As the NHL season slowly slips away from us (because some of our teams couldn’t find the postseason if it was water and they fell off a boat), it’s nice to have Upper Deck around to remind us of the good times and the crazy moments like a high school yearbook. And much like a high school yearbook, even good photographers can take bad pictures. Let’s look at some now!
AUGH! Show me you WAR face!
Aleksander Barkov (#327) strikes fear with his laser focused mad dog glare that wouldn’t be out of place in A Clockwork Orange; he’s just missing a some guy-liner and a bowler hat!
Oscar Lindberg (#436) seems to be coming for you like a Vegas pit-boss having to tell you twice not to look at your phone at the roulette table.
Cam Atkinson (#301), who seems to end up on these lists a lot…well he’s not really gotten the killer instinct look down just yet. Although I might make that face if I had to screen Crawford and hope I don’t take a puck-in-the-butt in the process.
Meanwhile, Marcus Johansson (#361) lets his body do the talking as he is clearly ass-alting some poor Colorado skater. The Avs players spend half their lives in an oxygen-deprived environment, Mark; there no need for this.
This calls for a celebration!
Phillip Danault (number 24 on his shoulder, number one on your trade list): “Hey! Hey, Jonny; you miss my hand in the glove tap!”
Jonathan Drouin (#349): “No. No I didn’t.”
Meanwhile, Tricky Nick Bjugstad (#329) gets the Ryan Johanson treatment where UD can’t be bothered to get a decent shot of him to put on a card. If he robbed a bank and this was the best footage the authorities had of the heist, he’d walk away scott-free due to lack of evidence. “Good try, good effort.” This one was so mailed in.
I almost wish I could line up for some Leafs autograph session so I could slap this card down for Jake Gardiner (#420, huh huh-huh!), because all the other players at the table would be howling at this picture! And what’s worse is that they use it for the head shot on the back just to accentuate the point.
Speaking of 420, Tyler Toffoli everyone (#335).
Dead behind the eyes and mouth breathing. But let’s give him the benefit of the doubt, considering where he is (China); maybe he ate a great meal and it’s now dawning on him that all of those Kung Pao dishes he enjoyed before weren’t chicken.
Faces in the Crowd
Thanks to awesome digital photograph technology, we get to see more of the people behind the scenes on our hockey cards. Not the trainers or the Zamboni driver, but the crowd who provides plenty of entertainment, like that time Pat Sajak photobombed Sidney Crosby, but with more clarity.
The judgy, judgy looks of judgment this lady is giving Trevor Daley (#313) seems like she should work in human resources at a faceless corporation.
Meanwhile, fans at the SAP Center are in total dismay that any Buffalo Sabre, let alone Jason Pominville (#275), would score on their team. I know, over-paid tech monkeys, I feel the same way.
And finally Vegas Golden Knights fans get an early example in knowing what soul-crushing defeat means at the hands of Vladimir Tarasenko (#406); don’t get mad, get Vlad!
That’s all there is in this box. UD must be reading these more often because the pickins seemed kinda slim this time around. Instead, they dumped out a box of poorly-timed photos. Plus, I got cards of Scott Darling, Marcus Kruger and other massive disappointments that Sal’s team sent mine. GEE, THANKS!
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. ■