The Colorado Avalanche are going to miss the playoffs for the second consecutive season, and for the fifth time in the last six seasons. That means the greatest kind of hockey, playoff hockey, will once again have to be observed without our favorite team being in the mix. That's a terrible shame for many reasons. One of which is that for most of us, unless you love hockey so much you can appreciate the sport being played without any sort of rooting interest, you don't know who to root for.
The article below will look at each of the sixteen teams and attempt to evaluate which teams you should root for, and which teams you should not root for. There will be five categories that influence how you should reflect your rooting interest. Each team will be given a score in each category ranging from 1 to 5. If they get a 1, it means that it is nothing you can hold against them and it should give you ammunition to root for them, as it makes them more likable. A 2 means that there's something there, but not much. A 3, you can start to have legitimate reason to not like them for this. A 4? This makes them very easy to dislike. 5 represents this is something they are in serious breach of and makes them hatable. So when it's all added up, if a team gets a grand total of 5 from each category, you should root for them! If a team adds up to a 25, you under no circumstances can root for this team.
What are the categories?
Team championship history: I like to see as many teams as possible (for the most part) get a shot at the Cup. The same winners over and over gets boring. If the team's won a Cup or two, but it's been a good length of time since then, they'll get a more likable grade. 1- This team has never won a Cup and never come close, seeing them do it would be cool. 5- This team has won a lot of Cups and some are recent, another one for them would be exhausting.
City championship success: I'm a well-rounded sports fan. Hockey and football are my two loves, but I keep track of baseball and basketball when it's playoff time. Similar to the category above, I like to see the wealth spread around. No city, besides Denver, deserves to have the opportunity to hold all 4 major professional sports trophies at the same time. It should be noted that college sports, the MLS, MLL, NLL, WNBA, WWE, Justice League, or whatever the hell else there is has no bearing towards this category. 1- This city has never won anything, or it's at least been eons, and could use something good to happen. 5- This city has had a lot of sports success in recent years and doesn't need anything else to celebrate.
Player likability: At this point, it's nice to have teams with cool, kind players have playoff success. Those that suck, are dirty, and just flat out uncool shouldn't get the chance to lift the Cup. 1- This team has a bunch of sweethearts and they deserve some glory. 5- Everyone on this team is a horrible person and I hope they lose every game 10-0 while getting swept in the process.
Relations with the Avalanche: I don't want Avalanche rivals, or teams that always beat the Avs to fair well in this thing. If there's no reasonable association with Colorado, or they never do anything bad to the Avs, they can feel free to go as far as they'd like. 1- There's no rivalry here with the Avalanche, and there's nothing they've done to make me as an Avalanche fan, hate them. 5- There's a lot of angry history between the Avs and this team, or they screw us over consistently, so get bent.
Fans and SB Nation blog enjoyability: We don't want bandwagon fans to get anything to cheer about, even though it's sort of impossible to avoid now for the most part. Are their fans kind, hospitable people, or are they generally annoying? What about their SB Nation blog? Is it good, well-run, fun to read, welcoming to outsiders, and full of activity? If so, then you should root for them. 1- These people are almost entirely good, kind-hearted people and I hope they get something to celebrate. 5- How annoying, cocky, and obnoxious can you get? And your SB Nation blog needs improvement!
Now... beginning with the teams you should root for and progressively working our way up to the last resorts...
#16: Washington Capitals, Total of 7: Team championship history: 1. The Capitals have never won the Cup and only been to the Finals once. There's a good chance this is the long awaited year the franchise finally gets its championship. City championship success: The Nationals field a good team who manages to blow its postseason chances every September it feels like, the Wizards have been a primary laughing stock of the NBA for many years now, and will miss the playoffs this season after being a dark horse to win the East at the start of the year. The Redskins are owned by an idiot in Dan Snyder and have been largely irrelevant since the 1990s. Player likability: 1. I know a lot of people have their opinions on Alex Ovechkin, but I love the man. His slap shot is beautiful to watch. TJ Oshie will always have a soft spot in my American heart after the 2014 Olympic game versus Russia, and there's some other cool guys on this team. Relations to Avalanche: 1. Never been any sort of edge in this rivalry, nor any real feistiness. Fans and SB Nation blog: 3. Well, Washington fans aren't the kindest sports fans, but Jaspers Rink is a fun blog to check out and give a follow on Twitter to while they're in the playoffs.
#15: Florida Panthers, Total of 8: Team championship history: 1. The one time the Florida Panthers came close to Cup glory, they were swept in the 1996 Final by the Avalanche. City championship success: 3. The Miami Heat won two straight NBA titles in the middle of making the NBA Finals four straight years from 2011 to 2014. The Miami Marlins have annoyingly made the playoffs twice since they were founded the same year as the Rockies, and won the World Series both times they made the postseason. The Rockies are still looking for their first, so WTF guys. The Dolphins have been very bad lately but do claim the title of only NFL team to play a whole season undefeated on the way to a Super Bowl title. Player likability: 1. Jaromir Jagr is a badass and a 44 year old winning the Stanley Cup would be beautiful. Roberto Luongo is also cool, and Aaron Ekblad is a really unheralded young player. Relations to Avalanche: 2. Throwing rats on the ice like they did in the 96 Final is dumb and childish, otherwise there's no distinguishable connection here. Fans and SB Nation blog: 1. You won't find many Panthers fans, but when you do, you'll find them to be knowledgeable hockey fans who are generally very respectful. You'll find some of them on Litter Box Cats, which is a very underrated SB Nation hockey blog.
#14: Nashville Predators, Total of 8: Team championship history: 1. The Predators are still looking for their first appearance in a conference final. City championship success: 1. The Titans are one of the worst teams in the NFL and thanks to "One Yard Short," claim one of the most heartbreaking losses in sports championship game history. A couple hours away in Memphis, the Grizzlies are a very respected NBA team who's made some decent playoff runs as of late, but along with the two clubs in Nashville, are looking to give the state of Tennessee its first ever professional sports championship. Player likability: 3. Hugh Jackman has a fitting name since he's a bit of a jackass. There's something about Ryan Johanson I don't think I like, and I'm jealous Mike Fisher has the rights to Carrie Underwood. Relations to Avalanche: 2. While they are division rivals, there's not a lot of hatred here (yet) and the teams have never had a meeting in the playoffs before. Fans and SB Nation blog: 1. I attended the Avs-Preds game at Bridgestone Arena in December, and these fans are far more passionate than they are given credit for and pretty nice folks. I also really enjoy their blog, On The Forecheck. Another one I highly recommend for your postseason reading pleasure.
#13: Tampa Bay Lightning, Total of 10: Team Championship history: 3. The Lightning broke through for their first championship back in 2004 when they beat the Flames in 7 games. They made it back to the Cup Final for the first time since last year when they lost to Chicago in 6 games. City championship success: 2. That Lightning Cup win was the last time Tampa won a championship. A couple years before that, the Buccaneers broke through for their first Super Bowl and first title in Tampa history. The Rays are largely irrelevant, but did make it to the World Series in 2008 before they lost to the Phillies. Player likability: 2. I find Tampa to be pretty easy to root for. Stamkos is a hell of a player and Bishop is a Denver native. Jonathan Drouin is the only reason they aren't a 1, and I'm just being picky with that. Relations to Avalanche: 1. I feel like these teams have split the season series every year. No animosity or anything, and Nathan MacKinnon always plays well against them. Fans and SB Nation blog: This would be a 1 except Raw Charge is very uneventful and pretty boring. If you want Lightning news or chatter, you'll be letdown here, unfortunately.
#12: Philadelphia Flyers, Total of 10: Team championship history: 2. The Flyers have won multiple Stanley Cups, but it has been a very long time. 1975, in fact, and the year before that, they won their first Cup to go back to back. They must have been thinking they'd be such a wrecking force for years to come. Ha! City championship success: 1. The Phillies won the World Series back in 2008. Before that, it'd been since 1980 when Philadelphia last won a professional title. Now the Phillies are awful, the 76ers are a dumpster fire that is so awful it goes beyond words, and the Eagles always find a way to field a good team only to screw it up somehow. Player likability: 3. Well Wayne Simmonds is a really good player, but he's kind of dirty. Claude Giroux has a face you just want to punch. Rookie Shayne Ghost-Bear has the hardest last name in sports to spell so I'm not even going to try. Relations with Avalanche: 1. I am tempted to rate them at 2 for the game these clubs played back in March in Denver, but that Avalanche loss was Colorado's fault more than it was Philadelphia's. You can't hate on the Flyers for that just because the Avs are dumb and bad. Fans and SB Nation blog: 1. Philly fans are mean. Unfortunately, my mother was born and raised in Philadelphia, so I'm somewhat obligated to like them. If I wasn't, I'd automatically give them a 5. Besides, Broad Street Hockey is really funny. Make sure to follow their Twitter when they're playing the Capitals.
#11: New York Islanders, Total of 11: Team championship history: 3. The Isles were a powerhouse back in the 80's. Since then? Diddly squat. Although they are getting back to that point slowly, or so it seems. Last year the Isles lost a tough Game 7 against the Caps in DC. City championship success: 2. New York is weird, but I classify them into two groups; there's the a-hole New York sports fans who root for the Rangers, Giants, Yankees, and Knicks. Then there's the soft spot New York sports fans who inflict misery upon themselves by rooting for the Isles, Jets, Mets, and Nets. For simplicity, this article will use those groupings when classifying the Isles and Rangers. The Mets had a surprising NL pennant run last year before running into the Royals in the World Series. The Jets are getting better better, but still easy to laugh at and root against. And the Nets are just absolutely terrible. Player likability: 2. Cal Clutterbuck is pretty mean and I don't like him. Otherwise, yeah, this is a good group. Fans and SB Nation blog: 3. Yes, these are the New York fans it's okay to feel sympathy towards, but they're still New Yorkers. Lighthouse Hockey is alright. Very serviceable and got some good activity.
#10: Dallas Stars, Total of 14: Team championship history: 3. The Stars won the Stanley Cup off a bad call by the referee to screw over the Sabres in 1999. Before that, they beat the Avs in the West Final. It's easy to forget how good of a series that was as a hockey fan, but the wrong team won. City championship success: 3. Dallas' last championship came in 2011 when the Mavericks did a service to America and beat the Miami Heat. The Texas Rangers lost an agonizing World Series to the Cardinals that same year and working themselves back up to that point. again. The Cowboys are very average these days, but have an annoyingly successful history. More on that in a second though. Player likability: 1. You could say that Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya as Blackhawk leftovers are dislikable, but this is a fun team to watch that scores like crazy. In terms of exciting hockey to watch, since they have no one good on defense, this is probably the most fun team to watch of the sixteen left. Relations with Avalanche: 4. I mentioned earlier the 1999 Western Finals. If it wasn't for the fact the games against the Red Wings were angry bloodbaths, the rivalry Colorado had with Dallas would be much more historic. They were good games with great players. Modano, Hull, and Turco were a great opposition to Sakic, Forsberg, and Roy. Today, they're fun games to watch because, again, lots of offense and no defense on both sides, but the Avs have had the upper hand. Fans and SB Nation blog: 3. Lots of these people are Cowboys fans, and I just hate the Cowboys. But... they have a busy, insightful sister site to us in Defending Big D. Without it they'd be a 5 because Cowboys fans deserve no sort of joy in life.
#9: San Jose Sharks, Total of 14: Team championship history: 1. The last time the Sharks made the playoffs, which was 2014, they lost to their most hated rivals in the Kings after having a 3-0 series lead. That sent many fans walking off of tall cliffs, but before that, this was a team who consistently gave its fans hope every year only to poop it all away. The Sharks have no Cups, or any experience in the final fight for Lord Stanley. City championship success: 5. To make up for the Sharks' woes, the San Francisco Giants win the World Series every even-numbered year this decade, which means they'll win their fourth in seven tries this year. The Golden State Warriors are absurd and are surely going to win their second straight NBA championship this season unless Steph Curry gets hit by a bus. The 49ers and Raiders have good histories, but not much to cheer about right now. Player likability: 3. Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau rub me the wrong way, and I'm not a big Brent Burns fan either. Relations with Avalanche: 3. The Avalanche won their first game at the Shark Tank in seemingly forever in December when MacK got a hat trick the same game. Some solid playoff history between these two clubs, where the Sharks have had the edge. Not much has happened lately, although they did let us take Brad Stuart from them. Damn it. Fans and SB Nation blog: 2. Bay Area fans generally don't do much to make them annoying aside from their constant championship parades. Fear The Fin is a really good blog. One of SB Nation's best. Check them out.
#8: St. Louis Blues, Total of 16: Team championship history: 1. The stupid Blues have never won a Cup and have lost in the first round each of the last three years. This year they play Chicago in the first round. JUST WHO THEY NEEDED TO PLAY TO MOVE ON. City championship success: 3. Well good ole Stan Kroenke just uprooted the Rams from St. Louis to the prosperous fields of Los Angeles, so they're doing real well when it comes to football. The Cardinals are annoyingly good and last won the World Series in 2011 with one in 2006 on top of it. Beyond that, the Cards have won like 20 World Series titles and through the grace of the baseball gods will lose out this year to go 5-157. Player likability: 5. He's not a player, but let's start by saying Ken Hitchcock is really enjoyable to make fun of because of how he looks and his porous postseason record as a coach with the Blues. David Backes is one of the guys I wouldn't mind seeing get boarded through the glass. Steve Ott isn't cool. Vladimir Tarasenko is a really good player but I get tired of seeing him score the same highlight goal every single time. Not even Paul Stastny, who I love, can bring this category down to a 4. Fans and SB Nation blog: 3. Beyond being Cardinals fans, St. Louis fans aren't terrible people, mostly because they have nothing about the Blues to defend themselves with. Insult their team and they'll just sit there and take it and you can laugh at them all you want. St. Louis Game Time is a pretty good blog. Not as good as other playoff teams' blogs, but it's still a goodie!
#7: Anaheim Ducks, Total of 18: Team championship history: 3. Excluding whatever they won in the Disney Movies the Mighty Ducks won the Stanley Cup in 2007 against Ottawa and that's it for them. I don't like the fact they've won a Cup. They should be like St. Louis where we can make fun of them for their lack of success and futility, but they have that one stupid Cup. Darn. City championship success: 2. Similarly to how I'm organizing New York teams, Los Angeles and Anaheim teams will be done under the same sort of method. This group of LA suburbans roots for the Ducks, Angels, and Clippers. The Angels are the American League's version of the Nationals. Really good team, but always chokes the playoffs away. The Clippers are a good team right now, but not nearly as good as the Warriors or Spurs, so they're still just as irrelevant as they were before they suddenly became not terrible five years ago. Player likability: Gotta talk head coach smack again. Bruce Boudreau is boo-worthy and every time I watch Patrick Roy push the partition into his stupid face I get a feeling of joy no one who's not an Avalanche fan could possibly understand. Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlav, and Ryan Kesler are three of the biggest sour-grapes in this sport I've ever seen and every single one of them deserves to lose in the most heartbreaking way possible forever and ever. Luckily, three straight years of losing a Game 7 at home has made this possible. Relations with Avalanche: 4. See the Bruce Boudreau-Patrick Roy comment. Fans and SB Nation blog: If for some God forsaken reason you want to read about the Ducks, Anaheim Calling doesn't do the greatest job. One of the weaker blogs in both participation and entertainment in the SB Nation NHL family. DO BETTER!
#6: New York Rangers, Total of 18: Team championship history: 4. How often are we going to hear about their stupid Cup win in 1994 this postseason? Goodness gracious these people will not shut the hell up about Mark Messier and his bold prediction they'd beat Vancouver. It wasn't that bold. Everyone beats Vancouver, so stop making a big deal out of it. City championship success: 5. The Football Giants do an unbelievable job at being the most average team in the NFL to win Super Bowls by going 9-7 every time they win. The Yankees make me mad so I'm not going to even talk about them. Then there's the Knicks who have Carmelo Anthony and therefore should never be allowed to win any game again. Luckily they really don't win at all with him! Player likability: 4. I'm excited to see how angry/disappointed Henrik Lundqvist will get when the Rangers choke everything away this year. I am perhaps more excited to see how woeful Rick Nash does in this year's edition of the playoffs. The Columbus Curse of reverting to mediocrity and not scoring every postseason for Nash sure is fascinating. Relations with Avalanche: 1. Nothing to see here. Fans and SB Nation blog: 4. Like I said with the Islanders, New Yorkers, contrary to what they firmly believe, deserve nothing in any sport. Blue Shirt Banter is a good blog, at least. Note that their main Twitter account goes through their editor when you search for them.
#5: Pittsburgh Penguins, Total of 19: Team championship history: 5. At least when the Penguins won their last Cup in 2009, it was against the Red Wings in Detroit. I'll always thank them for that, but nonetheless, this is a team who's had a lot of annoying success. Three Cups as a whole, but it feels like they've won more. So you lot have to live with the 5 of shame and hatred. City championship success: 5. The Steelers are so flipping annoying. How often will the people of the Steel City remind any random stranger the Steelers have won the most Super Bowls. Ugh. The Pirates bring Pittsburgh back to Earth through their failure, but this is still one of the most successful cities when it comes to hardware per capita in the USA. Player likability: 5. This all falls under Sidney Crosby being a crybaby and one of the sorest losers in any sport. I really don't have an issue with any other player. Marc-Andre Fleury's nickname Flower is the best. Fans and SB Nation blog: 3. Well, I mentioned the fact Steelers fans constantly reference their success. That would automatically give them a 5, but Pensburgh is a nice place to talk about the Penguins. And I guess they've gone almost ten years without a championship, soooooo it's only a 3 even though this is tempting one to give a 4.
#4: Los Angeles Kings, Total of 19: Team championship history: 5. The Kings have won 2 Stanley Cups and they've both taken place in the last four years. Once they got that first Cup, the floodgates opened, and they've become one of the most powerful teams in the West, despite missing the playoffs last year. City championship success: This is a city that boasts the Lakers and Dodgers and are used to winning. The Kings had been the only thing holding Los Angeles back from having something to brag about in all of its sports, but now that they've won titles, everybody's got something. Fortunately, the Lakers suck and videotape each other's personal conversations in the locker room, and the Dodgers choke harder in the postseason than the Sharks and Blues combined. The Rams, who have just moved back to their childhood home, have one Super Bowl title that was won when they played in St. Louis. Player likability: 1. I don't have an issue with a singles Kings player or their coach. Darryl Sutter is hilarious and I would love to play a round of golf with him, because I'd never have to worry about him talking during my swing. Jonathan Quick, Anze Kopitar, and Drew Doughty are all amazing talents that have no reason to be hated outside of the team and city they play for. Relations with Avalanche: 3. We will always appreciate LA loaning us Rob Blake, but quit trying to pretend he only played in Los Angeles, Kings! He won the biggest game of his career in burgundy and blue. Outside of that, the Kings have had the edge in this series lately, although Colorado did win 2 of 3 against the Kings this year, somehow. Fans and SB Nation blog: 1. There is a better chance you will sprout wings while reading this, than there is you meet a Kings fan who was a fan of the Kings before 2012 in your lifetime. The bandwagon for the Kings has been overflowing the last few years and thousands have tragically died from being pushed off by new-comers into the rough rocky streets of loser-ville. Meanwhile, Jewels from the Crown has a pretty lifeless website, but their Twitter page has a decent amount of life in it during games. Not enough to influence me to sympathize to the bandwagon kingdom, though.
#3: Chicago Blackhawks, Total of 21: Team championship history: 5. STOP WINNING, CHICAGO. PLEASE. Three titles in the last six years has become about as welcoming as getting strangled. They have become the NHL's favorite team and it is sickening. I hope they get swept or lose a Game 7 10-0 because Corey Crawford goes full idiot during the game. City championship success: 4. The Blackhawks alone basically influence this. Yes, I know the Cubs have gone a whole century without winning a World Series. But unless they're not completely numb mentally, they have an immense amount of talent that will lead to this being the year the curse is broken. The Bears won a Super Bowl in the 80s, but they have Jay Cutler and John Fox now and I hate the Bears as a result. The Bulls fed off Michael Jordan and no one else in the NBA being good in the 90s to win a lot of championships during that time. Player likability: 5. Regardless of whether Patrick Kane raped a woman or not, I find him to be as irritating as any player in the league. Not just because he's wickedly good, but because this is the NHL's favorite player of their favorite team. "Hey guys, did you hear Patrick Kane just brushed his teeth?! TOP STORY NOW." Jonathan Toews idolized Joe Sakic and has won more Cups than him in much less time which has caused me to lose sleep. Duncan Keith made such a dirty play on a player of the Wild it made me sympathize the Minnesota player. That alone should tell you just how much this team deserves to lose and never make the playoffs ever again until the sun explodes and wipes us all out. Relations with Avalanche: 4. The Avs do me a solid favor anytime the Blackhawks or a player of Chicago's is on an impressive point streak and go, "Hey, that's really cute, but we're going to break it because it's annoying Mr. Fish. Deal with it." Games between the Hawks and Avs are always fun because it's a lot of fast breakout hockey with defensemen jumping in the play every time, but Chicago won 4 of 5 this year. Hmph. Fans and SB Nation blog: 3. The Blackhawks may have more bandwagon fans than the Kings which is truly disturbing. They've found a way to make Chelsea Dagger, a truly great song, annoying as hell by playing it obnoxiously every time they score at United Center. Second City Hockey, however, is one of my favorite blogs and Twitter accounts in our family. Highly recommend them.
#2: Minnesota Wild, Total of 21: Team championship history: 5. No, the Wild have never won the Stanley Cup (LOL). But that makes them all the more hatable because this faction of society should never get to find out what Lord Stanley tastes like. Their lack of success makes them MORE hatable because the longer that continues, the further we go before hell freezes over. City championship success: 1. Well the Wild are a big part of this, but the Vikings have found a way to lose more games in the worst ways than any other NFL team. Blair Walsh's missed chip shot field goal against the Seahawks in January hurt to watch. The Timberwolves have never been good, and I believe their lone winning season could be found in the same place you find dinosaur fossils. The Twins are the only thing that has ever given Minnesota reason to cheer, not just in sports, but for anything. Why? Because like I said, they live in Minnesota. North Korea is more inviting than that frozen pothole of a state. Player likability: 5. Oh Lord, where do I start. Zach Parise, Nino Niederreiter, Mikko Koivu, Eric Haula, Charley Coyle, Darcy Kuemper, Devan Dubnyk, Ryan Suter... If you have any sanity you should be this close to destroying your computer because you're so mad. Relations with Avalanche: 5. The Avs have urinated themselves at the thought of playing the Wild ever since losing Game 7 and have lost 8 of 10 since them. And that Game 7 and playoff series... I am steaming mad. I've written too much to throw my laptop out my window now. I can't do it. Can't talk about it. Fans and SB Nation blog: 5. I hate Wild fans so much. Stop calling yourselves the state of hockey. You've never won a Stanley Cup and you people are such terrible fans you lost a team to Texas. Texas! How does a team possibly go from the state of hockey to 1 of the Top 10 states to know absolutely nothing about the sport. You people have the audacity to call yourselves the state of hockey when the word "Minnesota" is not etched on Lord Stanley once. The Cup has gone to places like California, Florida, Texas (that's right the state you lost a team to!), North Carolina, and the one that bothers you most, COLORADO. TWICE. How does that feel? And sure, most American NHL players are from your atrocity of a prison cell that you call a state. But that doesn't mean every Minnesotan's name gets an asterisk next to it, with a subsection on one of Stanley's layers with "* denotes player was born in Minnesota" in the boldest font like you all think. Your pathetic title means nothing and your significance as a state in the NHL is currently no different than that of Arizona's. Oh, by the way, Hockey Wilderness is alright.
#1: Detroit Red Wings, Total of 23: Team championship history: 5. Unlike the Wild, who cannot be respected for anything, to some extent you do have to respect the Red Wings' history and now twenty-fifth straight year of reaching the playoffs. But does that make them likable or easy to root for? Hahaha. No. City championship success: 3. Like Chicago, most of Detroit's recent success stems from its hockey team. The Lions are the Lions, the Pistons rode a Denver man's coattails to some title success ten years ago (that was Chauncey Billups for those unaware), and the Tigers have come very close to getting a World Series the last five years but can't close the door. At least they've got their Red Wings and a tenth of a gallon of non-diseased water. Player likability: 5. While not half as hatable as those like Holmstrom, Osgood, Shanahan, Lidstrom, Yzerman, and others, these players still wear the winged wheel on their chest with the colors red and white. So they deserve your wrath. Relations with Avalanche: Just watch game film of any game the teams played from 1995 to 2003. I'm also still bitter about how the game at Coors Field ended. Fans and SB Nation blog: 5. Wingin it in Motown is a busy blog with lots happening, but say something the least bit negative and those savages will feed you to the wolves. Best to view them from afar and not say something to make them mad, no matter how fun it may be. For the fans as a whole, it cracks me up how this team backed in its way into the playoffs because Boston was miserable down the stretch, but once they're in they act like they're the greatest group of people in the history of our planet and the Red Wings did it all without anyone's help. Figures this team gets to play the Lightning without one of the best players in the league. Lucky bastards.
For the record, this list does not describe my personal for/against list. I'll be cheering for Philadelphia because I have lots of loving family members who are Flyers fans, and I'll be rooting against the Wild every time, because, well, read my depiction of them two paragraphs up. This has been a purely mathematical guide to who you should and shouldn't root for, and no matter who you hope does well and who doesn't, I hope you enjoy the Stanley Cup playoffs as much as I will.