A Million Ways to Bandwagon the Western Conference

A look at the western conference playoff match-ups to help you decide who deserves your loyalty...and your hatred.

The playoffs start tonight! You’ve had time to deliberate your bandwagon options and we helped you review the East yesterday. Time to dig deep, it’s not that long since we were in the West, how are you feeling about it?

Whether your’re choosing out of love or out of spite, see if any of these arguments settle into your hearts and help you solidify your decision.

Calgary Flames

Embrace the underdogs! Wait, we’re NOT the underdogs? Shit.

Why to bandwagon: At the very least, you should all be cheering for them over the Avs. Not exactly a rousing call to the bandwagon, but if love can’t get the job done then hatred always will. Calgary is boring, at least from this Wings fan’s perspective, and it would be kind of funny for them to win and join the ranks of other forgotten Cup winners when there are all these other narratives begging to be completed.

Why to hate: Are you really going to sit there and cheer for Mike Smith and James Neal? Let hatred be your guide, Calgary is just kind of there and if Vegas takes out the Sharks then you might as well hope for Calgary to roll through to the conference finals at least.

WIIM mood: J.J. is a no based on comments from our last episode of WIIM radio, and I’m like 97% sure I’m not making those up in my own head. Jack is in, but is not ALL in. Mike B. and I are shrugs, we could be convinced as long as they keep playing teams we actively dislike. Although, Mike B. holds a healthy grudge against Tkachuk so leans a bit more no than me. I’m putting Peter and Lauren in the shrug boat with us. Fight me.

Colorado Avalanche

JACK HUGHES HERE WE - wait what????

Why to bandwagon: I’m sure there are complex theories on how the Avs doing anything but getting immediately crushed would be a good thing. I’m not going to think of one. I’m just going to write Avs on the chalkboard, cross it out, quip “Any questions?” and be asked to leave because this is a 2nd grade classroom and who are you.

Why to hate: It’s the law.

WIIM mood: Screw the Avs.

Dallas Stars

Party like it’s 1999! Because they won the Cup in 1999. You get it.

Why to bandwagon: Are you looking for a team that’s boring but every so often has a sprinkle of Ottawa style drama? Get on board! They’re almost in the same lane as Calgary in that they’re just kind of there and playing a Preds team in the first round you might really hate.

Why to hate: There were better reasons to hate a few seasons ago when it felt like Dallas was just snatching up all the Wings spare and discarded parts and then changing their logo to a stupid D. If you hate Tyler Seguin and/or Jamie Benn, then you just keep on keepin’ on. If you like them, you’re also welcome on the hate bus because of the CEO’s aforementioned Ottawa-style tantrum earlier this season.

WIIM mood: Jamie is a yes for Round 1 to take out the annoying Preds. Which is pretty much the entire mood - no one cares about the Stars unless they can take out someone we don’t like. Am I repeating myself?

Nashville Predators

We got rid of the players y’all hated, except that one guy, oh and that other guy, but uhhh we’re good now, right?

Why to bandwagon: /Extreme valet voice/ How can you be hatin’ on the P.K. Subbans? WHAT ABOUT P.K. SUBBANS THO. There’s no harm in beating Dallas, they don’t have a magical storyline going for them. Wayne Simmonds too, poor guy. Nashville does try to have fun, which is more than many NHL teams can say. It’s like toning down the showmanship of Vegas and adding in some of the Canes attitude. Gaudy, but in a fun way that makes people we don’t like mad.

Why to hate: Recent history including Shea Weber’s inexcusable actions against one Henrik Zetterberg. The whole catfish thing*. They are unpleasant to watch in that the yellow makes the home arena look like a dirty toilet. Adding Dallas green is not going to improve this. Nick Bonino, aforementioned ghost of Shea Weber, Roman Josi, Brian Boyle and whoever else you don’t like from their history on other teams. Also, Austin Watson.

*Look, no matter how many little hats you put on them it’s still a bottom feeding slow moving garbage fish whereas octopi are highly intelligent elegant and versatile creatures so stop.

WIIM mood: Lauren says “it’s a no from me dawg”, not ready to let them off the hook for some of their players’ trash actions. I’m a meh, and that’s the best endorsement they’ll ever get from me after Shea Weber and the Preds fanbase daring to accuse Zetterberg of doing something wrong. HE. WOULD. NEVER.

Ahem, anyway. Mike B. is a [pained noise] maybe, but similarly can’t shake off the bad history. I’m making this J.J.’s opinion also. Jamie is flat out sick of Nashville. Peter and Jack are on board for Nashville being fun to watch as described.

San Jose Sharks

SHORKS MONCH MONCH MONCH. Time is running out.

Why to bandwagon: If the Sharks make the Finals, our third-round pick from them becomes a second-round. Or, if Nyquist is happy and re-signs, we get that too. Maybe they win it all and Goose decides he has had enough of this “Guus” garbage and wants to come home with his new best friend Erik Karlsson. Vegas is annoying.

Why to hate: History of course! Those two playoff series broke my heart, and almost broke my toe from kicking a filing cabinet, so close and yet so far. They want you to feel bad for Thornton, don’t do it. The lightining in their arena looks like an aquarium, they just need some neon castles, which I guess makes sense. Out of control beards and man buns are not good. Neither is Logan Couture.

WIIM mood: Mike B. will never forgive Thornton and Pavelski for snow showering James Tiberius Howard. I’ll take the draft pick but I’m not over things that happened a decade ago as is my style. Jamie is a no, based on his chosen scenario for the West. Jack is a no, take THAT Thornton. Lauren is in. Peter is a shrug. J.J. wants the draft pick but not necessarily for them to win it all.

St. Louis Blues

We are not the team you hated and would welcome Wings fans on the bandwagon.

Why to bandwagon: With the Wings in the East, any rivalry with the Blues that was already in the rearview mirror will be hard to rekindle. They’ve never won anything and have no expectations, so it’s a low pressure low bar kind of bandwagon. Has Brayden Schenn ever hurt you? The O’Reilly trade made Sabres fans mad online, and that’s always a plus.

Why to hate: /whiny voice and foot stomp/ They’re the BLUUUUUES. Ugh. It’s hard to remember why to hate them until we play them, then it’s like “oh yeah, I hate all these guys” like Ryan O’Reilly, Jay Bouwmeester, Michael Del Zotto, Patrick Maroon, and petty glare at Robert Bortuzzo for having a name like a terrible magician instead of a hockey player.

WIIM mood: Mike B. and I are out, the ghost of David Backes pisses us off among other grievances from long ago. I may have them winning in one of my brackets, which doesn’t mean I like them or want them to win, just to be clear. I’m putting J.J., Peter and Lauren in the hating the Blues squad. What are they gonna do about it? Jamie is in, and a better person than me for looking past grudges and enjoying the storybook season thing going on.

Vegas Golden Knights

We’re still exciting and have paid our dues and suffered as much as Toronto please like our team.

Why to bandwagon: They make people mad, unfortunately that probably includes people you like, but chaos is chaos. But, they also make other expansion teams mad who still haven’t achieved success. You love the circus of their game intros. Malcolm Subban, Deryk Engelland and his unnecessarily complicated spelling, Max Pacioretty, whoever.

Why to hate: Olde School Hockey Rules says they need to suck for a good long while and have their egos stomped into the dirt and see if the team survives it. Their gimmicks are annoying. Fleury. Ryan Reeves, Shea Theodore, Paul Stastny, whoever. They are in the way of the Sharks giving us a better draft pick. You’re just over them and their whole deal.

WIIM mood: We’ve all had enough of Vegas, make room for the SHORKS.

Winnipeg Jets

Remember us? We are actually very interesting if you just give us a chance. Hurry up Seattle so we can have a rivalry.

Why to bandwagon: Jets fans have had it rough and have not been particularly obnoxious, at least not to Wings fans since we see them so rarely. Screw the Blues, and whoever wins Preds v. Stars. Possible Dustin Byfuglien drama. Jets players haven’t really done anything now or historically to rank high on the grudge list — but if they have remind me in the comments.

Why to hate: Never-ending closeups of Patrick Laine’s face thing. They will get in the way of our Sharks draft pick. You don’t want to get to know them.

WIIM mood: I’m in, at least until the conference finals, but please keep the camera a distance away from Laine. I’m giving Lauren and J.J. this mood, also. Peter and Jack are in. Jamie is out by nature of supporting the Blues run. Mike B. is ALL IN to bring the Cup to Canada and give the other Canadian teams something else to cry about.

So, who do you want to see win the West?

Who are you rooting for?

Calgary Flames24
Colorado Avalanche3
Dallas Stars7
Nashville Predators17
San Jose Sharks56
St. Louis Blues23
Vegas Golden Knights38
Winnipeg Jets80