MapleLeafs.com recently asked team photographer Mark Blinch to share with us his favourite photos from the 2016-17 season and tell us the story behind how they came to be. The 12 images selected cover goals and hits, celebration and concentration and provide a great insight into Blinch's work and the season that was.
"This picture was taken using an overhead remote camera. We install these cameras three hours prior to a game in the roof of the ACC by clamping it to a catwalk rail. The goal of shooting from this angle is to produce a nice graphical top-down view of the game and so you can see into the net when a goal is scored." - Mark Blinch
"The thing about Nazem Kadri is you never know what you will see. He's a pretty intense player on the ice, always flying through the air, checking, and playing hard. Because of this, he's a great player to photograph and he shows a lot of emotion when he scores."
"Another picture was taken with a remote camera installed in the roof of the ACC. This time we positioned the camera with the purpose of capture the guys hitting the ice. Luckily, Marner and Matthews came out of the gate perfectly, under the blue pre-game blue light for the photo."
"Hockey pictures aren't just about what happens on the ice. Here Matt Martin is walking through the hallway going to the dressing room. I love the pot lighting in the hallway because it provides really cool mood as you can feel here. "
In shooting the outdoor game, we need to really highlight the fact the guys were outside! Finding an angle that allows for the sky to be shown, or any other elements, such as eye black, and toques, helped convey the outdoors and the unique environment. It's a special game obviously for that reason, but also when do we ever get to photograph hockey in daylight?"
This picture was taken with a remote camera, that was installed in the net. It was fired remotely from my shooting position. This is a picture I had hoped and prayed to get. I have watched Andersen skate back to the net like this before every period all season. I knew if the sky was just the right colour of blue, it would look great. I am lucky everything came together on this picture the way I had hoped all year."
"During the outdoor game, we all have to shoot a little differently. In order to show that the game is outside, we have to shoot with the whole stadium in the background. Normally I would shoot this picture a lot tighter, but I love how you can see Marner celebrating with the night sky in the background."
"Another remote control image, the image was fired with radios from my shooting position on the floor. Before every game, spotlights fly around as they introduce the team. I love the shadows and light that gets cast over players and this is a great example."
"It's rare that we get to see the two of them celebrate together because they don't play on the same line. In this photo, Matthews is congratulating Marner on a shootout goal. I like how young they look in this picture, and I think it will be a nice way to look back on these two as their relationship grows as they get older."
"This is one of my favourite angles in hockey. There is a little window at the bottom of the boards in one corner. The camera is installed before the game, and is fired remotely with radios. I love how close the action you can get with a wide angle lens, it's really dramatic."
"This is one of the great moments of the season, Brown celebrating his goal that put them into the playoffs. His third period goal against the Penguins became the game winner and playoff berth clincher. "
"This is the celebration of Tyler Bozak's Game 3 OT winner against the Capitals. I love how the crowd and the team are reacting. It shows how much excitement there is for the potential for this team for the coming years."