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Your 2012 NHL Playoff Bandwagon Guide

April 9, 2012

So, your hockey team missed the playoffs. That doesn’t mean you can’t crash someone else’s party. You’d never really start cheering for any of these teams, no matter how bad your own is right now (sob), but picking bandwagon teams is fun because your other alternative would be to watch baseball, and there’s a decent chance your baseball team is giving you a bleeding ulcer after just three games because that September collapse didn’t quite do it.

Wait, what were we talking about?

Oh yeah.

Here are a bunch of arbitrary reasons for you to cheer for each of the 16 NHL playoff teams, in order of their league standings:

  1. Vancouver Canucks: Do you remember how, a few years ago, everyone, everywhere was all “ugh, if the Canucks win a Stanley Cup, their fans will become so insufferable”? It turns out their fans become even more insufferable every time something even slightly negative happens to (or is said about) their team. Vancouver winning a Stanley Cup, basically, is the lesser of two insufferables.
  2. Hi, I'm perfect, and you? (Image via The Henrik Lundqvist Blog)

    New York Rangers: Because Dan Girardi never got drafted. Because Ryan Callahan is the boy you bring home to your parents. Because Henrik Lundqvist is Henrik Lundqvist. Because John Tortorella and Liam.

  3. St. Louis Blues: You know you (still) have a soft spot for Jaroslav Halak, you know you want to squish TJ Oshie’s cheeks, you know David Backes flying planes to places to rescue dogs makes you weak at the knees, and also you know you’re scared of Ken Hitchcock. Seriously that man is terrifying and I am not cheering against him I don’t care what.
  4. Pittsburgh Penguins: The only reason I can come up with after the drama over the last few weeks is that if they go far, we get months of beautiful hockey to look at. Kinda like the Kate Upton of hockey play. Except if Kate Upton were self-congratulatory and self-involved and kept trying to prove how much better than you she was instead of the coolest hot chick ever.
  5. Nashville Predators: Shea Weber’s beard will kill you otherwise. And also because you want to cheer for a Western Conference team in the playoffs that hasn’t won a Cup yet… that’s not the Canucks, Blues, Coyotes, Sharks, or Kings.
  6. Philadelphia Flyers: If 24/7 and Scott Hartnell couldn’t sell you on my dirty mistress, there’s no way I will be able to. Yeah, yeah, I know, they’re the Flyers, and yeah, yeah, I know orange is universally unflattering, but… here, have this gif.
  7. Boston Bruins:
  8. Detroit Red Wings: Nicklas Lidstrom. Pavel Datsyuk. Henrik Zetterberg. Nicklas Lidstrom.
  9. New Jersey Devils: Well… um… I hear the brisket at their arena is delicious.
  10. Chicago Blackhawks: If you don’t love Jonathan Toews, I know where you live.
  11. Phoenix Coyotes: Read this, and this, and then tell me Dave Tippett isn’t your new mancrush (girls can have mancrushes, I checked). Also I love how excited the Coyotes and their fans are about winning the division. If you aren’t all about their joy, you have no heart. You’re probably who I was talking about in point 10, above.
  12. San Jose Sharks:  I polled Twitter for this one. They tried, they really did, but only my good friend Andrew Berkshire came up with a reason that could possibly make you want to cheer for the San Jose Sharks: Because if Boston makes the finals, then Joe Thornton could eliminate them and that would be hilarious. Runner up: Damnitjason with “because you want Jeremy Roenick to get so pissed off, he finally does punch Mike Milbury in the face.”
  13. Los Angeles Kings:  Do you like games that start at a million o’clock? Then you’ll love LA. Also, Henrik Lundqvist is getting Jonathan Quick’s Vezina so Quick might as well get Lundqvist’s Conn Smythe.
  14. Florida Panthers: really, just because they’re the real underdogs among all these teams, I think.
  15. Washington Capitals: The only reason you need, the only one, really, is that they are playing against the Boston Bruins. But here are a couple of bonus reasons: Because Nicklas Backstrom is back, and you’re kind of coming around on Mike Green. Because if Alexander Semin plays lots of playoffs games all kinds of well then maybe somebody else’s team and not yours will overpay him this summer. Because if Alexander Semin plays terribly all playoffs then maybe somebody else’s team and not yours will overpay him this summer. Because my good friend Stephen Whyno is one of the hardest-working and most passionate beat writers in hockey and he should have as much to write about as possible.
  16. Ottawa Senators: Um. Let’s see. There’s… Erik Karlsson. And also… Erik Karlsson. And, um… Erik Karlsson?
12 Comments leave one →
  1. April 9, 2012 10:17 am

    I can’t believe Vancouver is that high on the list. Too many other likable players and feel-good stories for me to root for Vancouver just because they whine too much.

    Go Weber’s beard! Go Oshie’s cheeks! Go Lundqvist’s Lundqvistianess…?

    • theactivestick permalink*
      April 9, 2012 10:28 am

      I put the list in order of league standings, not in order of my preference. I have lots of favourites, though: Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Nashville/Detroit. I pretty much won’t mind anyone but Boston and Vancouver.

  2. April 9, 2012 10:27 am

    Why to cheer for the NY Rangers: Because Fergus30 and the Activestick saw Hendrik Lundquists car and you can’t tell us we didn’t dammit

  3. April 9, 2012 11:46 am

    New York and Chicago strike me as the least offensive of the lot. Their fan base spends the least amount of time being abusive. 🙂

  4. April 9, 2012 2:39 pm

    I want Ottawa to win a few games to hopefully hear Jason Spezza’s laugh.

  5. April 9, 2012 3:56 pm

    PHOENIX! You can’t root against Shane Doan 😦

  6. April 10, 2012 11:27 pm

    I couldn’t help but notice you had nothing nice to say about Bosto…oh, right.

  7. geistabend permalink
    April 10, 2012 11:54 pm


  8. Rod permalink
    May 23, 2012 7:04 am

    If it were the finals I may agree but last round I bought extra tickets for my brother who couldn’t go, tried selling tickets from for less then face and had no luck, ended up giving them to a co worker.


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