The NHL playoffs are here and with the Red Wings booking tee times many of us are trying to decide which fanbase to join up with. There are plenty of reasons to cheer for or against any of the playoff teams, and at the bottom we’re going to ask you to help us help you by telling us which teams you hate the most, but first read on to see what each team has going for it and why you might want to hop on the bandwagon!
The hook: Boston is the Greatest Sports City in the Known Universe, hey stop laughing at us Tuuka Rask is going to dominate this time!
The Boston Bruins are a strange beast, despite past success I think the fanbase is kind of “meh” about them this year. The firing of Claude Julien during the Super Bowl parade is a big bowl of sour grapes, but Bruce Cassidy did get them to the playoffs. It’s probably not the team for you, but maybe you’re already on the general New England bandwagon for the long haul (I see you Vermonters you aren’t fooling anyone).
Columbus Blue Jackets
The hook: The Blue Jackets are good, but nobody really cares.
The Columbus Blue Jackets bring out a knee-jerk reaction of “oh yeah, those guys, I forgot about them”. There is a serious attempt to hype the first round matchup against the Pens as a clash of the titans, which it really isn’t, but it would be awesome if they eliminated the Penguins which by itself is a good reason to get on the cannonwagon.
The hook: Yes our team is erratic but we have Carey Price, hey stop laughing at us Carey Price is going to dominate this time. En garde!
The Habs are inconsistent, which makes it hard to predict just what kind of team will show up to the playoffs. Their hopes and dreams are riding on the performance of Carey Price, but they have Steve Ott now and he’s got GRIT and HEART. The Habs will need to get in sync, but with a lot of luck and a lot of Carey Price magic, who knows?
New York Rangers
The hook: Henrik Lundqvist is a precious gift from beyond the stars and the Rangers fanbase doesn’t deserve him.
Who doesn’t like Henrik Lundqvist? Rangers fans. If you enjoyed arguing about Jimmy vs. Mrazek, then you may feel right at home on the Rangers bandwagon watching arguments about Lundqvist vs. Raanta. Plus, Brendan Smith will be there and you can get mad at him all over again! The Rangers are an easy team to bandwagon, Rangers and Red Wings are like two people forced to make smalltalk because their mutual friend has gone to the bathroom, it’s awkward but there’s no hatred and it’s easy to go your separate ways when the party’s over.
The hook: The bunch of misfits who overcome adversity to win the thing and learn a valuable life lesson along the way.
Crosby chopped off Methot’s finger, and the Sens should have a series against the Pens just so we can talk about it more. Plus, they’re playing the Bruins in the first round, who we don’t like, AND they have future Red Wing Erik Karlsson. What’s not to like? The Sens hodge podge roster is healthy, excited, and they just might end up being the feel good story of the playoffs.
The hook: Kick the Red Wings while we’re down and leave us scraping the bottom of the barrel to make Kansas City barbs, which Pens fans won’t understand anyway because they didn’t exist back then.
You want to see the Red Wings during the postseason? Let the Pens make the Finals. You’ll hear all about how the Pens will finally dethrone the Red Wings as repeat champs, and if you’re lucky that will include discussions using the word “dynasty”, your favorite NBC panelists, closeups of Crosby’s terrible beard, and clips from June 12, 2009.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The hook: Auston Matthews and the Mike Babcock roller boogie bluegrass experience
You have to give the Leafs fanbase credit, they know suffering and keep coming back for more. The Leafs have started setting themselves up for future success, and Shanny and Babs seem to have a plan, but maybe the Leafs time is sooner than expected. The new core probably needs a few more years to make this team a powerhouse, but if they manage to take out the Caps it would be glorious chaos. So hop on the Leafs bandwagon, they’re here to ruin your bracket.
The hook: Get Ovi his Cup already you jerks
The Caps seem to have it all going for them, but we’ve seen this before. Somehow they always manage to shoot themselves in the foot during the playoffs, it seems like they should be able to go the distance but they never do. Washington is a natural bandwagon choice, the whole city is bandwagoners, it’s a transient population that becomes more and more so every year. Maybe the Caps seem like the “obvious choice”, but it’s never safe to bet on the Caps in the postseason.
The hook: You may not like us, but eventually we will run into a team you hate more.
Their uniforms are ugly, their mascot is dumb, and they have players you hate. That’s a given. According to math, they are kind of in the middle as far as Cup-winning probability goes, so they could end up in an underdog situation if they get far enough, and if it’s against a team you hate even more than them you might just have to cheer for them. Try not to develop an ulcer about it.
The hook: The Calgary Flames not only exist but they also have friendly fans who would love to have your support!
The Flames aren’t the kind of team that is going to razzle dazzle you with slick puck handling and speedster antics. What they will do is punch players you don’t like in the face. They have an excellent record when leading after two periods, and as a Red Wings fan you may be looking for that kind of security blanket. They’re no dream team or Cinderella story, but they’re the kind of guys you’d want to grab a beer with. This everyman’s team just might be the team for you.
The hook: We are but a humble dynasty team where all the men are good looking and all the fans are steadfast and--wait no please don’t Google us.
The Blackhawks are expected to breeze through the first round, and many are putting them in the Finals. But everyone who isn’t paid based on clicks or ratings is sick of the Blackhawks, the bandwagon is already full and they don’t need you. There are Wings fans who cheer for the Blackhawks, I’ve encountered them in the wild. If you choose to travel this dangerous path, bring pictures of Zetterberg with you. You’ll need them.
The hook: The Connor McDavid Connor McDavids will take on some jerk team at the Connor McDavid Center for Connor McDavid Activities.
You’ll never hear the end of it and you’ll be subjected to a lot of the color orange. But there are worse players for broadcasters to obsess over, and you can wear sunglasses, so it’s not so bad. The Oilers are a standing joke, and the fans have suffered for it. A decade long rebuild is a Red Wings fan’s nightmare, the Oilers are what the Wings could be if we screw this up. But this might finally be the beginning of a new era for the Oilers, so maybe you want to get on board.
The hook: We’ve actually been in the playoffs the past few years, it’s ok you didn’t notice, but you should pay attention this time.
Remember how Zach Parise and Ryan Suter rejected the Wings? Good times. I’ve long held the opinion that the Wild are an incredibly boring team, even if they win the Cup it will still be boring, like the Hurricanes in ‘06. But, there is some fun to be had. They could hit a wall at some point, it would be extremely Wild for them to suddenly faceplant. But in terms of hatred it’s pretty neutral making them kind of a clean slate, so if you give them a chance you might just discover a lot to cheer for.
The hook: We aren’t the team you hated, we are actually really nice now and would love to have you on board, but we are still bright yellow.
It’s hard not to instinctively snarl at the Predators, but they aren’t the same team. Neither are we. So let’s put the past aside and start over. P.K. Subban is on the Predators, and everyone who isn’t a stinky jerk loves him, and Wings fans are generally NOT stinky jerks! Pekka Rinne is filling the role of lovable veteran and in front of him is a really good defense - something we Wings fans are not used to. Do you really hate the Preds more than the Hawks? If you said yes you’re a bad person and P.K. Subban will be calling your parents.
San Jose Sharks
The hook: So close and yet so far. We’re a fun bunch with a reputation as chokers, it’s our time.
Will I ever forget the playoff series and that pain? No. Not ever. But, that was just business. The Sharks have come close to grasping success, and it’s unclear how well stocked their AHL affiliate is to prop up an aging core (sound familiar?). They ended the regular season on a skid, but we know the playoffs are a different beast. I wouldn’t mind them ruining the coronation of Connor McDavid, keep the broadcasters in check a little bit. Plus, they’ve also got the beard thing which some people enjoy.
St. Louis Blues
The hook: Mike Yeo is the savior and Ken Hitchcock was just a Jake Allen hater.
The Blues can’t rely on a full offensive effort, they’ll need to be dragged kicking and screaming through the playoffs by the hot hand Jake Allen and Vladimir Tarasenko. They’re also bolstered by their solid defensive core of big guys who can still motor pretty well. Look for them to get a lead and saunter around the neutral zone in a boring but effective strategy. The Blues shot stifling doesn’t make for exciting games, but if it brings them victories that’s all that matters.
Who’s Your Team?
Who are you bandwagoning and why? Let us know in the comments! Before you go, help us rank which teams Red Wings fans hate the most by filling out the form below.