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The 2018 Nucks Misconduct Bandwagon Outreach Program. Finding homes for displaced fans....in Tampa Bay

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We ask other SBN blogs why Canuck fans should cheer for their team.

NHL: Vancouver Canucks at Tampa Bay Lightning Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Another year of playoffs is arriving and the Canucks are not participating again. The organization believes that other teams should have a shot at the title keep interest alive south of the 49th parallel. Since our fans have some extra time to cheer for other teams to win Lord Stanley’s Cup, some of us contributors at NucksMisconduct are going to try and find another place for you to get your fix of winning hockey. We know it sounds weird, actually cheering for another team, but it beats the hell out of sitting around and rehashing arguments about how bad things are for this team’s fans. The playoffs are a time of magic, and you can enjoy the hell out of them, especially without the deep emotional bond of your regular team complicating things. But you shouldn’t just give your loyalty away. We are going to ask members of other SBN hockey blogs why you, a Canuck fan, should cheer for their team during the playoffs.

First up Matthew Esteves of Raw Charge, the Tampa Bay Lightning SBN site.

Question #1

The Lightning are one of the best teams in the east. They have a Russian leading the team in scoring and a Russian in net. I am not one for conspiracies, but this looks fishy. The Canucks and Russian players don’t have a great history. What would say to Canuck fans to try and convince them to cheer for a team that has so many Russians?

Matthew - I’d say this to Canucks fans; do you enjoy fast paced hockey with plenty of talent throughout the lineup? Because, if you do, then the Lightning are the team you have to back. Everyone knows about Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman, and Andrei Vasilevskiy, but what about Brayden Point, Yanni Gourde, Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat, Alex Killorn, Mikhail Sergachev, J.T. Miller, and Ryan McDonagh? This team has talent everywhere in the lineup and is one of the most entertaining too. I understand the Russian reservations, but the past is the past. Embrace fun hockey (which essentially everyone should do...no one liked the trap) for what it is. Also, Tampa is probably the only team in the east that can take down the Bruins (I’m unsure if Toronto can do it), and everyone hates the Bruins (especially you guys). Why not, back the team with the best opportunity to shatter the Bruins dream of another cup?

Question #2

Canuck fans have a long history of cheering for players who have minimal talent, but a lot of “potential”. Can you point a player on the Lightning that fits that mold and explain why Canuck fans should fall in love with him?

Matthew - Oof, this is a little difficult. Tampa has some players who have “minimal talent”, but don’t exactly have a lot of “potential”. Cedric Paquette falls into the category of “minimal talent”, but he’s a replacement level player currently. Yanni Gourde doesn’t fit this description since he has a ton of talent. Though, if we’re basing it off of traditional counting statistics then Cory Conacher make sense. Conacher isn’t what I would say ‘devoid’ of talent, but he has struggled to secure a starting roster spot for most of the season. When he has drawn into the lineup he’s been noticeable but does have a little trouble finishing his opportunities. He’s still a hellacious forechecker and he enjoys making life hell for his opponents.

Question #3

What is about your team succeeding in the playoffs that Canuck fans should be drawn to….I mean, besides the whole winning part.

Matthew - Tampa was close a few years ago before falling to the Blackhawks in 14-15. They just missed the final the following year falling to the Penguins in a Game 7. Injuries ravaged them in 16-17. This year, Tampa has been fortunate and they haven’t been fawned over by the media like other teams in the league. Now, work with me here on this analogy. Tampa Bay is similar to Samwise Gamgee (without the whole super close relationship that borders on awkward at times with Frodo). He’s well liked, isn’t abrasive, enjoys having a good time, takes care of his friends, and does things the right way. However, he never gets rewarded for anything and is seen as an also-ran by many (at least until he marries the beauty of the Shire, Rosie). How can you not cheer for that? CHEER FOR SAMWISE!

Thanks to Matthew again for taking the time to answer my questions. I could be convinced to cheer for Tampa Bay just for the fact they are not Toronto or Boston. Did he convince you?