So my Philadelphia Flyers have missed the playoffs this year. It is a sad time, but I guess it’s better than getting smoked by the Capitals in the first round. Thus, I am left asking myself, who do I root for this year? Which bandwagon do I jump on? Luckily I have a handy list that tells me which teams are better to root for this spring.
1. Washington Capitals
Alexander Ovechkin is the greatest goal scorer of my lifetime. If goalies wore the same garbage they wore in the 80s he would probably pass Gretzky in goals, but alas he likely will not. Fun fact, the Caps have never made it to the Conference Final in the Ovi era (05-Present). The only way I see them breaking that curse is if they can avoid the Penguins, so all Caps fans should also be Blue Jackets fans. Ovi is a great ambassador for the NHL and a stand-up guy. He is one of those guys that deserves a Cup.
2. San Jose Sharks
Joe Thornton. Patrick Marleau. These two guys have been in the league since 1997, Marleau has spent the entire time in San Jose. Neither of them has won a cup. The Sharks finally made the cup final last year ultimately losing to the evil empire Pittsburgh Penguins. I fear that the window is closing for the Sharks and this may be the last chance they have to win for Big Joe and Marleau.
3. Nashville Predators
Spoiler: I am not good at being unbiased. I am a big fan of the Preds. How can you not be? Country music, Filip Forsberg, head coach Peter Laviolette, and now PK Subban. It’s really difficult for me to not love the Preds. You should too, I mean have you ever been to Nashville? It’s awesome.
4. Calgary Flames
If you’re from Philly, you probably know that the Flames have this guy named Johnny Gaudreau. I’ve heard he is pretty good. Fun fact he is from Jersey, which is basically Philly so that’s a good reason to root for the Flames right?
5. Toronto Maple Leafs
Ahh the Leafs. It’s like having Team North America in the regular season. So many guys on this team to like. From Rookie Sensation Auston Matthews to former Flyer James Van Riemsdyk. JVR is also from Jersey so yay local! This team is so fun to watch, they will likely not make it past the first round so don’t get your hopes up.
6. Columbus Blue Jackets
The Jackets are this high on the list simply because they drew the Pens in the first round. This will be an amazing first round matchup and I really hope the Jackets call pull it off. I really don’t like anything else about this team. I mean I guess Hartnell is cool, but Head Coach John Tortorella pretty much makes everything worse. Just beat the Pens and then I really don’t care what happens to you.
7. Edmonton Oilers
I was going to put the Oilers higher on this list, but they won the draft lottery like 18 times in the last 5 years, so like they should’ve made the playoffs before this. It’s been 10 years since we’ve seen this storied franchise in the postseason and it’ll be a real treat as they have the best player in hockey on their team, Connor McDavid. Yes, he is better than Crosby, only by a slim margin.
8. Ottawa Senators
The Sens are a great story this year. Goaltender Craig Anderson’s wife was diagnosed with cancer and he took some time off from the team. He’s has come back and played exceptionally well, posting a .926 save percentage. It’s incredible. Another reason to root for the Sens is, they really never get any love. I feel like they are the ugly stepchild of the Canadian teams. Go Sens Go!
9. New York Rangers
Because King Henrik deserves a Cup, that is the only reason to root for the Rangers.
10. Montreal Canadiens
I mean the Habs are cool I guess…If they won the cup it would just justify the incredibly stupid PK Subban deal and no one wants that.
11. Boston Bruins
Fire your coach and then make the playoffs…no one likes you, Boston. Brad Marchand wins the award for the most punchable face in the NHL and you guys just play really boring hockey. Also enough with Boston winning things.
12. St. Louis Blues
Vlad Taresenko is awesome but that’s about the only thing to like about the Blues.
13. Minnesota Wild
They aren’t going to win a game 7 anyway so what’s the point? Sorry, Bruce.
14. Anaheim Ducks
This would justify the re-hiring of head coach Randy Carlye. The Ducks are just annoying. They don’t even have Teemu anymore to make them likable.
15. Pittsburgh Penguins
No one like a repeat champion. Also, Crosby sucks (but he really doesn’t)
16. Chicago Blackhawks
I think everyone outside Chicago is sick of the Hawks. Look, the Cubs finally won, can you guys just chill with the championships? If they win again they will be the Patriots of the NHL.
photo credit: Paul Nicholson