The Caps are done, and our lives are empty. . . until we pick a new team to become sudden diehard fans of. This is that moment. Whose bandwagon are you hopping on?
Yes, this is cheating, but as you’re about to see, everyone else picked a western team.
I like the Canadiens because I like Carey Price melting the brains of goal-scorers. I’ve also long been a big fan of the little guy who shoots a lot, Brendan Gallagher. With him out with a broken jaw, I feel like I have some emotional investment. And should the Habs fail, I will reluctantly root for the sister team of the Philadelphia Fusion, the dang Flyera. There are approximately 17 redheads (or persons with some degree of redheadedness) not the team, and they’re all vibrating with the appropriate energy. Yes, I still enjoy Claude Giroux’s play, but moreover I think Sean Couturier is a stud when healthy, and Justin Braun is a solid defender. Carter Hart is not weird enough to be a goalie, in my professional opinion, but I’m willing to give him time to develop weirdness.
Anyway, whichever of these two teams emerges from their series, I promise I’ll root for them over whoever their opponent will be.
In another world I am a Toronto Maple Leafs fan, but with them and the Caps both already crashing out, my eyes turn west. The Vegas Golden Knights and Colorado Avalanche are probably the two easy, fun picks out there so I’m going to go with the three seed underdog from Dallas. They fired Jim Montgomery in early December and had to regroup quickly under Rick Bowness to stay amongst the top teams in the Central Division. They’re a team filled with star (lol) veterans looking for their first taste of Cup glory (Jamie Benn, Alex Radulov, Joe Pavelski) and also heaps of exciting, fun to watch young talent (Denis Gurianov, Roope Hintz, Miro Heiskanen).
A lot of my support also has to do with Tyler Seguin and Jason Dickinson doing some pretty awesome things in support of causes that I vehemently agree with. They are also one of the few teams in the league that feature green in their jerseys so that’s an additional bonus. I think the saying is “Don’t Mess with Texas” and that was originally created as an anti-littering campaign so even better. Go Stars!
These two teams are exciting in very similar ways, and I can’t quite bring myself to choose between them. They both have exceptional, young talent, but aren’t rated as highly as teams like the Flyers, or the Avalanche. I love a good underdog story, as much as the next person, and would be delighted to see either team rise up and take it all.
Even when their backs are against the wall, they seem to find a fire inside them to fight back. That feeling, that these teams are playing for each other, is so reminiscent of the Capitals’ Cup winning team, that it’s difficult not to be moved. Just look at the Stars exploding in their Round One clinching game, to overcome a 3-0 deficit. It was nothing short of spectacular to behold, and that kind of intensity could take them all the way.
It also helps that watching players like Miro Heiskanen, Roope Hintz, Denis Gurianov, Brock Boeser, and Elias Pettersson showcase their skills has me very, very excited for the remainder of these playoffs, and for them continuing to elevate their game in seasons to come. But beyond that, I’d also like to see some deserving veteran players get their first taste at Cup glory, like Jamie Benn and Joe Pavelski, or JT Miller and Jordie Benn.
(Also, I wouldn’t hate seeing Jay Beagle get another Cup.)
I am fully on board the Vancouver Canucks bandwagon. I have been watching and rooting for the Canucks for a few years now, and the addition of Jay Beagle just enhanced my love for them ten-fold.
The Canucks are full of young talent, from Elias Pettersson, Brock Boeser, Quinn Hughes, and Bo Horvat. They’ve fully embraced the bubble life and even have backup goaltender Louis Domingue baking cookies for the team. On top of the fact that they are just a fun team, multiple players have also been through personal tragedies this year and winning would just be a great close to a tough year. Jacob Markstrom lost his father in the beginning of the season, Troy Stetcher suddenly lost his father on Father’s Day, and Boeser’s father was diagnosed with lung cancer on top of his Parkinson’s disease. After Pettersson donated his All-Star game winnings to both the Parkinson Society of British Columbia and the Minnesota chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association in honor of Duke Boeser, Boeser called Pettersson his best friend.
“It just shows the type of person he is and why he’s one of my best friends, Boeser said to Yahoo Sports. “He’s a caring kid and for him to do that, it means a lot to me and my family.”
The team are all incredibly close and it’s time we all get behind the young guns and cheer them to success.
[Ian refused to participate in this exercise. He is too bummed out to jump on another bandwagon. Also one might suppose his legs are too tired from having made such a lithe dismount from the Orioles bandwagon as he boarded the Nationals bandwagon last year. The lactic acid from that betrayal plus the sting of the Caps just absolutely BMing in the bassinet has rendered him unable to root for another team, or truly to enjoy hockey at all at the moment. We have graciously given him the evening off, and then, starting Saturday morning, we will all pelt him with cute stories about Carey Price and Elias Pettersson and Tyler Seguin until he reluctantly becomes a fan of one of them– just in time to get his heart broken again as soon as that team gets eliminated.]
So who are you rooting for?
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