The Colorado Avalanche have gone 0-3 in their new third sweaters. The old alternates were good luck — are these bad luck?
The Colorado Avalanche, like many teams, have long had a tradition of wearing an alternate jersey throughout the season. In years past, though, the third sweaters haven’t been overly inspired design-wise.
From 2001 to 2007 the Colorado Avalanche wore burgundy sweaters with the old-fashioned tie-front. There was striping on the sleeves and hem, and the logo on the shoulders. Otherwise, the jersey was based on the word “Colorado” written diagonally across the front:
This was replaced in 2009 by pretty much the same jersey in blue:
Jan 8, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla (12) is congratulated for his goal by left wing Alex Tanguay (40) in the first period against the Ottawa Senators at the Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Actually, these sweaters were an improvement. The original alternate featured basically none of the blue of the Avalanche’s “burgundy and blue.” The new alternates, on the other hand, featured burgundy shoulder panels over the sea of blue. The striping was omitted from the sleeves. However, the diagonal Colorado as the centerpiece remained the same.
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Affectionately called the “blueberries,” these proved to be good luck for the Colorado Avalanche. Over the last two seasons
they wore the blue alternates, the team went 17-4-2. Indeed, several players remarked that they especially liked wearing their alternates — center Matt Duchene said he always felt a thrill when he saw the third jersey hanging in his stall.
Nonetheless, at the conclusion of the 2014-15 season, the Colorado Avalanche retired the blueberries the same way they had retired the burgundy jerseys.
After their opening night game, they unveiled the new alternate uniforms:
Nov 6, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) is congratulated for his power play goal by center Carl Soderberg (34) and defenseman Tyson Barrie (4) and left wing Alex Tanguay (40) and right wing Jarome Iginla (12) in the first period agains the New York Rangers at Pepsi Center. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
The new sweaters are a definite upgrade. Not only are they all symbolic — the white on the shoulders symbolizes snow on the mountains, the silver in the stitching hearkens to the state’s silver mining days, the C in the mountains is from the Colorado state flag — they’re very sharp.
The dark color is chic, and all the accenting highlights the form of the jersey. Likewise, the uniform includes navy pants, gloves and helmets. This is a full ensemble.
This also appears to be a cursed ensemble. The Colorado Avalanche have skated out in these alternate uniforms three times. They lost all three times:
- 4-3 to the Columbus Blue Jackets
- 4-3 to the San Jose Sharks
- 2-1 to the New York Rangers
Now, to be fair, the team hasn’t won a ton in either of their regular jerseys either — the Colorado Avalanche’s record is 8-13-1. However, at least they’ve won a bit in their home and away regular sweaters.
Also to be fair, the first two season in the blueberries weren’t winning either. In 2009-10 the team went 3-7-2 in the alternate sweaters. In 2010-11 they went 3-6-3.
Tonight the Colorado Avalanche are skating out to meet the Winnipeg Jets wearing their new alternates, majestically called the “Rockies.” Let’s hope they break the bad luck of these very handsome uniforms with a win tonight.
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