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For those about to rank - November 2021 uniform matchups

Now with seven times the Sean Kuraly!

Washington Capitals v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

Hello, and welcome to For Those About to Rank, the only article series where hockey uniforms are ranked worst to first. This is definitely an original idea I came up with and not blatantly stolen from the fine folks at Hockey By Design and their Worst to First series. No siree. Completely different. How? Cause this one only talks about the Blue Jackets and their opponents. Sure, the CBJ may have looked like a dumpster fire on this recent road trip, but did they at least look good cosmetically? Let’s find out!

If you missed the first instalment of the series, which includes some of the criteria I’m ranking these on, you can check it out here. We have twelve games to rank this month, so let’s get on it!

#12 - Capitals Away at Blue Jackets Home (November 12, 4-3 Loss)

Columbus Dispatch

There’s good news and bad news. Good news: both teams use the same color scheme, and they both have similar styles. The bad news: those color schemes are boring and the styles are bad. The Capitals have bottom-five jerseys in the league (any jersey that uses side panels in the year of our Lord 2021 ain’t high up), so having any jersey drag it up is nigh-impossible. For the CBJ home to do it? Yeah, that’s not happening. We got two pajama-esque jerseys, using outdated templates, one with a wordmark for a logo, plus the matchup looks monochrome with all the navy. It’s last. Please fix it.

#11 - Blue Jackets Away at Predators Home (November 30, 6-0 Loss)

Columbus Blue Jackets at Nashville Predators Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

Well... it doesn’t look monochrome anymore! The Predators have the brightest jersey in the NHL, and contrary to my prior rants about monochrome jerseys being bad (and they still are), that’s not a good thing. Color needs to be an element of an identity, not the entirety. The Preds just have blocks of color with thin little lines separating it, which is actually not too dissimilar to the Jackets. The only real striping here are Nashville’s pants and Columbus’s yoke. That doesn’t even mention the massive white-on-yellow issues with the hosts. It’s better than the Washington game due to having more color, but it’s a lot closer to 12 than 10.

#10 - Avalanche Away at Blue Jackets Home (November 6, 4-2 Win)

Colorado Avalanche v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

I never know how to deal with the Avalanche’s away jerseys. It seems like they took the equipment and jerseys from completely separate places. I really love their color scheme, but the fact that the jerseys, aside from the numbers and logo, don’t have a stitch of that beautiful steel blue, while the glove and pants don’t have any burgundy, just makes it fall flat. In terms of how they pair with Columbus’s homes, the answer is not good. Navy vs steel blue. Red vs maroon. They just don’t mesh well. Sorry.

#9 - Blue Jackets Away at Golden Knights Home (with chrome gold helmets) (November 20, 3-2 Loss)

Columbus Blue Jackets v Vegas Golden Knights Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

See, Nashville? THIS is how you use a color like gold, whether athletic or metallic. Let the darker shades be the background for the featured color to shine. Plus with the red to tie it in with the Blue Jackets pants, and we’re starting to get somewhere! Sure, I’d lighten the grey a bit, but it’s fine!

And then there’s the helmets. What are you doing? First problem: the chrome gold doesn’t match the gold in the stripes. Bad. And second, it’s the brightest thing on your uniform! There’s a reason that, almost without exception, teams use their darkest color for their home helmets, and if not it matches the shoulder color. It just doesn’t work. It draws attention to the head instead of the jersey. I get you have a gold helmet as your logo, but do it Notre Dame-style then! The chrome dome is completely unnecessary.

#8 - Blue Jackets Away at Coyotes Alternate (November 18, 5-4 SO Win)

Columbus Blue Jackets v Arizona Coyotes Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

This is actually pretty similar to the prior matchup, with the only differences being the Coyotes using burgundy instead of dark grey as their color base, and the absence of chrome domes. Both great improvements! The burgundy and red kinda clash, but are close enough to get away with (especially in the right lighting; look at Jack Roslovic above). Ideally the Jackets would have a striping layout that meshes with Arizona better, but from here out things are definitely serviceable.

#7 - Blue Jackets Away at Avalanche Home (November 3, 5-4 OT Win)

KDVR

While Avalanche-Blue Jackets is a matchup with many faults, Blue Jackets-Avalanche mostly works! There’s now more than enough steel blue on Colorado’s fantastic home to fit in with the pants, and the full yoke on Columbus fully emerges on a white background. And boy, do those two changes make a big difference. There’s now more than enough color to make the jerseys pop on the ice, having both teams use basically the same design works wonders, and there’s still enough difference to avoid looking like an inter-squad scrimmage. Again, ideally there’d be a bit more color matching, but it’s fine, borderline good.

#6 - Blue Jackets Away at Blues Alternate (November 27, 6-3 Loss)

Colombus Blue Jackets v St Louis Blues Photo by Scott Rovak/NHLI via Getty Images

If we weren’t already at the point where it’s just a battle of which jerseys can best drag up the CBJ until both jerseys are actually good, then we are now. These Blues jerseys are pretty good, with classic and consistent striping, almost perfect color balance, and a flawless logo. Is there a stylistic clash between them and Columbus? Yeah, kinda. But St. Louis has a good enough jersey to get away with it. I just have a few nitpicks. First off, use pure white, not vintage white, it doesn’t fit well with the yellow. Second, make the logo stand out better. Third, there is no third.

#5 - Blue Jackets Away at Sabres Home (November 22, 7-4 Win)

Columbus Blue Jackets v Buffalo Sabres Photo by Joe Hrycych/NHLI via Getty Images

This is almost the exact same matchup as the six spot, so I’ll keep it brief. Better: closer shade of blue, pure white instead of vintage white, and questionably better logo. Worse: I like St. Louis’s blue more, the striping can be a bit busy, and questionable worse logo. It’s really hard to pick between these two. I’ll put Buffalo ahead because we won, but feel free to consider this a joint fifth. You have my permission.

#4 - Canucks Away at Blue Jackets Home (November 26, 4-2 Win)

NHL: NOV 26 Canucks at Blue Jackets Photo by Graham Stokes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

This matchup is very similar to the Stars-Blue Jackets game from October, with the green accents on the Canucks complementing the red pants on the Jackets perfectly. They also have decently similar striping patterns, which is especially obvious when you look at the socks. Their color scheme rocks, is unique within the league, and uses that simple, no-frills striping. Plus you have the two blues to unify the look across the set, and a pair of unique fonts that are decently similar. It just works.

#3 - Rangers Away at Blue Jackets Home (November 13, 5-3 Loss)

New York Rangers v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

The best road jerseys in the league visited NWA on November 13, allowing these two teams to skyrocket in the rankings yet again. This time it’s even better, as the classic yoke stripes on the Rangers yokes match the significantly worse yoke outlining on Columbus. The thin white stripes on the arms and hem also mesh decently well. The fact that both teams share red and white allows the discrepancy between the blues to serve as more of a feature than a bug. And, like the games at MSG, they share red pants. It’d look better if we had any actual striping whatsoever on the home, but it’s good as is.

#2 - Red Wings Away at Blue Jackets Alternate (November 15, 5-3 Win)

Detroit Free Press

The cannon-crested third jersey claim the top two spots on the countdown, starting with the November 15 game versus the Red Wings. With two classic jerseys, one blue and one red, it’s hard to mess up. And they don’t. The Velcro Sleeves look of Detroit provides bucketloads of red to offset the cool double blue of Columbus, their complex logo a nice contrast to our relatively simple design. Plus we both technically have white yokes! It just looks glorious. The only thing that could beat it would be wearing the cannons vs the exact same color scheme in a style reminiscent of our normal uniforms.

#1 - Jets Away at Blue Jackets Alternate (November 24, 3-0 Win)

Winnipeg Jets v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

And that’s exactly what happened. I mean, it’s just perfect! Both in double blue, grey, and white. Both with roundel logos. The arm stripes are even the same, light blue outlines in silver outlines in white (on the back of Winnipeg), they both have yokes. The Jets just double it up and shuffle up the hem a bit, but it’s close enough. It’s just so good! Side note: I really love Elvis’s baby blue pads... in concept. I think they needed to do a better job of matching the light blue to the color on the jersey, but I love when goalies use non-traditional (aka not white) pads. Other, less important side note: Is Sean Kuraly’s right foot okay there? That angle doesn’t look natural.

That’s all for November! We’ll have another one of these the next two months, and then a special Olympics edition come February! I’m sure the jerseys so far aren’t too bad...

...oh ...oh, no. This might get ugly.