Alas, another season has come and gone and Canucks fans are left once again without their team ready to take them to the dance. So what are you to do? Fear not! As we are the helpful and caring types, we have begun our annual campaign to find homes for Canucks fans who don’t want hockey to be over. Remember, your loyalty is nothing trivial, so make them tell you why you should pledge your allegiance in the quest for hockey’s ultimate prize.
Why root for the underdog Rocky Mt. high team? We’re here to find out.
First, the Avs provided some fun games with us this season, especially the ones we won. Like on Feb 2nd where we won 5-1 and our playoff spot was assured. Or the early November run ‘n gun fun before the Faeries came to town.
And second, Tom Hunter over at Mile High Hockey is here to explain why the Avs are first round upset favs and how it’s better to cheer for upsets than downsets.
Question #1: Because Burnaby Joe will always have a warm (bitter) spot in Vancouver fan’s hearts, the Avs seem a good place to put our fickle bandwagon attentions. What other good (or bad) reason(s) should Nucks fans cheer for the Avs?
Nathan MacKinnon. I know you guys have Elias Pettersson to get excited about and he’s going to be good to be a superstar, but Nathan MacKinnon is already there. He’s flat out one of the most exciting players in the NHL and fans who don’t watch him very often have a tendency to forget that.
Oh and if you want to know what Quinn Hughes is going to look like in the playoffs, check out the Avs starting in Game 3 when they get Cale Makar in the lineup.
Question #2: It’s no secret that NucksNation has bad feelings about this season’s edition (or any) of Cowtown hockey. Same as Avs fans. What will be the key to keeping the Flames from burning a 4 game streak through the Rockies? (NOTE: all of the sportsnet.ca staff have Calgary winning the series, please elaborate why that is the worst type of homerism)
It has to be goaltending. Since the trade deadline, only Ben Bishop has had a better sv% then Philipp Grubauer. The Avs netminder went 8-0-2 over his last ten games to drag the team into the playoffs and is playing the best hockey of his career.
And he’s across the ice from Mike Smith - a guy who’s standard of “good” has turned into simply trying to get over a .900sv%. If anyone can lose the series for the Flames it’s Smith.
Question #3: What sort of faint hope do you have beyond the first round that would attract Canucks fans? (fans who survive on the faintest of hopes each pre-season)
In the immortal words of Paul Pierce “Anything can happen!”
The West stinks this year. Even the best teams are heavily flawed. If the Avs can knock off the top seed, they’ll get either San Jose - a team with even worse goaltending than Mike Smith (hard to believe, I know) or Vegas - a team that backed their way into the playoffs.
The Avs are the hottest team in the NHL right now. That can’t be discounted. Getting hot at the right time is everything in the Stanley Cup playoffs. The Avalanche got Landeskog back from injury a couple games ago and now Mikko Rantanen looks to be healthy for the first time in a month. A run is very possible.
BONUS Question: If you promise to give us Jack, we can promise our fickle allegiance through every round. Is that enough or do you want Loui Eriksson as well?
What a rough night eh? Taylor Hall and his draft lottery voodoo is going to keep Jack Hughes on the opposite coast, but Avs fans are not too happy to fall from the best odds to the 4th pick for the second time in three years
Thanks to Tom Hunter for thoroughly persuading us to cheer for the Avs despite his own playoff dental adjustment. Ouch! (Disclaimer: Tom also agreed to have Joe take Loui - so the cheering will have more oomph)
There it is NM. Cowtown or SakicCity? You decide. No, let us decide for you. Go Avs!