Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Western Conference-Rooting interests

Jibblescribbits here.

I know this is Eastern Hockey territory here, and some of you fine Right coasters will be watching your first bit of Western conference hockey over the next couple weeks. I thought I'd give a quick guide on who to root for in these series (borrowed heavily from my own post on the subject):

#1 Detroit vs #8 Nashville:
This one is pretty easy. Even though the Red Wings are way less hate-able today than they were 10 years ago they are still pretty hate-able. More so though this year's Nashville team is pretty likable. They were gutted in the offseason for ownership issues but have managed to survive and make the playoffs. Almost a real life Major League. Despite having a pretty bland personality (I call them the Beige Wings) they do have Dominik Hasek-The Floppinator who is easy to hate.
Blogs to follow Detroit: Behind the Jersey Nashville: On the Forecheck

#2 San Jose vs #7 Calgary:
Another very easy one to choose. San Jose has Joe Thornton, as humble a superstar as there is. Captain Patrick Marleau overcame a pitiful first half to have a decent season. Jeremy Roenick, like him or hate him, is still entertaining and had a respectable season. They also have Sandis Ozolinch, a guy who nearly threw it all away and overcame some personal demons to be back in the NHL. On the other hand there's the Flames. I am a huge Iginla fan, but Mike Keenan and Dion Phaneuf are enough to make any team pretty despicable. (Personally I like having hockey be a big topic around the water cooler, and since I live in San Jose, it makes rooting for the Sharks easier). To me this one is easy...root for the Sharks.
Blogs to follow: SJ: We bleed Teal Calgary: Five Hole Fanatics

#3 Minnesota vs #6 Colorado:
Everyone knows where I'm going with this so here's why you should make the Avs your Western Conference team: The Avs mirror the Rangers in a lot of ways. They have star power (Sakic, Forsberg, Foote, Hejduk, Smyth Hannan like Jagr, Lundqzit, Shanahan, Drury and Gomez) yet the fate of the team really relies on the young stars that no one pays enough attention too (Wolski, Finger, Stastny, Liles mirror Dawes, Staal, and Dubinsky) and Even though this season the Avs reverted to the trap out of necessity at times, at full power they do play a more exciting brand of hockey. They are at full power now. So the Avs could be kind of considered Rangers-West.

If the Avs are Ranger's West, The Wild are the NJ Devils-West. Jaques LeMaire is the trap czar, and he won a cup with the Devils employing that style. Gaborik is a more talented Elias, Backstrom is Brodeur-lite. Really you could switch the teams uniforms and no one would notice the difference.

Blogs to watch: Minnesota: Wild Puck Banter Colorado: I've pimped my site enough.. so we'll go with In the Cheap Seats

#4 Anaheim vs #5 Dallas:
The Ducks are, quite frankly, the easiest team to hate in the NHL right now. I'll let Greg Wyshanski, from Deadspin, sum it up:
Selanne and Scott Niedermayer are lazy veterans whose procrastination and eventual success may lead to a rewriting of the NHL rulebook; the Ducks are viewed as a collection of physical brutes, led by perhaps the most talented thug this side of Tupac in Chris Pronger; heck, even Parros's mustache doesn't turn the key anymore.
. Brad May, Chris Pronger, Todd Bertuzzi. Add in the most loathsome general manager in sports today (outside Isaiah Thomas I guess) in one Brian Burke and honestly, I can't think of a team I would not cheer for against the Ducks. (I don't really like the Stars either, but the Ducks leave me no choice)
Blogs to watch: Anaheim: Girl with a Puck Dallas: Dallas Stars Hockey Thoughts


  1. Well apparently I am off to the first of our wins out of six in the Avs win over Minnesota tonight over in Jersey!!! Eyes will be watching. Let's Go Rangers!

    Great perspective Jibbles, especially the blogs to watch which was extremely informative.

    Thanks for spreading the love...good luck this week.



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