In practically every sport in the world, from pee wee on up to the pros, it has been an ongoing tradition that the home team wears their white jerseys.  When they play in away games, they wear their colored jerseys.

For those who have played sports, this tradition has been ingrained in their minds since the first time they played for an athletic team.  But for some reason, the NHL decided to do the exact opposite.  You’ll have to ask whoever was in charge back in 1955 why that rule came into being.  From 1970 and on up to 2003, the league decided to switch back to wearing white at home; but then that all changed again in 2003 when the NHL went back to wearing colored jerseys at home.  Only the away teams wore white, thus leaving fans of the home team to guess whether the team would wear their regular colored jersey or their third jersey.

Of course, now in the age of social media, most teams take the guesswork out of which jersey will be worn at home and tweet out a picture for fans.  Before the days of Twitter, fans would question which jersey the home team was going to wear.  Most fans want to wear the same color jersey as the team when they’re at the game.  It’s what helps them connect to the gentlemen out on the ice.  It makes them feel like they are a part of something greater.

But for the team to wear white at the home games, this is a tradition that connects the audience to sports as a whole.  Whether it is a childhood memory, or being a fan or an athlete, or even just being a parent sitting in the stands watching your child play in sports, this is our connection to feeling like you are at home.

Why even discuss this?  It’s all because the Rangers wore white at home during Wednesday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers.  This was just a single-game exception and not a new trend.

This now leads to the great debate.  Should the NHL go back to wearing white at home?  It makes sense.  While the NFL also wears colored jerseys at home, should the NHL continue to follow?

Talbot Shuts Down the Flyers

In the Rangers 2-0 shutout over the Flyers on Wednesday, the big talk prior to the game was whether Philadelphia’s captain Claude Giroux would play in the game.  Giroux was a game time decision after there was some uncertainty of whether his ankle was okay after it was injured during a practice on Monday.  He skated during the warmups and had a total of 25:45 of ice time during the game, more time than any other forward on the team.

Cam Talbot became the second NY Rangers goalie in history to post 4 shutouts in his first 23 NHL starts [L. Chabot (1926-27; 4 in 8 starts).  Chabot was the Rangers’ first goaltender.] (NHL Public Relations, quoting Elias Sports).  The arena played Talbot’s theme song, “Ghostbusters,” as the seconds wound down on the clock.  His great night was honored by his teammates as they tipped their hats to him and gave him the Broadway Hat.

Another big play of the night came from defenseman Kevin Klein.  He got the Rangers on the scoreboard first at 5:10 in the opening period.  He currently leads all Rangers defensemen in goals with four.  The only other defenseman to score a goal this season is Dan Girardi.  He has only one goal.

Former Ranger Michael Del Zotto (now Flyer) made an appearance against his former club.  He was on the ice during Klein’s goal, and ended up leaving after one 0:40 shift in the final period due to an injury.

Rangers forward Rick Nash’s power play goal at 7:43 of the second period marked his 13th goal of the season.  This now puts him in second place in the NHL for total goals, just one goal behind the league’s goal leader, Stars forward Tyler Seguin.

Nash feels like his game is different this year than last.  He did not focus on his positives.  His focus was on where he needed to improve.

“I think my defensive game was a bit better last year,” Nash said of his game last year as compared to this year.  “I think I’ve been struggling a bit on the defensive side.  I think that’s the difference right now.  I’m trying to improve.”

Nash credits the return of Dan Boyle as the reason why the Rangers’ power play has improved.

“You need your special teams to be there for you,” Martin St. Louis said.  “Our PK was huge and our power play got us a goal to give us a little separation.”

While the Rangers were flying high after their win against the Flyers, the sounds coming out of the Flyers locker room were anything but cheery.

The Rangers’ Friday game against the Buffalo Sabres in Buffalo has been postponed due to the weather.

About The Author

Michelle Kenneth has been with Inside Hockey since 2007 as the beat reporter for the New Jersey Devils. She is also part of the IH team covering the New York Rangers. Since 2007, she's covered the Stanley Cup Finals, NHL All-Stars, NHL Awards, Winter Classic, Stadium Series and the NHL in Europe. You can follow Michelle on Twitter @MichelleKenneth and on her blog: michellekennethhockey.wordpress.com.

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