For a lot of fans, the playoffs lose all intrigue as soon as their team is eliminated. For Jets fans, that was over a month ago as the Jets fell to the St. Louis Blues in game six on April 20. Even if that game left you with a bad taste in your mouth, it’s always fun to watch the finals and see the end of the season. This year, there’s a stark contrast between the two teams vying for the Stanley Cup. The perennial contenders from Boston are up against a Blues team who was in the basement of the standings only five months ago and hasn’t seen the finals since 1970.
In case you haven’t made your decision yet, I’m going to mention a few reasons to cheer for both teams. From there, it’s up to you.
Cheer for the Bruins if…
You like watching dynasties. Nobody can deny the superiority of the Bruins over the past decade. They have been one of the favourites nearly every single season since 2011 when they sent Vancouver into turmoil. Although they have only won one cup in that span, they also made it to the finals and lost in 2013. This is a strong franchise who has enjoyed one of the best runs over the last 10 years.
You can’t stand cheering for the team that eliminated Winnipeg. A lot of feelings come out during a seven game series. Watching a specific team beat Winnipeg four times is a tough pill to swallow. With the intensity of the playoffs, there is usually some resentment towards the team that does the eliminating. If that’s how you feel this season, cheer for the Bruins so they can knock out the Blues, just like the Blues knocked out Winnipeg.
You hate the Leafs. It’s very clear that the Leafs are the most polarizing hockey team in the NHL. With such a wide fanbase, I’m sure you can name many Leaf fans that are coworkers, friends, or family. If you cheer for any other team, chances are that you hate the Maple Leafs. Watching them go down in the first round likely filled you with a sense of joy as you knew they wouldn’t be able to boast about making it farther than Winnipeg. Because the Bruins were able to beat Toronto once again, that’s a strong argument to cheer for Boston to win it all.
Cheer for the Blues if…
You like Canadian content. The Blues are loaded with Canadians all through their lineup. If a Canadian team can’t win the cup, wouldn’t the next best thing be a team with tons of Canadian content? When looking at the Blues lineup, the number of Canadians is astounding. All three of their goalies hail from Canada, which is quite rare in today’s NHL. Looking at their defense, they boast all but one coming from Canada. Carl Gunnarsson is the lone player not from Canada on defense. If you want to see Canadian talent hoisting the cup, St. Louis is your team.
It will make you feel better that Winnipeg lost to the eventual champs. This is the exact opposite of the second point for the Bruins. Sometimes when you lose, you want to see the team that eliminated you lose as fast as possible. On the other hand, it sounds much better to say that Winnipeg lost to the eventual champions. Which one do you prefer?
You like a good underdog story. It’s been well documented already, but the Blues have had a fantastic run since the turn of the calendar. Coming from last in the league, it would be fun to see them be able to scratch and claw their way to the championship. Who doesn’t love the underdogs?
You want to see the cup in Manitoba. The Blues have two players from Manitoba on their roster including one from Winnipeg. Joel Edmundson is from Brandon, while Alex Steen is from Winnipeg. If you want a chance to see the Stanley Cup in person, you better hope St. Louis takes the series.
You still love Chris Thorburn. Always in the hearts of Jets fans, Thorburn was a beloved piece that gave his best effort every single night. While his role on the team was hotly contested, his personality and beard have been missed in Winnipeg. If you want to see Thorburn lift the cup, St. Louis is the team you want.