With the Stanley Cup Playoffs kicking off tonight and the Vancouver Canucks already on summer vacation, it’s time to turn our attention to other teams.
It’s bandwagon time!
If you’re not just jumping on the bandwagon of whatever players you picked in your playoff hockey pool, there are plenty of other reasons to care about the two-month grind for Lord Stanley’s Cup from a Canucks fans’ perspective.
1. Burrows Bandwagon
This one’s the easiest transition for Canucks fans.
Burrows, a heart and soul player for the Canucks for 11 years, moved on to the Senators at this year’s trade deadline. He went to Ottawa and immediately lit it up.
The 36-year-old (it was his birthday yesterday) has 11 points (6-5-11) in 20 games with the Sens.
Need more reason to cheer for Burrows? He’s playing the Boston Bruins in the first round.
2. Sharks Bandwagon
Not only is former Canuck Jannik Hansen on the Sharks, but the trade involving him includes an interesting twist.
The Canucks received a fourth-round draft pick from San Jose that turns into a first-rounder should the Sharks win the Stanley Cup.
3. Anti-Blue Jackets Bandwagon
Along the same lines as the Sharks, the play of the Columbus Blue Jackets could impact Vancouver’s draft positioning.
Columbus still owes the Canucks a second-round draft pick as part of compensation for hiring John Tortorella. The Blue Jackets need to give the Canucks their draft pick this year or next. Given the strong season by the Blue Jackets, in which they finished with the fourth-best record in the NHL, their pick could very well be headed to the Canucks in June.
The four conference finalists pick last in the Draft, so you don’t want Columbus going beyond the second round.
Best case scenario: Columbus doesn’t make it to the conference final, and neither does Washington, Pittsburgh, or Chicago. If that happens, Columbus’ pick will be eighth-last.
4. AV Bandwagon
Speaking of former Canucks coaches, how about supporting Alain Vigneault? Look at that face and tell me you don’t want him to win.
Also: he’s up against his 2011 coaching nemesis, Claude Julien, in the first round.
5. Canadian teams
After last year, where not a single Canadian team made the playoffs, it’s nice to see five teams from north of the border in it this season. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are just better when Canada’s involved, plain and simple.
You might hate the Oilers and Maple Leafs, but they are going to be exciting teams to follow.
Connor McDavid reminds me of Pavel Bure in his prime, with his ability to make moves at top speed. Does he have another gear for playoffs? I can’t wait to see.