With the Western Conference final match-up now set, it’s time to take a look at the two competitors to decide if we here at Rink Royalty are going to be supporting either an Eastern Conference team, or swallow our pride and support one of the two remaining Western teams still alive. As expected, the top two seeds remain alive in the West, in the form of San Jose and Vancouver, the Los Angeles Kings competitors in the past two first rounds of the playoffs. It’s an interesting match-up, and one that requires some consideration.
San Jose Sharks
Reason For: Pacific Division pride. The Sharks have always been a team that the Kings have had a somewhat vague rivalry with, since they’re both California teams, but frankly the rivalry has never seemed that heated. Actually, let’s be honest, the rivalry may have seemed intense if you were a Sharks fan, but Kings fans never seemed to harbor too much animosity in their direction. That said, this is the “reason for” section, and the reason for probably begins and ends with “Pacific Division pride.” It’s always good to demonstrate to the rest of the league that some of the best teams play in the Pacific, and if the Kings lose to eventual Stanley Cup winners, that’s not a bad thing… right?
Reason Against: How painful would it be for the Kings to be the LAST team standing in California not to have a Stanley Cup ring. Answer? Very painful. The last thing Los Angeles fans need to hear is that “Beat LA” chant with just a little extra bite behind it. Besides, the Bay Area already has a Giants championship from last season, they’ve had their time in the sun. This is an opportunity for another team to emerge, and deprive the Bay Area of yet another trophy.
Reason For: Are they a team that’s finally due? The Sedin twins, Luongo, Kesler and the rest have certainly spent several seasons in the playoffs, and this season they finally put things together during the regular season to dominate their competition. The Canucks were the President’s Trophy winner, and were a strong favorite heading into the playoffs. If you’re looking to cheer for a team likely to emerge victorious, the Canucks may well be that team.
Reason Against: First of all, who likes to root for a favorite? The Canucks were the number 1 seed heading into the playoffs, and have dispatched the reigning champion Blackhawks, and the upstart Predators before making it to the Finals. The Kings and the Canucks aren’t the closest of friends, especially after last season, and frankly, who wants to root for a good result for the Sedin twins, Luongo and friends?