Backing Up: What NHL Fans Can Learn From The Chicago Cubs

Everybody’s ‘second’ favorite baseball team, The Chicago Cubs, saved what was an otherwise culturally pathetic 2016 and gave us a Fall for the ages. Baseball gods, we salute you. In this post we help you crown a ‘second’ favorite Hockey team so Spring ‘17 doesn’t suck.      

by Bryan (with help from hockey writer, Terri Childs)

bandwagon-fans
Photo source: http://www.thecubway.com

Every hockey fan has a favorite team. Quite often the team is the glue that sticks the fan to the sport. We watch, read, write, cheer, and scold our favorite teams endlessly. Sometimes the glue stinks.

But what about other teams in the league? Do you look at them as mere enemies of your team, or do you follow them as well? Fanatics of the game have second, third, and even fourth favorite teams in rare cases. Often these secondary teams provide breaths of fresh air during a suffocating year for your top club. They’ll keep you interested while your lovable losers tank for a shot at next year’s #1 draft pick. These teams are important. We call them ‘back-ups’ and they’re what this post is about.

“You have to back up your back up!” Phoebe announced to Rachel while discussing the subject of marriage, over coffee at Central Perk.

friends-back-up

Luckily for hockey fans, the stakes aren’t quite as high and we have more options than Ross and Joey.

Most hockey fans are like parents in a park – closely scrutinizing every move of their own kid, but barely noticing anyone else’s. There are 2 exceptions to this rule:

1) ‘isn’t theirs kid’ does something so ridiculous it’s impossible not to notice, or

2) ‘isn’t theirs kid’ starts fighting theirs.

The reason for this is fair:

A kid that is not yours is boring to everyone else.

We get it. That’s why if you’re a Montreal Canadiens fan, a game between the Canadiens and the Detroit Red Wings could possibly be the most compelling 3 hours of television entertainment. However, while browsing the TV Guide the very next night you may see the Detroit Red Wings playing the St. Louis Blues and not even consider tuning in. You’ll keep scrolling until you land on a program that can absorb your attention; like Storage Wars, porn, or god help you – the news.

Have you ever tried to participate in something that didn’t interest you? Hard, isn’t it? We see examples everywhere. Your job. Christmas concert. Church. Your job, again. Making food. Listening to someone explain the chemistry of craft beer. It’s brutal.

It’s life.

This vending machine sums it up well:

the-light-inside-has-broken-but-i-still-work

Interest, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. The key to a fulfilling life is one that keeps you engaged, on an endless ride to Planet Happily Ever After. In that spirit, I consulted Terri for help picking 5 engaging NHL teams she’d recommend starting a relationship with in 2017. Follow them — perhaps the bandwagon is headed to Planet Stanley Cup.

Terri’s Top 5 ‘Second Favorite Team’ Choices

Terri writes weekly NHL Roundups for Fangirlish.com. Follow her on twitter @terriachilds  

Anaheim Ducks

Not just because I secretly hope the team will break out a Flying V during the playoffs (but I do), the Ducks are quite a fine choice for a second team. They live in the shadow of the Kings, but they play a solid game. And they were named after a Disney film. What’s not to love?

Bryan’s Note: memorize the career stats of Paul Kariya and annoy the shit out of your friends with them.

Nashville Predators

Nashville has everything you could possibly want in a second hockey team – a moderately consistent winning record, a captain who is also married to a country superstar AND PK Subban. Add that to the fact that should you visit the city you can also eat the amazing food of the south and you’ve got yourself a win-win situation.

Bryan’s Note: Get down, turn around, go to town, boot scoot boogie.

Washington Capitals

In a world full of Sidney Crosby, his counterpart Ovechkin often flies under the radar. With no cups to his (or the team’s) name, Washington has been playing some of the best hockey since their inception to the NHL in the past few years. They just haven’t reached that elusive cup yet. So now’s the time to jump in there and start supporting a team that actually has a solid chance (of breaking your heart).

Bryan’s Note: I love this pick. I want to see Alex Ovechkin win a cup. At this point, he deserves it more than anyone.

Columbus Blue Jackets

This team is for the hockey fan who likes a good underdog story. The Blue Jackets? You may ask. Yes. The Blue Jackets. They recently went on a 16 game winning streak and goalie Bobrovsky is on pace for a Vezina Trophy winning year (plus, who doesn’t like proclaiming “BOBROVSKI!”). This bandwagon is new and fresh, it’s the hipster team of 2017. Jump aboard now before it’s no longer cool.

Bryan’s Note: Another great pick, Terri! Bonus: I love John Tortorella and have always supported him. I would love to see Torts win COUGH *another* COUGH cup and with the winning streak has all but locked up this year’s Jack Adams award (his second in that department, too). Grab a towel and wipe that egg off your face, Brooksie.

Las Vegas Golden Knights

It’s a Sunday night, you log onto Facebook, a friend you haven’t talked to in five years has recently gone on a trip and posted photos, where are these photos from? It’s Vegas. It’s always Vegas (I don’t judge, I’ve been there twice, it’s a great city). So what better way to come up with another reason to visit your favorite city then to support their newly formed hockey team! You can drink poolside, toss on your jersey, watch a surely-to-be VERY cheap game of hockey (I’d guess under $50 for good seats), then leave the stadium and continue drinking. What’s not to love about this scenario?

Bryan’s Note: Give me $20 on red.

You have our blessings. Good luck.

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