2023-24 Canucks uniform rankings: Skate jersey remains on top

The Canucks win more when they wear their alternate uniforms. An analysis of the team's record by uniform this season seeks to explain why.

Buffalo Sabres v Vancouver Canucks
Buffalo Sabres v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages

The crisp black uniform turns heads every time the Vancouver Canucks hit the ice — in the stands, on TV and maybe across the ice.

It's decorated in the colours of the 1990s. The stripes and "V" pattern on the sleeves resemble the team's original look from the 1970s. The players' yellow numbers are outlined in red, similar to the ones from the late-1980s road jersey, yet the font matches that of the team's current brand, as does the mismatched green TD patch on the right chest. The matte black helmets are a nod to the future of uniform design.

Maybe, amid all the history immortalized in the Canucks' alternate, the team's opponents are caught up in admiring its beauty.

As reported by Daily Hive in January, the Canucks have been winning more when they wear their alternate uniforms this season.

The Canucks have worn the uniforms for 14 home games this season. Of those 14 games, they've won 12 and lost two, giving the modern skate uniforms an .857 points percentage. The team has also averaged four goals per game and 2.36 goals against when they wear the uniforms. They're scheduled to wear them three more times in the regular season.

The home uniform — the iconic orca logo on the team's classic blue and green template — has been worn in the team's other 19 home games this year. The Canucks are 10-5-4 in these games, giving them a much lower points percentage of .632. They've also scored less and given up more goals, averaging 3.32 goals per game and 2.47 goals against when they wear the blue uniforms.

Vasily Podkolzin
Washington Capitals v Vancouver Canucks / Derek Cain/GettyImages

The team has worn its road uniform for all 36 of its away games so far, so it's worth noting that comparing the team's record in white to the other two uniforms is essentially comparing its home and road records.

The Canucks haven't worn white at home since the 2019-20 season, and there's no reason to expect them to in the near future, so we can safely assume that the white uniforms will continue to be worn exclusively on the road.

That said, the road uniform's metrics this season are similar to the home uniform. The Canucks are 21-11-4 on the road, a record that give them a points percentage of 0.639, one point above the home uniform. They're averaging 3.39 goals scored per game, a number slightly higher than that of the home uniform, but they also get scored on more, with an average of 2.94 goals against per game on the road.



Goals per game

Goals against per game

Points percentage
















Strategic planning

So, why are the Canucks winning more games in their alternate uniforms than their primary ones?

The first culprit is their home game jersey schedule — since the white uniforms will be worn against every team on the road, they are omitted from this analysis.

An analysis of Vancouver's schedule revealed that they faced easier opponents on skate jersey nights. To date, the Canucks haven’t faced a top-10 team — at the time of the game — in their alternate uniforms. But they've played bottom-10 teams in nine of their 14 games they've worn the skate, including the Anaheim Ducks, Chicago Blackhawks, Columbus Blue Jackets and twice against the San Jose Sharks — all wins.

In games where the Canucks have worn their home uniform, they've faced top-10 teams nine times. These have included games against the New York Rangers, Dallas Stars, Vegas Golden Knights, Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche and two against the Winnipeg Jets.

Only three of their games played in the home uniforms have been against bottom-10 teams — the Oct. 11, 2023 game against the Edmonton Oilers was not included in this analysis because it was both teams' first game of the season.

The skate's three remaining games this season are against the top-10 Stars, the bottom-10 Arizona Coyotes and the middle-of-the-pack Los Angeles Kings. The home uniform will see a slightly easier schedule with two bottom-10 teams — the Montreal Canadiens and the Ducks — and three games against teams in the middle of the league standings.


Games played against top-10 teams

Games played against bottom-10 teams







Look good, feel good, play good?

It's no secret that the black uniforms are just as big of a hit inside the locker room as they are in the stands. As The Canuck Way reported in November, several players have expressed their love for the skate uniforms.

"I think they look the best," said Elias Pettersson when asked why he thought the jerseys were so popular with fans and how the team liked wearing them.

"This should be our jerseys all the time," Conor Garland said after the skate's 2022 renaissance, a year before the current version was introduced. "These are beautiful."

On Wednesday, Postmedia's Patrick Johnston argued that the Canucks should wear the skate for their home games in the 2024 playoffs, citing the players' admiration of them and the team's record in them.

But according to a 2020 review cited by Johnston, a team's uniform colour does not correlate to success.

While the skate uniforms don't necessarily make the Canucks a better team, they have been winning on and off the ice — the skate jersey is sold out in many sizes on Vanbase, a testament to its popularity with fans.

The team will have the final decision on what jersey they wear at home during the playoffs. The skate won’t win the Canucks any games, especially against the best in the west, but it may give players and fans a little morale boost when they need it most.

Picture this: a sold-out Rogers Arena come playoffs, 18,000 strong waving their towels, singing along to Simple Minds after each goal. On the ice, the Canucks buzz around, dressed head to toe in black, yellow and red.

They'll look just like they did in the old days. And maybe it'll feel like it, too. Just the way hockey in Vancouver was meant to be enjoyed.