Picking what NHL team to root for

I need your help with a decision.

Recent events in the NBA have led me to the realization that I finally need to get into the National Hockey League.

DeMarcus Cousins signing with the Golden State Warriors makes the NBA completely unfair and boring to watch – although I’ll probably blog about how the Sixers are the best possible matchup for the Dubs in the Finals when they eventually go on a hot streak or win a couple games early in the season.

Even this year’s Finals were boring. I fell asleep a couple times during the 4-0 sweep, and while a lot of blame can be placed on J.R. Smith’s idiocy, the inevitability of the last couple NBA seasons has made me completely disinterested. Not even all the regular season’s storylines and drama can stop me from partly switching allegiances.

I honestly should’ve been into the NHL all my life. Growing up as a lacrosse player, the two sports intertwine immensely and the speed, physicality and excitement of the game should more than captivate me.

There’s only one problem: I don’t know who to support..

Now there are a few different ways to decide what team to cheer for. The first and most obvious option is to root for your local home-town team. Secondly, fans can choose who to root for by the color of their jerseys. A third option is the style of play in which the team plays. Fourth, you can just bandwagon because, why not? A fifth option: choosing by association. Sixth and probably the only other option to choose a favorite team from: a young team with a promising future.

While there are probably a bunch of eligible, swaggy teams out there, I’ve already narrowed it down to four possible choices. As a new and fledgling hockey fan, I don’t really know the different styles associated with each team’s play or even which team is a young and upcoming squad (but you could find out if you read this). So, I’m pretty much stuck with the other options.

Washington Capitals – Bandwagon Option

After seeing Alex Ovechkin go on a month long drunken bender following the Capitals first Stanley Cup triumph in franchise history, it’s hard not to like this team. They’ve got the best scorer in the league, some electric players like American hero T.J. Oshie, a cool name guy in Evgeny Kuznetsov and a brick wall in Braden Holtby. Plus, they’re right down from where I go to school, so I can go to some games!

Chicago Blackhawks – Favorite Color option

Perhaps sporting the most banging jerseys in the game, I’d potentially love to buy a Blackhawks red jersey. Boasting one of the best Americans in the game, Patrick Kane, Chicago hasn’t been that great in a couple years for some reason after that dynastical run that saw them win a couple titles. They’re still a definite contender for sure though.

Philadelphia Flyers – Local Option

The homegrown option of Philly sports would be the obvious choice to start supporting on the onset of my NHL fandom. I’m already an avid 76ers fan, and kind of support the Union of the MLS as well. While the Flyers are pretty cool and the Wells Fargo Center is lit, supporting my parents’ New York Rangers for a couple games really changed my outlook on the team. A good backup option yes, but not the frontrunner.

Tampa Bay Lightning – fandom by association option

Although I could have chosen the Rangers for my parents or the Minnesota Wild for one of my friends for this option, I have decided on the Lightning for friend of the site Dominick Wright’s passion for the team. He will tweet #bolts after every win, and it takes a lot of effort to do that. There could be a bit of bandwagoning to go with this option as well, and they’ve got some serious style to their squad that I can vibe with. In the limited amount of games I actually watched, this team has scored some filthy goals off beautiful passing movements. Kucherov would also be a great jersey buy.

If there’s another team out there that fits my longing need to love hockey once and for all, hopefully you can help me find it. Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!


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