March 15 2012 10:34AM
For some, it might seem too soon to give up on the Leafs' playoff hopes, but I, for one, have already begun musing about which teams I may wind up choosing for after April 7th has come and gone.
You see, those of us for whom one team is enough to cheer for, deciding which other playoff-bound team is the least dispicable can often be a daunting chore. For every great player to cheer for, there's a scumbag on the team to cheer against - Sidney Crosby and Matt Cooke, Alex Ovechkin and Alex Ovechkin.
If the playoffs started today, who could we cheer for in round one?
Both of these teams are quite close in terms of likability for me, but I'm going to cheer for the Rangers. Any team that plays Washington has got to be at serious risk of an upset, but ultimately, I think that the best team should be available should Ottawa actually make it to the second round. Also, if it comes down to one of these two teams or Boston, I'd rather cheer for the team with the best record in the East than hope for an upset.
At the end of the day, I wouldn't mind seeing either team go all the way - even if that's an unlikely scenario for Washington.
It's cool to see a team other than Detroit, Chicago, or Vancouver doing so well. What the heck - GO BLUES! We'll have plenty of time to hate them later. Of course, the Blues have a league-high PDO of 103.05, so this mid-season castle may indeed be made of sand.
If the Sharks manage to put together a good run this season, I'd like to think it would help silence the 'playoff chokers' theme once and for all. I wouldn't be upset if they won, either.
I can't quite put my finger on why it is that I can't cheer for the Canucks. They have some of the finest players in the game on their team - I love watching the Sedins pass - and a pair of great golies. Outside of the Bruins, the Canucks probably even have the best goaltending tandem in the league. They're fun to watch, but somehow, they're also easy to hate.
The Coyotes, on the other hand, have a certain "never-say-die" story that I can't help but find appealing. Everyone expected them to have moved by now, everyone expected them to have completely fallen apart without Ilya Bryzgalov, and no one knew what the heck Dave Tippett was going to do with this rag-tag bunch. Somehow, they're still right in the playoff mix. Although I don't exactly have high hopes (especially since they have the third-highest PDO in the league), go 'Yotes.
This one is more or less a toss-up for me, having no ill will towards either Dallas or Chicago. If Vancouver were to make it to the second round, I'd love to see them lose to Chicago, but that's about it.
For the moment, the Hawks currently have the third-lowest PDO in the league, and could be set to rebound just at the right time.
Is everyone else as sick of Detroit as I am? I hope Radulov comes back and absolutely lights it up for the Predators. I'd be OK with Nashville winning a Cup, I think. They've been competitive for a long time, but just haven't been able to put things together in the post-season. A small-market win might be bad news as far as the NHL is concerned, but it'd be cool if hockey could gain more prominence after ownership has been so good for so long.