With the Avalanche out of the playoffs, it's tempting to just ignore the whole NHL post-season and find something else to do, like watch baseball or take up playing golf. Tempting, but totally impossible. Who are we kidding?
Most hockey blogs are now posting their half-brained post-season predictions, saying things like "Sharks in Six" and "Senators in 10 Years" and such. We're not going to play that game, since everyone knows that predictions are worth nothing once the pucks start dropping. Seriously, who picked Edmonton and Carolina to be in the finals last year? Don't lie. It wasn't you either.
So, we'll take another route. Without a home team to root for this year, we've decided to choose two new "favorite" teams, one from the Eastern Conference and one from the Western Conference, for the sake of fairness.
But how do you choose a couple of new favorite teams? What do you look for? Geographical proximity? Quality of roster? Aesthetic strength of uniforms? Raw sex appeal? The process can be very complicated, obviously.
In the East, we decided to pick arguably the most exciting team in all of hockey, a team that has completely turned itself around in just one season on the backs of the most talented crop of young players the NHL has seen in a long time. With youth comes sex appeal, and this team definitely has it in spades. Studs barely over the age of 18 who score all the time, hot Russian mail-order husbands, you name it, they've got it.
In the West, the only criteria the team really had to meet was "Do the Red Wings hate them?" The answer is a resounding yes! The team we chose is both underrated, under-appreciated and the Dead Wings hate their guts with a passion. Even better, two of their players used to play for the Avalanche. That's good enough for us!
Obviously, the teams aren't too difficult to figure out.
So, without further ado, the newly-crowned OFFICIAL NEW FAVORITE TEAMS OF DEAR LORD STANLEY for the 2007 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs are:
- Pittsburgh Penguins - - - - - - - - - - Nashville Predators -
We'd love to see these teams win their conference championships and face off in a finale that lasts no fewer than seven games. And we'd love to see Sidney Crosby try to grow a playoff beard. Talk about entertainment!
Go Preds! Go Pens!