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.
There are few teams that are going to elicit the kind of response to this series like the one you’ll see for the Bruins. Toronto’s post certainly got a lot of mature, measured responses on Facebook from both Canucks and Leafs fans. But apart from Chicago (if they hadn’t missed the playoffs because they’re old and terrible and lost without their goalie), and those two teams in Alberta, the Boston Bruins will have a special place in Canucks fans hearts because of how 2011 went down. So here’s the deal. This post is for fun. Keep your responses (here and on Facebook) reasonable. We’re not gonna tolerate you losing your shit over a post about hockey.
We spoke with Stanley Cup of Chowder’s Editor Dan Ryan about if one were so inclined, they should cheer for his Boston Bruins.
1. It’s been a heck of a season in Boston, and expectations of another long playoff run seem to be building. Do the Bruins have what it takes to put together another shot at the Cup?
They do, mainly because they’re a very deep team.
Last year, they took an (admittedly bad) Ottawa Senators team that was a bounce away from the Final to 6 games, with a few ending in OT. They did this with approximately 2.3 NHL defensemen, yet they were still very much in the series.
This year, they’ve retained what made that team good and added a ton of depth and youthful energy. Their top-end talent is pretty elite throughout the lineup: an elite goalie, an elite first line and a close-to-elite top defense pair will go a long way toward post-season success.
When you can roll Rick Nash and David Krejci out on your second line and a veteran like David Backes or a Hobey Baker finalist like Ryan Donato out on your bottom lines, you’re in good shape.
Obviously they’ve had an unbelievable run in the regular season and things change come playoff time, but they’re set up to make some noise (if they can get healthy in time).
2. Let’s face it, this one’s a hard sell for our market, but one we’re gonna ask you to do. Why should we cheer for the Bruins in the 2018 playoffs?
2011 was a long time ago. Hell, some of the Bruins’ best players were in their early teens back when that happened, they weren’t involved.
Patrice Bergeron is great, you can’t hate him. David Pastrnak is a true delight. Plus, there’s a decent chance that the Bruins play Toronto in the first round. Do you REALLY want to deal with gleeful Maple Leafs fans longer than absolutely necessary?
Of course, we still have the Brad Marchand problem. He is annoying. He is dirty. He cheap shots other players.
He is also very, very good at hockey. If you embrace him as your own, he’s great. You’ll enjoy watching him get under the skin of the other team, instead of having it infuriate you.
Think of it like a weird fever dream: you’ll wake up when the run is over wondering what the hell happened, but you’ll enjoy it in the moment.
3. We know who the stars of the Bruins are, but who’s a guy on the team that could be one of those heroes that no one expected, that could appeal to other fans?
Depending on what kind of hockey you like, the Bruins’ fourth line could appeal to other fans. They’re a relatively young line, mainly made up of NCAA guys who were either cast-offs or late-round draft picks.
They’re fast, they hit, and they’re great in scrums along the wall. Every now and then they’ll do something that makes you wonder why they’re stuck on the fourth line.
Other than them, he’s a “star” in his own right, but like I said above, David Pastrnak is just fun to watch. He looks like he weighs about 110 pounds (including all of his gear). But he’s an offensive dynamo who loves nothing more than scoring goals.
He tries dekes and moves that he has no business trying, and is usually good for a “whoa” highlight every game or two. Nationally (or internationally, I guess), he’s overshadowed by Marchand and Bergeron, but locally, he’s got a cult following.
Much thanks to Dan and his crew over at SCOC, and best of luck in the playoffs. Well, maybe not best. Some? Sure. Some.