The NHL playoffs are here and as per usual I’m left without a squad to cheer for. Since the lockout the Toronto Maple Leafs have proven to be quite adept at missing the post season and because of this I’m left once again to look for some motivation to watch hockey during this time. I love hockey but even I need some emotional incentive to watch it nightly over the next two months. The question is where will I find this motivation? What team will be my muse? How can I sustain my interest for a two month run without a team to support?
The easy answer is to pick a team and cheer for it until they get eliminated and then choose another. I’m not sure I can adhere to this kind of team to team jumping, it feels too dirty to me. I find the process of choosing a team to root for a short-term lease to be a little silly. I mean how can I get emotionally attached to a team like the Nashville Predators overnight? At first glance when I look at their roster I see their goaltender’s name is Pekka Rinne, to me this sounds like an Italian pasta dish more than the goalie that will lead me to the promise land. So choosing a team for the short-term is most likely not the route I should follow.
So instead of investing in a team for the short term I’ve decided that this year I’ll do the opposite. For the duration of the playoffs I’ll simply choose to cheer against a select number of teams. I’ll be a playoff prick if you will. Luckily for me I have already selected 3 teams to cheer against based on some seemingly strong criteria. That criteria is basically built on spite. I based my playoff decisions purely on the fact that some of my family members and friends are ardent supporters of these teams and nothing would be finer than to see them feel some misery due to their team’s performance. The common denominator in all of this non scientific process is that misery loves company.
Here is a rundown of the teams I hope wither and go away during the chase for Lord Stanley’s mug.
- The Montreal Canadiens – The choice to root against this historic team is an easy one for me. I’ve been a life long Leaf fan and have lived in a family full of Habs fans. To see this squad flounder in the playoffs would put a huge smile on my face. In terms of who their eventual playoff exit would affect the most it would have to be my father. My Dad is a die-hard Hab fan. (although I do believe he might be a closet Leaf fan, but that’s not for me to out him as, is it?) It’s my hope that Washington rediscovers their will to win and solves Jaroslav Halak tonight to even the series. This would surely send my Dad into a tizzy in which he’ll use the line “At least we played 5 more games then the Leafs”.
- The Vancouver Canucks – It would appear that I’m going on an anti-Canadian slant with my selection of the Habs and Canucks, however that isn’t the case. This pick, much like the Habs pick, is on my playoff prick list entirely to piss off a friend. My pal Hook, my co-general manager buddy in my fantasy football league, is a die-hard Canucks fan. Better yet he hates the Leafs with a passion. So this puts Hook in the category of people I would like to see suffer some playoff misery. Hook, like my Dad, likes to comment on all things Leafs even when the conversation doesn’t include them (For example: Playoff hockey. The topic could be “wow Hooks the Moose Canuckles are in some trouble this round eh?” A standard sample of his reply might be “At least they made the playoffs unlike your team”. Pretty standard stuff). It is my hope the Canucks suffer a defeat to the upstart L.A Kings in the first round. If this were to occur I will surely see the image of Hook wiping his tears away with his King Richard Brodeur shirt. Priceless.
- The Pittsburgh Penguins – Rooting against the Penguins will probably result in my early ouster from my playoff pool, however I’m willing to sacrifice some monetary gain for a pal’s playoff misery. I can’t fathom another victory for my friend the Duke (you can read his playoff diary from last year here) In this calendar year the Duke has had some unreal luck in regards to the teams he supports. In no particular order the Duke has seen success with the L.A Lakers, the New Orleans Saints, the Pittsburgh Penguins and not to mention Team Canada winning a gold medal on the heroics of Sidney Crosby. In particular there’s not a guy I know who likes to flaunt his good fortune more than the Duke, so being the great friend that I am I of course would like to knock him down a few pegs. I’d like the Ottawa Senators to shock the hockey world with a 1st round upset, which no matter how much success the Duke has reveled in during the past year, this upset would send him into a spiral of misery. So much misery that perhaps a renactment of the most famous coffee table incident will be replayed.
Enjoy the playoffs my friends. Hopefully the three teams mentioned above won’t.