Upper Deck, unarguably, hands down, without a doubt, has the BEST picture for their Series 1 and 2 sets over any other card company. I always look forward to buying a hobby box or two when they come out just for the photograph and candid shots they somehow get. Seriously, I marvel at the angles and wonder how many pictures are shot and how many must end up on the cutting room floor/recycling bin of the computer.
So I was super excited to get my hands on this new box that came out! And while there were some great ones there….I noticed a lot of stinkers too! From the box I bought here’s my list of my Top Ten Best of the Worst:
10: Colton Scevior’s Snow Job! (#66)
Colton here is pulling the classic douche move of snow blowing the Caps goalie. From an action standpoint, it’s pretty good, but you can’t see any features of the skater himself; certainly not his face. You can barely read his name on the back of his sweater! The dude did play 26 games for the Stars; is that be best shot you could get of him?
9, 8, 7: Jeff Petry (#77), Kevin Shattenkirk (#163), Niklas Kronwall (#67)
Durp faces all around!
Secretly, I love these cards! Hockey players make some of the best faces in pro sports.
Meanwhile, Shattenkirk (who already has a name reminiscent of a failed Star Trek convention held at an un-renovated Holiday Inn) is squeezing out poor Craig Smith who looks like he’s getting a prostate exam from Dr. Frosty “Big Knuckles” McGerk, M.D.!
“I’m Kronwall the Skater Man
I hit player hards as I can
I back pedal to places, and make funny faces
I’m Kronwall the Skater Man!”
Whadda Popeye face!
6: James Van Riemsdyk as Strech Armstrong! (#176)
Looks like this was taken from the goalie cam, and it’s likely been cleaned up in editing. But there’s this stretch that’s happening that just grabs my attention and won’t let go. That, or JVR has a face shaped like a kidney bean. Something else I’ve noticed: UD LOVES getting shots from the goalie cam at MSG. The ceiling does make for a cool background many times.
5: Did Alex Stalock play in the 1990’s or something? (#160)
This picture quality is so bad it looks like it was taken from an old cathode ray-tube television with the VCR on pause! Come on UD, you can do better than this. Was the Nikon broken, and you had to use a Polaroid as the back up?
4: Jeff Zatkoff has an acid flashback in three…two…onooooohh…. (#152)
3: Jhonas Enroth and the Bandit (#25)
2: Brendan Gallagher doing…what, exactly? (#104)
No uniform, no idea what stadium he’s at. Just a dude hanging out in his shorts and flops, hands in his pockets, and that’s the picture they got. Seriously? That’s the best they got? They could have had him in the exact same pose standing at a urinal at Tim Horton’s (and believe me, if I was any good at Photoshop, I would have made that happen!) and it would have been a better picture than this! Somebody got bored and went *click*.
AND MY NUMBER 1 MOST HATED CARD: Ryan Johansen’s understudy (#52)
UD Lackey #6: “Oh no, boss; what do we do?”
UD Photo Editor: “Quick, UDL#6 — put on this jersey and helmet and stand in front of this fuzzy, ugly wallpaper! The kids will never know!”
You have no proof that this didn’t happen.
The most Nail Yakupov picture ever! (Canvas C34):
Nail’s got a rep for just not caring enough when it comes to the game. And whaddaya know, he shows up in a hoodie, shorts, sneakers and a look of disinterest on his face. I like to think that the Best of the Best pictures are saved for the Canvas Series, but I think UD is playing favorites and Nail ain’t one of them.
Brad Marchand the DUCK! (#15):
Here, let Dustin Byfuglien (C88) show how to do a good duck face for the ladies:
Jim Howard is a Carolina Hurricanes fan and reformed baseball card collector who is trying to keep the hockey collection from becoming overwhelming. And while he wishes he could give Crosby the business with his mitt, he is in fact NOT the goalie for the Red Wings. ■