Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Bandwagon time! Be sure to vote...

Hey, see that poll to the right of this article? The one that asks you to vote on which team we should support for the rest of the playoffs? Be sure to vote before you leave. Something really earth-shatteringly important depends on it.

Your vote decides who I endorse as my bandwagon favorite for the next 6 weeks.

This has been a weird postseason for me, because there's not really a clear-cut hero/villain dynamic any more. In years past, I'd rag on the Avalanche or the Ducks for being a team constituted of tools and goons... or I'd throw my hat in with a plucky squad like Edmonton which seemed to win against all odds. This year it's different. Look at who we have left:

Detroit Red Wings
Pros: The most professional team in the game right now, from top to bottom. Admirable leadership from guys like Lidstrom and Draper. Gritty self-sacrifice from almost everyone on the roster, game after game.
Cons: Unlike years past, this year's Wings leave me cold. Maybe they've spent too much time at the top of the mountain, but they lack that sense of destiny that was so enjoyable back in '97. It's like watching the Yankees, but with more octopus.

Chicago Blackhawks
Pros: A next-generation sort of team composed mostly of kids too young to drink (but you know they do anyway). Joel Quenneville rocks one of the best 'staches in the game. They are definitely the coolest team left.
Cons: They're like a rock band. Exciting and hip in small doses, but a tad pretentious when you get to know them well. WAY too much trash-talk makes it out of their locker room and into the media.

Pittsburgh Penguins
Pros: If they won a rematch against the Wings, it would be a lot like Star Wars. You know, with Luke and Darth Vader. Or with Vader and Obi-Wan. Or Obi-Wan and... never mind, you know what I'm getting at.
Cons: Crosby is perhaps the biggest villain in the sport. Fleury is perhaps the most overrated goalie (though Osgood wins the lifetime award). Somehow, the Guerin trade just seemed wrong, very wrong.

Carolina Hurricanes
Pros: They're the underdogs, and also the "cardiac" team. Gritty, hard-working, and old-school in tone. Cam Ward is undeniably a beast and probably the best clutch goalie of his generation.
Cons: Screw these guys, they beat the Bruins. Paul Maurice is the kid that even the nerds wanted to beat up in the parking lot. Scott Walker's black heart can burn eternally in hell, right next to Claude Lemieux.

Vote early and often!

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