There are many factors to take in to account when selecting a team to cheer for in these playoffs, but we'll make it simple for you and give you reasons why you might like a certain team to hoist the Stanley Cup this year.
In The East
New York Rangers
- They are responsible for Sean Avery retiring from hockey.
- Won the always tough Atlantic Division for the first time since 1993-94, the same year they won the Stanley Cup.
- Henrik Lundqvist is a God and can do just about everything, including guitar solos.
New Jersey Devils
- Because the Devils are #1, they beat anybody, they're the Devilssss, THE DEVILSSSS!
- This could be Marty Brodeur's last chance at a Stanley Cup.
- The Devils ownership are in a big feud with the mayor of Newark that could create some interesting scenarios with the city reducing police patrols around the arena. Perhaps the Devils will seek out the Sopranos for some private security?
- Fans have started throwing rats on the ice again after home victories, and we'd like to see this again.
- The team is making their first playoff appearance since 2000 - that's a long time.
- Because their ice dancers, the Redline Lady Panthers, are one of the few squads in the league that can do beach photo shoots in their own backyard. Yup.
- They have a lot of talent in Malkin, Crosby, Neal, Letang and Fleury, if you're looking to buy a jersey.
- If you do cheer against them, you run the risk of getting fined by the NHL. And don't even think about saying anything bad about Crosby and Malkin or it's another $20,000.
- For nostalgic sake, the movie Sudden Death was filmed at the old Mellon Arena, and Jean-Claude Van Damme did this as a Penguin.
- The Flyers have a lot of likeable characters on their team as revealed by HBO 24/7
- Getting a chance to see Jaromir Jagr salute after an OT winner would be priceless.
- The further the Flyers go into the playoffs, the more Ilya Bryzgalov quotes we will get.
- They won the Stanley Cup last year, so if you're into bandwagoning they're a good start.
- If you love a hard-hitting style of hockey, look no further, the Bruins are a very intimidating team.
- They're Public Relations department is among the best in the league.
- Erik Karlsson is very exciting to watch with his offensive abilities and greasy flow.
- Many picked them to finish near the bottom of the league, but here they are playing in mid-April.
- If you're into cheering for Canadian teams, I guess they are a Canadian team.
- If you enjoy the sound of emergency vehicles zooming by with sirens a blazing, then you might like when the Caps score at home.
- With Tomas Vokoun and Michal Neuvirth out with injuries, it's hard not to cheer for youngster Braden Holtby to play well.
- Alex Ovechkin appears to be heating up before the playoffs, which means he could be a game changer or that he just discovered fire.
In The West
- If you hate your starting goaltender and boo him whenever he lets in a goal then this is your team.
- Once again, they are a Canadian team if you're into that.
- If you always had a fantasy about Swedish twins with great hands and chemistry then you'll like the Sedin's, but might want to tweak your fantasy to focus on Elin and Josefin Nordegren.
St. Louis Blues
- A great story this season, the Blues are a young, hard-working team that brings lots of excitement.
- They have the best goaltending in the league with Halak and Elliott, if you're big on goalie crushes.
- For WWF/WWE wrestling fans, you will like the fact that Paul Bearer is coaching the Blues and might even win the Jack Adams Award.
- A great story this year, the 'Yotes won the Pacific Division this year despite rumours of relocation and ownership issues.
- Have you heard of Mike Smith? He's pretty good.
- The Coyotes carried on the tradition of their Winnipeg franchise with the "White Out" during playoff games which is cool to see in any arena, however the Coyotes have maintained a the "White Out" tradition at every home game this year by simply painting their seats white.
Detroit Red Wings
- This could be the last post season for one of the greatest d-men to ever play the game, Old Saint Nick.
- One of the most consistent teams in hockey, the Wings have made the playoffs every season since 1990-91 in which they've gone to the Stanley Cup Finals six times and taken home the Stanley Cup four times.
- If you like seafood and fans throwing things on the ice, then you'll appreciate the Red Wings fan tradition of throwing octopus on the ice. Love that the arena plays Octopus's Garden when they're tossed.
San Jose Sharks
- They have some jerky traditions, such as during powerplays the Jaws theme plays and fans "chomp" with their hands.
- The Sharks are known for their inability to make the Stanley Cup Finals despite icing some of the best teams in the league so if they do finally make it with you cheering for them then you can tell everyone it was all you.
- At times, it seems the Sharks play with a seventh man on the ice, or at least a seventh stick, you know, if you're into cheating.
Los Angeles Kings
- If you enjoy soccer scores, this is your team. They have the lowest goals for in the league and have Jonathan Quick leading the league in shutouts.
- They have a lot of star power that hasn't been fully tapped this season, it could finally explode.
- If you're a big TMZ fan, there is guaranteed to be some celebrities at their games... potentially kissing.
Whatever team you cheer for, just make sure to enjoy the greatest two months of hockey in the world as it can all be over in a snap (and don't flip any cars when it's all over).