Saturday, March 15, 2008

Rooting for strangers

This is a weird time of year to be a hockey fan. Up until now, we've pretty much been rooting for our team to win. Period. But now, there's so much jockeying for position and other interests going on, it's tough go stop looking...and cheering...for what goes on outside the Canadiens.

Tonight, for example, obviously I was rooting for the Habs to beat the Isles. Normally, that would be it...Halak gets a shutout, I'm thrilled. But tonight I was also rooting for Boston, Colorado, Buffalo, Tampa, St.Louis and Edmonton. Not all of them for typical reasons.

I wanted Boston to win (yeah..I know) because I want Philly to miss the playoffs. After all the excitement about them stealing Timonen and Hartnell from Nashville last year...and then Briere signing with them while saying he did it because he thought the Flyers were a better team than the Habs? Well, it might be small-minded of me, but I want Briere golfing in April because of that. So, that worked out pretty well tonight, except for Philly getting the loser point.

Then, I had to root for Colorado because we need Jersey to lose. Plus, I still have a soft spot for Theodore. That one...not working out so well.

I had to cheer for Buffalo, because they're the team most likely to eliminate, they're playing the leafs. So, a 6-2 Sabres win was good all around there.

And of course, Tampa needed to win to keep the Rangers six back of the Habs, which they nicely did.

Anaheim and Edmonton normally wouldn't be on my radar at all at this time of year, but this year, despite Kevin Lowe's stupidity in the Dustin Penner situation, I can't bear the thought of Brian Burke possibly getting Steven Stamkos with the Oilers first pick. So, I'm rooting for the Ducks to finish low enough to make their pick good for Edmonton, and Edmonton to win so the Ducks don't get a pick in the top five. It's a fine balance because I traditionally hate Edmonton, but it's worth it if it doesn't add to Burke's store of riches.

Tomorrow while the Habs are off, I'll be rooting for Ottawa to lose to Carolina, and the Flyers, whom I cheered so hard against today, I'll be hoping beat the Penguins tomorrow.

So, this is a really weird time of year for hockey fans. Cheering for enemies and rooting against teams we used to like. But if all's fair in love and war...I think it should be fair in hockey too.


Brian said...

The enemy of my enemy is my friend!

Topham said...

I've been the scoreboard watcher in the past. Takes a lot of energy. This year, i'm only cheering for the Habs, so I feel all those games will be inconsequential if the Habs make the playoffs.

TommyB said...

I too have been watching and cheering for other teams, purely for selfish reasons. For example, any team that hurts Toronto's playoff chances by picking up one or two points, I cheer for.

And...while it's natural to prefer to meet certain teams in the first round of the playoffs rather other certain teams, I remain mostly neutral. I believe this Habs team can beat any team in the East in a seven-game series! However, I also am aware that this Habs team can lose to any team in the East in a seven-game series. So the best I can hope for is...just bring it on! Deal the cards, and drop the puck.