Many Stars fans that I know have a pretty clear edict when it comes to watching Dallas-less playoffs: Root for whoever is playing the Detroit Red Wings. This might be motivated by jealousy, or a thorough dislike of the legions of Wings fans everywhere that have never set foot in the state of Michigan; I don't know. What I do know is that watching them lose is something that is met with, dare I say, a certain glee. It's not the classiest thing in the world, but since when is class a requisite for being a "die hard"?
After witnessing the fervent tweets clamoring for a Washington exit, not to mention all the Pittsburgh venom tossed about, I don't think this is limited to just the West. Lately, the San Jose Sharks have been thrown into this mix. "Greatness inspires envy. Envy engenders spite..." and all of that jazz.
So what, oh what, do you do when the Red Wings meet the Sharks in the 2nd round? We've heard a lot of "black hole" and "nuclear bomb" type solutions, but that's not going to happen. The game is going to start tomorrow, and you are invariably, like it or not, going to find yourself a little more irked at one team than the other.
Which one? Conventional wisdom says don't root for your division rival. On the other hand, it's the Red Wings.
I'll give you my somewhat surprising, disgusting choice after the jump...
As a basketball fan, I've faced this choice before. The Dallas Mavericks, always the bridesmaid, never the bride, have presented it to me numerous times after their graceful playoff exits*. That choice was San Antonio or Phoenix. The majority said go for Phoenix. I said San Antonio. The Spurs already had 3 or 4 rings. What's one more? The Suns, however, have NONE. The last thing I wanted was to see them get theirs before "we got ours."
This series presents a similar conflict, though, the Stars have already climbed the mountain. They nearly climbed it twice, in fact. The Sharks have not, and I will do horrible, despicable things to make sure that they don't join the fraternity of Stanley Cup Winners. Even root for them to lose to Detroit. (See how I didn't say "root for Detroit"?)
There are some fail-safes to consider. The Canucks for one. Maybe the Blackhawks (...?). And the
Capitals. Whoops. The Penguins? Maybe. The Finals are not an encouraging place for someone wishing the Western Conference to fail to find solace these days. lEastern, until proven otherwise as last year.
So what say you? It's not like I'm saying I want the Wings to advance any further than the conference finals. I still (jokingly) wish them all severe flu-like symptoms and other maladies.
One thing is certain: All the open encouragement given on this blog to the Coyotes will not be duplicated from here on out, and if you can indeed force yourself to make a choice in this series, no one would blame you for keeping it to yourself.