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Editor's Corner

Week 12: Playoffs – Round 1 (Brackets 5 & 6)

We’re now three days in and have four teams, which are about to become six with the two playoffs below.

Who will join the Habs, BJs, Pens and Caps in the next round?

Find out:

Calgary Flames V San Jose Sharks

I’m going into this playoff match very much against the Sharks. Like, up until now I’ve really liked the Sharks. But I played the NHL game for the first time this week, and the Sharks kicked my newbie butt 5-0.

I won the fights though, 2-0. But, on with it.

Image caption: This is Ellie sucking at the NHL game.

Hilarity of player names:

How in the heck do I say this one, Flames? Matthew Tkachuk.

Funniest? Michael Frolik. Because of frolic, obviously.

The Sharks? I’m OK with their roster.

Funniest name? Logan Couture. Because the idea of putting a hockey player in couture is pretty funny.


X Factor:

Sharks: Patrick Marleau, Joe Thornton, Brent Burns

Flames: You know, I’m not sure what or who the Flames’ X Factor is.



The Flames’ logo is another unique one. It’s a big red C with flames coming out of the back. It’s big, bold, distinctive.

The Sharks’ logo is quite similar to the Pens’ design in that there is a triangle behind an animal bearing a hockey stick. Unlike the Pens, however, the Sharks’ animal (a shark to state the obvious, an angry-looking shark) is snapping the hockey stick between its teeth rather than imitate playing ice hockey. It’s a good logo, one of the better ones.



The Flames were founded in Atlanta, Georgia in 1972. They relocated to Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 1980. They’re one of two teams in Alberta, the other the Edmonton Oilers. The cities’ proximity has led to a rivalry known as the Battle of Alberta. They’ve won just one Cup, but gave a decent run into the 2004 Stanley Cup final. They also won the 2011 Heritage Classic (an irregularly held NHL outdoor game). The Flames shutout the Habs 4-0.

The Sharks were founded in 1991. While they’ve won no Cups, they have won six division titles and one conference championship. When the team was formed and looking for a name, more than 5000 suggestions were sent to management. The most popular was Blades, but the team’s owner was concerned about the name’s potentially negative association with weapons and went with the runner-up, Sharks.

The name was said to have been inspired by the large number of sharks living in the Pacific Ocean. Seven varieties live there, and one area of water near the Bay Area is known as the “red triangle” because of its shark population. The team’s first marketing head is quoted as saying of the new name: “Sharks are relentless, determined, swift, agile, bright and fearless. We plan to build an organisation that has all those qualities.”

Social media:

The Sharks slay on social media. SLAY. They’re hilarious, are ahead of the trend, punny, share heaps of good content and their marketing is brilliant. Their players skate onto the ice through a giant sharks head and fans wear sharks on their heads. Some of the players (read: Brent Burns) are hilarious, and the people behind their social media use that to their advantage. I loved the Sharks for Life ads they ran in January and almost died at the Burns and Joe Thornton one.

If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favour and watch it.

Anyone next to the Sharks pale in comparison. The LA Kings are probably the next best. But the Flames, they do OK. They are informative, show a lot of fan interaction, are sort of funny (their Valentine’s Day cards are pretty good). Yeah, they do OK.



The Flames mascot is one of the most interesting. Harvey the Hound. You know how you type a word into Google to check the spelling/meaning and it comes up in a box at the top of the page?

Well, that’s what happens when you type ‘Calgary Flames mascot’ into Google. Harvey is distinctive. He has his own Wiki page.

I like Harvey but that tongue of his is something else. I swear, it hangs 30cm out of his mouth. It looks like a second tie! Harvey was the first mascot in the NHL. He was the acquired by the Flames as a “first pound draft pick” in 1983.

As well as this, Harvey is known for the “tongue incident” in 2003. Then coach of the Oilers, Craig MacTavish, ripped Harvey’s big ass tongue out during the game and tossed it into the crowd.

Image caption: This pearler of a shot was taken during NSA’s Big League Experience earlier in 2017. Harvey’s tongue is ridiculous.

SJ Sharkie is the Sharks mascot. He’s a shark (no brainer). He’s been around since 1992. Sharkie is pretty cool. He does things like take a high school student to her senior prom and he event acted as the ring bearer at a wedding ceremony. Sharkie’s website was the first ever devoted solely to a professional mascot.


Vancouver Canucks V LA Kings


Hilarity of player names:

I’m pretty good with the Kings roster. Funniest? Devin Setoguchi. Because Guchi = Gucci.

The Canucks roster is pretty good for me, too. Not sure on this one though: Sven Baertschi. I found it odd that one of the Canucks players on the roster, Philip Larson, is missing an image. I have looked at the official roster for each team I’ve mentioned in this blog post and his image is the only one I’ve seen missing from a roster.

Funnies? Michael Chaput. His last name sounds like kaput.


X Factor:

Kings: Anze Kopitar, Peter Budaj, Jonathan Quick.

Budaj, one of the Kings’ three goalies, has an awesome story. You have to watch it.

Canucks: Not sure who or what their X Factor is. Nothing and no one has particularly stood out.



The Kings are another team with a distinctive logo (like the Red Wings, Flyers and Flames). It’s a shield with LA on the top and a kings crown on the bottom. It’s black, silver and white – the Kings colours. It’s bold, distinctive and exudes that royal look it’s going for.

The Canucks logo is a “Haida-style orca breaking out of a patch of ice” that forms a stylized C. The team has gone through 13 different logo and jersey changes in its history. The current one was unveiled in 1997. Sort of. There was a different version to the current one, but for the most part it has stayed the same since ’97.



The Canucks joined the league in 1970 along with the Buffalo Sabres. In its NHL history, the team has advanced to the Stanley Cup Finals three times, losing to the New York Islanders in 1982, the New York Rangers in 1994 and the Boston Bruins in 2011.

The Kings were one of six teams that were awarded a license during the 1967 NHL expansion. Wayne Gretzky was traded to the Kings in 1988 and led the Kings to their first Stanley Cup final in 1993. The Kings won two Stanley Cups in three years: 2012, over the New Jersey Devils, and 2014, against the New York Rangers.


Social media:

Like the Sharks, the Kings bring it on social media. They market themselves really well and do a great job of promoting themselves on the socials; share fan content; are engaging, interactive, fun.

Canucks? They do OK. They do all the right things – press conference quotes, pictures, share fan content. It just seems like they go through the motions, though. They don’t have much of a personality.



Bailey is the LA Kings’ mascot. He is a lion. He is brilliant. Like Tommy Hawk, Bailey slays on Twitter. He’s been the team’s mascot since 2007. He wears number 72 on his jersey because it’s the average temperature in LA. Bailey describes himself as the “world’s sassiest Lion with a little attitude on the side”. He like to live tweet car chases.

Fin the Whale, the mascot for the Canucks, is a champ. Fin is a goalie. He beats a drum and blows steam out of his blowhole during games. He also pretends to chomp on people’s heads. Fin also visits terminally ill children in hospital. Fin is probably the best thing about the Canucks.

So who are the day three winners?

San J0se Sharks and the LA Kings.

These two will battle it out in the next round. The Habs and BJs will meet in the next round, as will the Pens and Caps.

Check back tomorrow for the final battle between brackets 7 and 8!

Ellie-Marie Watts is a journalist for Grassroots Sports, Newcastle Northstars (AIHL team) and Fairfax Media. She has a passion for sport, in particular grassroots sports such as ice hockey, gridiron and roller derby, and telling stories about athletes, overcoming adversity and triumph. Through Grassroots Sports Ellie hopes to help promote the emerging sports she loves into the forefront of the Australian public’s mind, chart their rise, take a few photos (another passion of hers) and tell the stories of the people who made it happen.




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