So we here at Rink Royalty are obviously very disappointed that the Kings playoff dreams ended a while back, while the excitement of playoff hockey continues. So we’ve decided to employ a somewhat different approach to experiencing the playoffs as they continue. We’re going to adopt a team to support. Our official endorsement/support (which is probably as much jinx as helpful) won’t begin until the Conference Finals, but for now we’ll take it one conference at a time and decide which team to support. Up first? The Eastern Conference:
Reason For: The Bruins are a fellow long-suffering team, this time in the Eastern Conference. It’s been nearly 40 years since they’ve lifted the Cup, and the Bruins are probably due a good turn at the top. The team is filled with a range of strong veterans, including Chara, Recchi, Kaberle, and oft-under appreciated Tim Thomas, and talented youngsters like Milan Lucic and Tyler Seguin. It’s a talented team, and remain the top seeded squad in the Eastern Conference. Looking for a favorite out of the East, the Bruins are probably a good bet.
Reason Against: I really don’t like Chara. He’s a beast, but he’s not a very likeable guy. Maybe if I was a Bruins fan through and through… It’s also a bit of a bummer to jump on board the train to root for a favorite. Let’s be honest, with the candidates available in the Western Conference, it’s pretty likely that our favorite is going to come from the East. So can I root for a team to win the Cup that’s just another favorite? Tough call.
Tampa Bay Lightening
Reason For: They’re a great story. The Lightening have been… well… pretty awful for the past few seasons, but last year they imported Steve Yzerman to be the GM, hired a new coach, made a few moves, and bam. They’re in the conference finals. It’s an impressive turn around, no doubt helped by the fact that they’ve had several high picks in the last few seasons. It helps to be able to rely on future (and current) stars like Hedman, St. Louis, Lecavalier, Stamkos, and Gagne, and with the core of youngsters they’re going to be good for a while.
Reason Against: How do you cheer for a team in a location that doesn’t really need a team, that has had basically nothing but success, and sandwiches runs deep into the playoffs with train-wreck seasons, just long enough to replenish their stocks of young superstars? Jealousy is an evil thing, and in this case, it’s not hard to reach. The Kings spend YEARS in the dreaded blackhole of mediocrity, where the play wasn’t bad enough for good picks, nor good enough for runs in the playoffs. It’s awful, and Lightening fans have avoided it entirely. It’s a rough life, bouncing between hope with top picks and Stanley Cup Championships…
So who should we pick? We’ll take a look at the Western Conference shortly, and make an announcement before the Conference Finals begin. Your opinion would be valued!
Topics: Boston Bruins, Los Angeles Kings, Mark Recchi, Martin St. Louis, Milan Lucic, Simon Gagne, Steve Yzerman, Steven Stamkos, Tampa Bay Lightening, Tim Thomas, Tomas Kaberle, Tyler Seguin, Victor Hedman, Vincent Lecavalier, Zdeno Chara