For the first time in eight years, the Rangers are not going to be in the playoffs. It’s just the second time in the Henrik Lundqvist era. It’s unfamiliar territory for us. But have no fear. We are here to help you through these troubling times. Here is a guide to get you through these 2018 playoffs – specifically who to root for, in reverse order.
16. New Jersey Devils
Let’s be real, if you’re rooting for the Devils in any capacity, then you’ve lost your way. The Rangers also hold their second round pick, so losing quickly helps the Rangers as well. Rooting for the Devils is like hitting yourself in the face. Repeatedly. With a brick.
15. Philadelphia Flyers
The only reason why they aren’t #16 is because the Rangers have that draft pick. Otherwise, let’s be real, no one likes Philly. Rooting for Philly is like eating moldy dirt.
14. Pittsburgh Penguins
There are two reasons why rooting for the Penguins is acceptable. The first is that they have the Flyers in the first round. The second is they have Carl Hagelin and Derick Brassard on their team. Rooting for Pittsburgh is like kissing someone with braces and getting stuck.
13. LA Kings
I’m still bitter. So are you. Rooting for them is like shooting yourself in the foot.
12. Vegas Golden Knights
Sure, they are a great story and all. But can you really deal with that Twitter account if they do well? It’s already unbearable. Rooting for Vegas is like spending all day on Twitter reading nothing but Steve Simmons.
11. San Jose Sharks
Yes, this is again a tie-in to 2014. If San Jose did their job and didn’t blow a 3-0 lead, the Kings are done in the first round. Damn chokers. Plus I’ll save you the pain of rooting for them, just for them to choke AGAIN. Rooting for San Jose is like taking the cinnamon challenge.
10. Washington Capitals
They are fun to watch, and I’m getting to a point where I kind of want to see Alex Ovechkin win a Cup. But other than that, I got nothing. Rooting for Washington is like trying to drink a gallon of milk in one sitting.
I’d like to see Rick Nash get a Cup. That’s about the only reason why I’d like to see the Bruins win. Bonus points that the Rangers have their first and third rounders this year. The sooner they lose, the better. Also think of how upset Bruins fans will get. Rooting for Boston means you like rats.
8. Columbus Blue Jackets
No longer are they Rangers West. I still have a soft spot for John Tortorella, and it would be nice to see Brandon Dubinsky lift a Cup. Plus think of the Brooksie articles that would come. Rooting for Columbus is like praying for a Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch reunion tour.
7. Colorado Avalanche
They traded Matt Duchene and got better. I have no emotional ties to them, and there is no real reason to root for them. Picking them is being Switzerland in all this. Rooting for Colorado is like picking Oklahoma as a vacation destination.
I wouldn’t necessarily root against the Ducks, but they aren’t a team I would root for either. Like Colorado, they are a neutral team, but slightly more attractive. They are more Sweden than Switzerland. More Utah than Oklahoma. Rooting for Anaheim means you enjoy reading War and Peace
5. Toronto Maple Leafs
There are many good reasons to root for the Leafs. The fan base is a bit irritating, but they’ve dealt with so much crap for a while. The team is fun to watch and pretty good. The only problem is they will likely be good for some time. Do we really want to start rooting for a team that might turn into a perennial Cup contender? Rooting for Toronto is like hoping the Pats to win the Super Bowl in 2001. Yea, that one bit us hard.
4. Minnesota Wild
I don’t know why, but I like this team. They are solid up and down and fun to watch. Plus it would be the first time a live walrus wins a Cup. Rooting for the Wild is a win for PETA.
This is a team I really like. Winnipeg fans have been through a lot, and this team is very well constructed. There are no bad guys on the team, just a deep and skilled lineup. The only reason why they aren’t higher is because they face the Predators in the second round. Boy this playoff format stinks. Rooting for Winnipeg gives you good juju, but nothing else.
2. Tampa Bay Lightning
Ryan McDonagh. Dan Girardi. JT Miller. Ryan Callahan. Anton Stralman. This year’s first rounder, and if they win the Cup (this year or next), next year’s first rounder as well. I would love to see these guys win the Cup. I am actively rooting for them to come out of the East. Rooting for Tampa is picking a team with your heart and your brain.
1. Nashville Predators
Good lord I love this team. PK Subban is just a gem to watch. Nashville is a great hockey town too. Could you imagine how exciting a Cup Final between Nashville and Tampa would be? The best part – they are the two most exciting teams and neither plays in a big market. Picking Nashville as your team means you enjoy giving Gary Bettman the finger whenever possible.
"The Rangers fan guide to the 2018 playoffs",