Choosing Your 2022 Stanley Cup Bandwagon: The West
The Red Wings are out again, but is there a bandwagon that’s right for you?
The playoffs kicked off on Monday so you may have settled into your bandwagon, but if you’re still undecided - or open to changing your mind - let’s talk about the best of the West. We don’t see these teams as often, so maybe you’re having a tough time figuring out what it is about these teams that will get you on or off the wagon.
Let’s go through the list and see if you are convinced by any of my overly specific takes about each team…
If you missed Part 1 with teams in the East, check it out!
You can’t possibly still be mad about that? Being mad at the Pens is one thing but our rivalry ended a million years ago half of you weren’t even alive and able to form memories of the 1990s.
Why to bandwagon: Darren Helm is there, even if seeing him in an Avs jersey makes you sick, he’s still part of the family and deserves success. He’s 35 years old, a miracle, and hasn’t had one nice sports thing in over a decade. And most of the rest of the roster is fairly neutral on the grudge front, not all of them of course, but maybe enough of them?
Why not to bandwagon: A grudge is a grudge. Looking at that logo should make your eye twitch, it’s part of your Wings fan DNA. And are you really going to sit there and like Nate MacKinnon? And just because Devon Toews isn’t related to Jonathan Toews doesn’t mean you can’t hate him. You want to cheer for Nazem Kadri, huh? I don’t remember what I’m mad at him about but let’s say it’s crosschecking Luke Glendening in the back of the head that one time.
We aren’t THAT annoying. Ok maybe we are, but the longer we are in the playoffs the more you can try and ratio us on Twitter and you Wings fans like being mad online right?
Why to bandwagon: Hmmm how about just for bracket purposes? It can be fun to go for the upset. And Avs fans melting down will always be funny. It’ll be even funnier if the Preds beat them with backup goaltending with Juuse Saros being out injured, even if it’s just for a game or two.
Why not to bandwagon: They purposefully try to rile up Wings fans with their “Hockey. Town.” nonsense. They have yellow uniforms. Sure they are a different roster than the ghosts of Red Wings playoffs past, but like I said grudges are grudges. Stupid Shea Weber.
Do you even know us? We’ve actually been here for quite some time. We’re so neutral and green it’s like joining the bandwagon for houseplants. Not as exciting as tile grout, but give us a chance!
Why to bandwagon: Uhhhh well they’re playing the Blues, is that enough to get you onboard for the first round at least? And people seem to enjoy Kirill Kaprizov?
Why not to bandwagon: You lost your neutral houseplant status when Matt Dumba arrived on the scene and slammed Lucas Raymond’s head into the ice. And now we have Jared Spurgeon dodging a suspension for his crosscheck. Wait, are the Wild trying to achieve goon squad status? Well, we already have our own perfect Stevie Y Good Squad thank you very much. Also, I’m not going to cheer for Marc-Andre Fleury and neither are you.
St. Louis Blues
Look at us, a bunch of lovable random characters. No no no don’t worry about what our names are. Seriously, do not try and remember our roster and find out there are players you don’t like.
Why to bandwagon: *long drawn out pained groan* ok fine how about Nick Leddy, everyone’s favorite former Red Wing! I can’t do it gang, I can’t justify being a Blues fan not even as a joke. Somebody else can try in the comments if you dare.
Why not to bandwagon: It’s so much effort, and again historical grudges are in play here. They’re the Blues with the added factor of also being boring again. And they already won a Cup recently, it’s somebody else’s turn. Even if it was during weird season and their victory will go down with other forgettable Champions like the 2006 Hurricanes.
There’s is no team who is just kinda there more than us. We’re a Canadian team, but not The Canadian Team or even The Backup Canadian Team. Join our bandwagon, we always take the relaxing scenic route.
Why to bandwagon: Safety first! Many blue checkmarks are predicting the Flames cruise through the first round. Don’t forget about former Red Wings superstar Calle Jarnkrok! You may remember him from the David Legwand trade. That means it’s like the Wings are in the playoffs too, sort of (not at all).
Why not to bandwagon: Milan Lucic. Oh, did that not convince you? Well that’s all I have because they’re booooooooring. They’re a boring team with a roster full of players who are better remembered for the teams they used to be on.
We’re fun! You love neon uniforms! YOU WILL LOVE US!!!!
Why to bandwagon: They have two wholesome former Red Wings in Luke Glendening and Vlad Namestnikov. They aren’t boring, even if that manifests as being somewhere between irritating and insufferable. At least it’ll keep your attention?
Why not to bandwagon: Jamie Benn severely injured Dylan Larkin and that is unforgivable. That is all the reason you need. But also see previous point about the “fun factor” being annoying.
Haven’t we suffered enough? And c’mon Wings fans it’s not like we’re Toronto…
Why to bandwagon: Empathy bandwagon? [insert we’re not so different you and I monologue here] Wings fans know what it’s like to have Ken Holland in charge. We don’t have “a Connor McDavid” but the Yzerplan has us approaching the point where we can imagine how painful it would be for our own future stars to watch the Stanley Cup slip out of reach over and over and over again (and you old-timers saw that during Yzerman’s career).
Why not to bandwagon: Did you see how they went with the navy blue uniforms in Game 1? That alone is enough to eliminate them from consideration. It’s an absolute crime, a crime of fashion. Plus, they’re a Canadian team. Denying the Stanley Cup from returning to Canada is important to maintaining the integrity of the sport.
Los Angeles Kings
Yes, Jonathan Quick is still here and there are no new jokes you can make about the 10-year contract we gave him in 2012. Yes, Dustin Brown is still here and there are no new jokes you can make about the 8-year contract we gave him in 2013.
Why to bandwagon: How about former Red Wings speedster Andreas Athanasiou? This is another bandwagon you may want to hop on for just the first round because the Oilers being eliminated would be very funny and probably age Connor McDavid another 20 years. Looking like a very sad and grizzled Drew Miller any day now.
Why not to bandwagon: It is actually illegal for a Red Wings fan to cheer for any team with a player named Lemieux. If you want to commit boring but heinous crimes, that’s your business. And if you want to see a team in the playoffs with a small core of older guys and a bunch of newbies just give the Red Wings another year or three.