What Team To Root For In The Stanley Cup Playoffs


This year is the first time since the 04-05 lockout that the San Jose Sharks have missed the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and a lot of Sharks fans might be very confused. I mean, this is the first time in a very long time that some Sharks fans don’t have a rooting interest in the playoffs! Well don’t worry. I’m here to make sure that by Wednesday everyone has a solid rooting interest for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. You can all make your own decisions, but let me give you some help. Here are the reasons you should and should not root for each Stanley Cup Playoff team.

New York Rangers

Reasons You Should: It’s been a long time since I can remember a President’s Trophy Winning team not being that hyped up. I mean so far from the analysts it’s been all about the Montreal Canadiens and Carey Price. Somehow, despite being the best team in the NHL, the Rangers are being somewhat undersold. Honestly, they’ve been quiet all year and they’ve been terrific. It’s nice to root for the quiet team.

Reasons You Should Not: This is the same Rangers team that lost to the Kings in the Stanley Cup Finals last year, and made the Sharks embarrassing loss last year even harder to deal with. And Kings fans harder to deal with for that matter. I’m still mad at you, Rangers. You could’ve prevented this.

Montreal Canadiens

Reasons You Should: How good has Carey Price been this year? He has been absolutely unbelievable, and Montreal can look to him as the reasons they’re top in the Atlantic Division. The Stanley Cup is a perfect fit to the fantastic year he’s had.

Reasons You Should Not: I’m tired hearing about Carey Price. I know everything I said up there, and it’s true. Carey Price has been phenomenal. But I’m tired hearing about it. People are already penning the Habs as the Stanley Cup Champions before a game has even been played, and it’s getting annoying. It’s the same reason I’ve enjoyed watching the Penguins lose the past few years (sorry everyone in my family from Pittsburgh).

Tampa Bay Lightning

Reasons You Should: The Lightning have also been very quiet compared to the Canadiens, despite only finishing 3 points behind the Habs. Not to mention the 4 game sweep they had to deal with against the Habs last year. It’ll be nice to root for a team with a chip on their shoulder as big as the Lightning, and a Habs-Lightning second round matchup would be one fantastic series.

Reasons You Should Not: Do you know how young the Lightning are? Steven Stamkos, Victor Hedman, Nikita Kucherov, Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson, and Jonathan Drouin are all under 25, and they are one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference. You have plenty of years of winning Lightning, let someone else win it this year.

Washington Capitals

Reasons You Should: The Capitals are essentially the San Jose Sharks of the Eastern Conference. They’ve fallen off the wagon recently, but they were always a team that was expected to dominate in the Eastern Conference playoffs, only to fall short. Sharks fans can all understand the plight of Caps fans. We’re here for you. Also, Braden Holtby’s hair.

Reasons You Should Not: I said we can understand the plight of Caps fans, not that we should hope they get a Cup before we do. We don’t want to be the final laughing stock of the NHL so back off, Caps.

New York Islanders

Reasons You Should: Where did they come from this year? Last year, Islanders fans were calling for Garth Snow’s head after some terrible trades, and this year they’ve outperformed expectations. They are a very easy team to root for, and winning a Cup in the last year of the Coliseum would be pretty special.

Reasons You Should Not: The Nassau Coliseum is a disgusting building and doesn’t deserve to have anymore celebrations. Long live the Barclay’s Center.

Detroit Red Wings

Reasons You Should: What else does Detroit have going for them? Sure the Tigers are good but they can’t win a World Series, the Lions can’t win a playoff game, the Pistons are just funny to watch, and Detroit just overall is kind of a mess. Give em something to cheer for.

Reasons You Should Not: STOP MAKING THE PLAYOFFS! Let some other Eastern Conference team make it for once. Even in a year of great parity like this one, the Red Wings continue to make it. Columbus is more fun to watch than Detroit, so congratulations Detroit, you’ve made the playoffs less fun. I hope you’re happy.

Ottawa Senators

Reasons You Should: The Senators run at the end of the year was absolutely spectacular. Nothing short of a miracle, really. Plus it’s super fun to watch them play. They’re an easy team to root for just by watching their games.

Reasons You Should Not: None. There are no reasons to not want this team to succeed. Unless you’re a Habs fan in which case I get it. But other than that, just turn on the TV and enjoy the ride.

Pittsburgh Penguins

Reasons You Should: Sure, it’s been a disappointing year for the Penguins but look on the bright side! For the first time in an extremely long time, the Penguins aren’t that annoying team that everyone expects to win! There are no expectations with this team this year, and that might actually make them enjoyable to watch again!

Reasons You Should Not: Despite being noticeably worse this year, that didn’t stop good ole NBC from showing them every single chance they got. Sure, the expectations are less this year, but the Penguins are still the Penguins, and they’ll continue to be the talk of the networks because of who their captain is.

Anaheim Ducks

Reasons You Should: It’s the Ducks. There are no reasons.

Reasons You Should Not: Really? You’re a Sharks fan. You don’t need help knowing why you should not root for the Ducks.

St. Louis Blues

Reasons You Should: They haven’t been as bad as the Sharks have with playoff disappointments, but they still haven’t really gotten it done. They’ve had many chances over the years to get there and they just haven’t. Go ahead, Blues. Go get yours. You’ve been waiting a long time.

Reasons You Should Not: Their goal song is stupid. The organ tune of When The Saints Go Marching In? What is this, the 1940’s? (Disclaimer: I know that it’s because it’s a Louis Armstrong song and they are the Blues, but it’s still dumb).

Nashville Predators

Reasons You Should: They’re the New York Islanders of the Western Conference this year. There were not a lot of expectations for this team this year, but they shocked everyone and had a very good year. It’s nice to see a team come from out of nowhere and succeed.

Reasons You Should Not: Tim McGraw sings the first part of their goal song. The Black Keys sing the back half. Normally, this evens out, but because Nashville is the country music capital of the world, and country music is bad, the Predators become unlikeable.

Chicago Blackhawks

Reasons You Should: Chelsea Dagger is a good song and I enjoy hearing it. Score at will, Chicago.

Reasons You Should Not: The Blackhawks are essentially the Penguins of the Western Conference. They’ve been good for far too long, and they are always given primetime slots. Your time is up Chicago, move along.

Vancouver Canucks

Reasons You Should: They’ve made quite the turnaround these Canucks have. Last year it showed that they benefited from a weak division over the years and it would take a long time to turn it around for a much tougher Pacific Division. Sure, the Pacific Division is not very good this year, but making the playoffs one year after firing a GM is a pretty great accomplishment. The turnaround has been great, and it’ll be fun to see how far they can go.

Reasons You Should Not: The Canucks have always been a super annoying team for the Sharks, even when they weren’t division rivals. It’s hard to root for them.

Minnesota Wild

Reasons You Should: This team was dead in the water and close to firing Mike Yeo halfway through this season. They made one trade for a seemingly less than stellar goaltender, and they become the team that nobody wants to play. The turnaround has been great, and it’ll be nice to see how Dubnyk does in the postseason after getting an unfair shake being in Edmonton, the land where goalies go to fail.

Reasons You Should Not: Minnesota Wild fans are REALLY annoying. If you follow @stace_ofbase from Battle of California on Twitter, you know why. And if you don’t, you should and you soon will know why.

Winnipeg Jets

Reasons You Should: It’s going to be fantastic to see playoff hockey back in Winnipeg. It’s one of the loudest buildings in the NHL, and with their first playoff game since they became a team again, with the classic whiteout, it’s going to be a sight to see.

Reasons You Should Not: None. There are no reasons. They’re playing the Ducks. Go Jets Go.

Calgary Flames

Reasons You Should: Before the year, some people picked the Flames to finish behind the Oilers in the standings. This young team played with a lot of heart, and fought hard to earn their spot in the playoffs. We knew the Flames would soon be a good team, but I don’t think anybody expected them to make the playoffs this year.

Reasons You Should Not: This is the team that kept the Kings from getting to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Never root against them. Ever again. Even when they’re playing the Sharks, it’s perfectly fine to not be mad if they beat them. I love you, Calgary.

So there you go! I sure hope I made it a bit more clear on what team you should be cheering on this coming postseason. And if you don’t pick a team, stop being so uptight and enjoy the greatness that is the Stanley Cup Playoffs.