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How to Hate the Atlantic: Florida Panthers

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As we prepare for the Wings' second season in the new Eastern Conference, we take a closer look at the teams with whom they share their division, the Atlantic. Join us as we guide you through the hate.

Bruce Bennett

Florida Panthers

The other Florida team enters their 21st season with just five playoff appearances to their name. In fairness, they also have 1 more Stanley Cup Final appearance in a league containing more than 12 teams than the Blues, Wild, Predators, Blue Jackets, and Sharks combined. Even then, the days of the faithful in Sunrise chucking rats onto the ice en masse are fare behind us.

It's not easy to hate the Panthers. They were a pain in the ass to play against last season, but a team like this makes you kind of want to slow-clap and admire their pluck more than anything. It's hard to hate something that you're surprised is still alive. With the Panthers and their fanbase, you want to support and nurture them so they can grow into something that's actually worth hating.

Still, if you're the type of person who absolutely HAS to hate the Panthers, then stop jerking off to the endangered species list and keep reading here. I'll show you.

What to Like About them

They've got a few young kids who should be a lot of fun to watch and they keep Tomas Kopecky gainfully employed for laughs. Speaking of those, Roberto Luongo plays there and he's a pretty funny guy on Twitter.

What to Hate Most About Them

They're basically a Chicago Blackhawks sleeper-cell, taking on whichever contracts the Hawks want to get rid of. Also, thanks to league-enforced parity, they've got a decent chance at beating Detroit every time the two teams meet and that's disgusting.

How to Take the High Road

When it comes to flipping shit at an opposing team or its fanbase, it's important that you act with a bit of grace and dignity. We should strive to keep the topic to hockey itself. It's even better if we have an opportunity to grab a position from the moral high ground while we're at it.

There's never going to be a better joke about the Panthers than that. This happened last December and it's still hilarious to me.

How to Deliver the Low-Blow

While I never ever EVER support taking cheap shots at your opponents' expense first. Sometimes they ask for it. You can pretend to cast your eyes down at them from your ivory tower or you can jump in the muck with them. Here's how to do the more-fun version.

"Keep talking shit, Panthers fan. I'll buy your team just to trade away your favorite player. What are you and your Panthers fan friends going to do about it, form a jury? Maybe I'll let you borrow a couple people to fill out the ranks."

You see it works because the Panthers are a very cheap team and they ALSO have a very small fanbase. Take that, losers!