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.
We turn you attention to the Washington Capitals. This team has a couple President’s Trophies, one of the best players in the world, with a strong supporting cast and yet they have not reached a Stanley Cup final. Becca from Japers’ Rink took some time to answer some questions which she hopes will bring you over to their side during the playoffs.
1. The Capitals have been one of the best teams in the east for years. They have two Russians leading the team scoring in a city that is the capital of the United States. 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?
We would remind you that you enjoy the Swedes and we have many Swedes on our team, too… so ignore the Russian thing and focus on the gloriousness that is Nicklas Backstrom!
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 Capitals that fits that mold and explain why Canuck fans should fall in love with him?
There are a couple that come to mind. Of all of them, the one with the most potential is probably, believe it or not, Tom Wilson, who has stepped up in a big way since being added to the top line. He’s having a career year and has become something of a fixer for lines that aren’t working, along with improving his penalty-killing and his ability to draw penalties by being a brat. He’s also cut way back on the fighting (and REALLY cut back on the borderline hits, one of the few players I’ve ever seen who responded to back-to-back suspensions with an actual change in his game) but is still big and tough and awesome.
The rest of the Metropolitan Division hates him; Caps fans love him. He’s just tremendously fun to watch… and he’s easy on the eyes, if that appeals to anyone.
Beyond Wilson, you could easily root for Brett Connolly, who has a knack for scoring clutch goals (not that it’s a repeatable skill but it’s enjoyable nonetheless) and is still pretty young. And then there’s Lars Eller, who may not fall into the “has a lot of potential” category – at almost 29 years old he pretty much is what he is – but he’s a delight to watch when he gets the puck and has found a good fit here since being jerked around by the Habs.
3. What is about your team succeeding in the playoffs that Canuck fans should be drawn to….I mean, besides the whole winning part.
It never seems to matter how good the Caps are – they are eternal underdogs, and there’s something special and fun and exciting about that. Being along for the ride when a team that has subjected fans to over four decades of heartache finally gets over the hump? It doesn’t get much better than that.
...or so we’ve heard
Thanks again to Becca for answering our Pulitzer type questions. I might just cheer for them this year, if it means Sidney doesn’t get another ring.