Your 2016 NHL Playoff Bandwagon Guide
Is your favourite NHL team not going to be in the postseason? It’s probably because they’re a bunch of jerks. Or they had lots of injuries, or bad luck, or terrible players, or LALALALALALA THEY CAN’T HEAR YOU EVERYTHING IS FINE LALALALA.
In any case, if you still haven’t decided on a team to root for during the playoffs that you will immediately forget about as soon as their playoff run is over, here is a useful guide for you. The teams are listed in order of finish with at least one reason to root for each one. Well… for the most part. Special thanks to Julia, for doing some Very Important Research for this piece.
- Washington Capitals: How great would it be to watch Alex Ovechkin finally win a Stanley Cup? He’ll be handed the cup. He’ll do a little skate with it. He’ll hand it over to like Justin Williams or Braden Holtby or Nicklas Backstom or whoever. And then he’ll spend two hours skating around the arena with two middle fingers in the air.
- Dallas Stars: Are you that person who always wants to ride the most terrifying rollercoaster? Have we got a bandwagon for you. Expect lots of goals. Don’t expect lots of goaltending.
- St. Louis Blues: David Backes rescues puppies. No, I don’t use this every year. Really. Okay please don’t check.
- Pittsburgh Penguins: oh, uh, no reason.
- Chicago Blackhawks: So this is normally supposed to be a fun and lighthearted thing but I’m gonna get real for a second here. I cannot advocate this because I am extremely uncomfortable with the way the organization handled the accusations against Patrick Kane (or Garrett Ross, for that matter). And I loved this team. LOVED it. I just cannot come up with reasons to support it anymore. That said, I’m not here to judge anybody for cheering for this team, or the Kings, or the Flyers, or any sports team. Different people have different levels of comfort, so, you know, you do you.
- Anaheim Ducks: So that your and everyone else’s preseason prediction will have been right.
- Florida Panthers: Listen, nobody cares that you don’t get the Kevin Spacey thing. It’s fun. Also fun: Kindl puns. Also, Jaromir Jagr. Also, Roberto Luongo. Also, Aaron Ekblad. Also, Aleksander Barkov. Also, Jonathan Huberdeau. Also, Erik Gudbranson. Also, Willie Mitchell. If you hate fun, then don’t cheer for the Florida Panthers.
- Los Angeles Kings: Because they are going to win the Stanley Cup.
- New York Rangers: Are you that person that never rides the terrifying roller coaster, or goes to the amusement park, or leaves the house? Here’s your bandwagon team, enjoy.
- New York Islanders: We still love them, right? The novelty hasn’t worn off?
- San Jose Sharks: By the end of the playoffs Joe Thornton and Brent Burns will be able to pass the puck to each other with their facial hair.
- Tampa Bay Lightning: Really just cause this was supposed to be their year and lots of bad luck things have happened and you really still can’t bring yourself to dislike them so this is your pity bandwagon team for this year.
- Philadelphia Flyers: It’s going to be an emotional time in Philadelphia and you can’t help but want the team to put up a decent fight against the heavily-favoured Capitals. Sports will provide a (very temporary) distraction for as long as the run goes.
- Nashville Predators: Listen, Nashville is awesome. Awesome. You should go. That’s all I got.
- Detroit Red Wings: This one’s pretty obvious. Pavel Datsyuk is going home. We want to see as much of him in the NHL as possible before he does.
- Minnesota Wild: There is absolutely no reason you should cheer for this team.