Kansas City doesn’t have a hockey team, yet here were are in the midst of NHL playoffs. With the current match ups scheduled to kick everything off on Wednesday, here is a guide of who to root for as someone without a team in the NHL.
WASHINGTON CAPITALS VS. PHILADELPHIA FLYERS
Who you should be rooting for: Washington Capitals
Why: They have a playoff hex going on and a former 2012 LA Kings right winger Justin Williams is their main hope. If you know my background with hockey, 2012 is the first time I paid attention to the NHL and I picked the LA Kings to go all the way. The team was fun to watch and so was Williams. Something that the Capitals have done well? Great goaltending, stellar defensive players and having the talent. What they were missing? A guy like Justin Williams. Last season, leading the Rangers by three games to one, the Capitals were 101 seconds from advancing to the conference finals for the first time since 1998. Do you know how close that is? Good lord. Anyways, they ended up allowing a goal that forced overtime and they lost. They continued losing in Game 6 & 7 and led to an epic collapse that fans are still sensitive about. Sound like anything familiar? 2014 Royals anyone? Okay, well that is the only tie I have to the Capitals and that is why you should root for them.
While the Capitals are favored to win, the Flyers are dealing with other world powers being in their favor. Ed Snider, the founder of the Flyers and the man that made Philly into a hockey town out of thin air, passed away at the age of 83. As a Chiefs fan, I have seen Al Davis haunt Oakland for years and know that paranormal activity is a real thing in sports. This will be a fun match up to watch whether Snider’s ghost helps or not.
TAMPA BAY LIGHTNING VS. DETROIT RED WINGS
Who you should be rooting for: Tampa Bay
Why: Well, the Detroit Red Wings are a communist team with their communist red color. That is about all I have on why they suck besides the obvious of being a Detroit team. Tampa Bay is the defending Eastern Conference champs and have been playing aggressively all season. Since I got to witness the Lightning nose punch the San Jose Sharks in person this December, I can tell this team is scrappy and powerful even with injuries. They have a better goaltender and a better attack against Detroit’s less than stellar defense. Plus Tampa Bay is nicer than Detroit and since I’d rather vacation there, I am all aboard choosing Tampa Bay over a place that poisons their citizens.
FLORIDA PANTHERS VS. NEW YORK ISLANDERS
Who you should be rooting for: Florida Panthers
Why: 60% of the time, they work every time.
PITTSBURGH PENGUINS VS. NEW YORK RANGERS
Who you should be rooting for: Pittsburgh
Why: It pained my fingers to type that and if I were to say it out loud, I would probably spit everywhere in the process. Henrik Lundqvist is annoying and hasn’t been feeling well so I’m sure this will be his excuse for when they lose to the Penguins in 6. I’ve decided that Pittsburgh is a gross place and I would never want to go there, but I will root for them to beat the pretty boy of the league. Crosby is out for blood as he wants to create a Stanley Cup legacy. Sure, he became the youngest captain to hoist the Stanley Cup since Mike Grant of the Montreal Victorias in 1895. Let’s not forget he only saw the ice for 30 some seconds that game due to injury. Crosby is out to prove the haters wrong and he will be wildin’ for sure.
DALLAS STARS VS. MINNESOTA WILD
Who you should be rooting for: Minnesota
Why: The Midwest is young and reckless, according to Kanye West… ya know, when he wasn’t crazy from the Kardashian Kurse. The Wild has a great name, has a tie to Kansas City with being in the Midwest and not a different planet like Texas and most importantly they are underdogs against the Dallas Stars. They might not be fancy on offense but their defense is stellar and hopefully this won’t be completely one sided through the series. Rarrrrr, go WILD!
ST. LOUIS BLUES VS. CHICAGO BLACKHAWKS
Who you should be rooting for: Bubonic Plague
Why: St. Louis is a wannabe Chicago, Chicago is a wannabe New York City. As a true Kansas City fan, you must hate St. Louis with the passion of 1,000 suns. Chicago is just as smug and annoying about their plethora of championships so this is more than likely the most annoying and obnoxious group of fans all in one area. The smugness would not slow down if they were to beat St. Louis in the playoffs and more than likely we would all be drowned in Blackhawks fans coming out of the woodwork everywhere.
ANAHEIM DUCKS VS. NASHVILLE PREDATORS
Who you should be rooting for: DUCKS!
Why: Our newest addition to Sprots Takes, Amanda, is an Anaheim Ducks fan and we can’t wait to hear her takes on this matchup. For now, I will fill in the void and tell you that the Ducks are going to be fun to watch. Bruce Boudreau (Anaheim’s coach) has this team running like a well oiled playoff machine and they will be hard to score on as well as hard to defend. While Nashville is closer to Kansas City and they have fun places to go and stuff…Anaheim has Disneyland and that will always win. Looking forward to seeing this physical Predators team matchup against Anaheim’s fewest allowed goals all season.
LOS ANGELES KINGS VS. SAN JOSE SHARKS
Who you should be rooting for: SHARKS!
Why: Even though I cheered on the Kings in 2012, I am a huge fan of the team I was able to watch (SITTING BEHIND THE GLASS LIKE RIGHT UP BEHIND AND STUFF) in December that kept toe to toe with Tampa Bay, Eastern Conference champs. San Jose has great energy and they are sharks. I am willing to bet that a Shark could destroy a King no matter how regal. Plus, Justin Bieber cheers for the Kings. Don’t side with Bieber. Be your own person and root for the aggressive and sneaky San Jose Sharks.