This sucks. The NHL Playoffs are starting and there will be no Chicago Blackhawks. No need to hide that razor for a while. But what should I do? Should I tune into the playoffs? My first instinct is to not even watch them… and just sulk, pissed off that the Hawks aren’t in it. But then I would miss some of the best postseason action of any sport. Back in the day, before the Blackhawks were the 3 Cup Blackhawks, before the United Center was sold out night after night, before Rocky Wirtz came in and put the Blackhawks on TV for us TO watch, playoff hockey would be the only hockey I was able to tune into. I have decided to watch some of it.
Now, who to root for… I’m definitely not the type to jump on any other team’s bandwagon; sometimes I do like other teams, and root for them when my teams aren’t involved. However, it’s most likely the case of finding a team I’m not rooting against. It’s the process of elimination to determine which team I would not mind see raising the Cup.
Easy start: F the Penguins. With their 3 Cups in the past decade, just like the Hawks, I definitely, definitely do NOT want to see them raise it again. As long as they don’t win, it will be OK; there’s nobody on that level of dislike at this point. But there are plenty of teams on the next level.
The next teams up would be teams that the Hawks have faced recently; teams that I’ve built up a little animosity towards. The Preds are next up. Those bastards swept us out of the playoffs last year. They’re out. I’m pretty comfortable eliminating the whole state of California based on past playoff battles. The Sharks, Ducks, and Kings are part of this second cut. While we’re at it, let’s take out all the Eastern teams that we’ve beaten for the Stanley Cup; yeah, they’re all in there. That means the Flyers, Bruins, and Lightning are part of this second tier. You see how easy it was to eliminate half of the teams from my rooting… Obviously if it came down to a battle between any of these 8 teams, I would have to pick the lesser of two evils… but we’re not there yet.
That leaves us with half the field. I think it will be easy finding a reason to eliminate a few more. Never been a fan of the Capitals and Ovechkin. I seem to remember a recent game when one of those guys did something dirty to the Blackhawks… was it Toews that was roughed up? Regardless, they’re out. The Maple Leafs coach is the ex-Red Wings coach; enough of a reason for me. No love for Toronto here. We’ve had some recent tussles with the Wild over the years; not feeling them. Same goes for the Avalanche. Although I would certainly like to see them win first round, not a fan… I still remember that team that ended our long winning streak back in 2013 I believe. And then there was four…
The Devils and the Blue Jackets in the East, and the Jets and Golden Knights in the West… this is getting harder. Vegas is out. I’m sorry… a team in its first year of existence… some may think that’s a nice story, I don’t. Although I have rooted for the Devils in the past, I’m going to have to eliminate them due to the amount of success they’ve had in my lifetime. They fall into that category of never liking to see one team win too much…
So there you go: Columbus vs Winnipeg in the Stanley Cup Finals would be the most attractive to me. And who would I want to win you ask? Well, with a dream ex-Blackhawks matchup of Bread Man and Byfuglien, I have to root for the guy that helped bring us the hardware. Bread Man was awesome, but he was not part of any Cup team; Byfuglien was part of that first team back in 2010 that I love the most. So I guess go Jets??? Yeah, they are definitely the least of all evils. Until next year when the Hawks are back in play, I’m rooting for the Winnipeg Jets. Who you got?