Best of the Worst: 2018-19 Upper Deck Series 1 Hockey

While we all loosen our belts and pass on the leftover green bean casserole, like every NHL team that passed on Jaromir Jagr’s contract last season, let’s take a deep dive into the Upper Deck’s latest offering of fresh, hot hockey photography from the 2018-19 Series One flagship set.

Obligatory Mad Dog Faces

Colton Parayko (#153) – Every box has these, and they’re a standard treat for me. Colton might be trying to pass a kidney stone so painfully that Oliver Bjorkstrand has to avert his gaze.

Colin Miller (#182) – Meanwhile, Colin seems to be focusing every bit of energy into his stick, as though it’s some sort of magic talisman and he just had a heart to heart with it. I could be wrong, but after the Knights’ last season, I’m not about to discount anything.

Celebrated O-Faces or Pained Looks from Stubbing Their Toes on the Coffee Table in the Dark: You Decide!

John Klingberg (#59) – Hockey is a sport of passion, and while scoring goals can be hard (at least it looks hard here in Carolina), an outpouring of emotion is necessary from even the most-hardened competitors in this league. Klingy has a near look of disbelief from one of his eight buries of last year.

Michael Del Zotto (#176) – Del Zotto says “The Price is WRONG, Carey!” Or he just saw Bo Horvat eat his hot dog on the bench is about to beat him senseless.

Mats Zuccarello (#123) – Finally, I’m pretty sure ZUUUUUUUC really did stub his toe on the coffee table; there’s no other reason for that expression on his face.

Bad Hair Days

Brian Boyle (#108) – Yes, yes, hockey players get sweaty and such, mussing up their do’s. Boyle certainly looks about right for the Devils — and hopefully not scaring the young fan he just tossed a puck to.

Mike Smith (#27) – Smitty, however, looks a little worse for wear, and I’m expecting Lunquivist to skate up to him with a bottle of Head & Shoulders before winking at the camera.

Good Hair Days

Colin Wilson (#44) – Colin Wilson puts minimal effort into his hair before game time, but knows he’s showing off some pretty gorgeous tresses.

Dion Phaneuf-already! (#88) – Dion Phaneuf puts too much effort into is moussey mane; that crinkly sensation can’t feel good under a helmet.  

Viktor Arvidsson (P-7) – And Viktor shows evidence that he has no friends, because if he did they would have told him not to ever style his hair like a field of wheat in a gale force wind.

Bundled Up

Tomas Chabot (#126) – Remember this scene from A Christmas Story:

Yeah, Tommy is about one layer from that. In fact, he’s got so many layers, that if it was for his uniform number, I don’t think the Upper Deck photo editors would even know who he is! When it’s that cold, everyone’s hair probably freezes like Victor Arvidsson’s!

Kick Out The Jams

Andrei Vasilevskiy (#160) – Taking lessons from Jean-Claude Van Damme for Sudden Death 2: Electric Boogaloo, Andrei does his best Karate Kid Crane Kick; crease crashers beware!

Vancouver is Underwater!

Erik Gudbranson (#174) – Hockey is fun (just ask Brian Burke), and I’m assuming that’s what Erik is having with his entrance donning a mask. He needs a snorkel to complete the look, but if any Canucks fans out there know what’s going on in this shot, please let me know in the comments section.

That’s it for this year’s UD Series One blooper reel. Y’all have a safe and happy holiday season, crack open a seasonal stout or your grandma’s eggnog while you turn up the 1979 New York Islanders Christmas Album on the hi-fi! 

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. 


Author: Jim Howard

Hockey enthusiast who pays the bills as a traveling geologist. More of a lover than a fighter, he's a fairly cheap date; just ask his wife. He'd prefer to be outside in the rain that stuck in the office on a beautiful day.

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