Wings 91-92 F

Detroit Red Wings 91-92 B

Detroit Red Wings 91-92 P

It's nice to start off the blog with an authentic jersey, complete with the fightstrap. This jersey also features the NHL 75th Anniversary patch, worn by all the teams during the 1991-92 season, my favorite year for hockey jerseys for several reasons.

The patch itself is my favorite style of all the numerous patches. I think it's a very dynamic design with its "speed stripes". In the NHL, the jerseys overall were still very classic designs. The Sabres hadn't changed to the "Goat Head" logo yet, the Whalers were still in Hartford, the Devils still wore their original red and green, the Islanders had yet to introduce the "Fishsticks" logo, the Penguins had not changed to the "Robo Penguin" logo yet, the Nordiques were still in Quebec, the Jets were still in Winnipeg and the age of the bizarro Third Jersey had not yet begun.

That was also the year that the Original Six teams, Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Montreal, New York Rangers and Toronto; all wore their highly attractive throwback jerseys. In addition, the NHL All-Star Game in Philadelphia also featured throwback jerseys based on the ones used in the first recurring annual NHL All-Star Game in 1947.

The only thing that could have made the 1991-92 set of jerseys better would have been the North Stars still wearing their traditional green jerseys at home rather than the new black set introduced in 1991-92.

As this blog grows, you will no doubt become familiar with the set of NHL jerseys used in 1991-92, as I consider it a focus of my NHL portion of my jersey collection.

To read more about Steve Yzerman, please visit his profile at

Dasherboard: Did you happen to read Michael Farber's "Fab Foes" NHL column in the April 27th issue of Sports Illustrated? He proposes the return of the first two rounds of the NHL playoffs being within your own division, quoting Cam Neely as saying "Divisional playoffs build rivalries". I, for one, could not agree more. There's nothing like having the chance to end another team's season to turn up the intensity. Keeping the first two rounds of playoffs within your division ensures that in short order, a team will match up against a given club multiple times, and the better the clubs are, the more often they will meet, creating a great and intense playoff history. Much more so than multiple regular season matchups and scattered conference pairings as is the case now.

Friday, May 8, 2009


Welcome to my new blog. My plan is to feature a different jersey from my collection each day. Perhaps each weekday. We'll just have to see how it goes. I've got a pretty large supply of jerseys to feature, so I plan on it being an ongoing proposition. I'll do my best to keep track of the ones I have talked about and, while some jerseys may look similar, you won't be seeing the same jersey twice. So, stay tuned and hopefully you'll see some things you find interesting and some stuff you've never seen before and learn a bit of history along the way.

A few things before we begin. Nothing you see is for sale. Please don't ask. If you are looking for a place to buy something similar - ebay is the answer. Yes, ebay is drowning in fake jerseys these days, but that's where the vast majority of mine have come from. 

Aside from the many online retailers, you might also try the following forums that have active For Sale and Items Wanted sections. - Discussion of jerseys from all sports with an emphasis on authentics forums - Discussion of hockey jerseys only

Also, I fully admit most of my jerseys are replicas and you will surely find that some will have a certain degree of historical inaccuracies, mainly in what brand was worn in what year with what patch. I'm a bit lax in the hardcore accuracy department. For example, if the Red Wings wore Nike in 1998, I'm just as likely to have used a Starter jersey since the striping and cut of the jersey is exactly the same. 

On the other hand, I do my best to keep everything other than brand as close to the original as possible. I won't put a patch on a Rangers v-neck collar when it belongs on one with a tie-neck collar. 

In other words, I worry about the correct style of the jersey, but don't let the brand get in the way of my fun.