As we gear up for the Eastern Conference Finals, few fanbases have reason to celebrate. For some, the Stanley Cup Playoffs were always a flickering light in the distance. For others, more recently eliminated out of the cup race, it’s a fresh open wound (Possibly literally, for the bruised and battered players).
But, fear not! I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but the Washington Capitals have broken their 20-year-long second round curse and we’re all pretty stoked about it. With a feel good story like that, where are you going to find a better team to bandwagon?
Admittedly, the Caps won’t have it easy facing off against the Tampa Bay Lightning. But, as the famed country crooner George Strait said, “I ain’t here for a long time, I’m here for a good time.”
I can’t promise you a long time...or a good time, actually. But bring on the sunshine and pour yourself some moonshine while I explain why fans from every Eastern Conference team should bandwagon the Caps!
Speaking of fresh wounds, I’m still bummed the Bruins got knocked out of the playoffs (sorry to inform you, but I am from Massachusetts).
There’s two approaches I often see from eliminated fanbases: they either A) begrudgingly hope the team that eliminates them goes all the way to at least say they got downed by a winner or B) hope someone spoils their fun, too.
Being from Massachusetts, I will say with full conviction that Mass sports fans are too proud – one might say stubborn, even – to take route A. Give ‘em hell, Caps.
I recognize that asking Sabres fans to look on the bright side is like telling Sisyphus the top of the hill is nearby, but things are looking up with their impending first overall pick. What better way to sow a seed of hope in Sabres fans’ hearts to see a much-beloved old guy of hockey hoist the cup?
If the Caps win the cup the same year they break their curse anything is possible, right? Like finishing thirtieth instead of thirty-first next season!
Mike Green would want you to root for Alex Ovechkin.
We all have that cousin who is close to the same age that seems to come out smelling like roses in all situations. While you’re grinding it out in undergrad on a liberal arts degree that may or may not result in a job offer come December 2018 (I’m not projecting!), they have an ivy league degree, a stable job, and are financially solvent.
For the Florida Panthers, that would be the Tampa Bay Lightning. Go Caps!
The Habs have taken a lot of heat in recent years, and rookie defenseman/erstwhile Canadien Mikhail Sergachev becoming the youngest Lightning player to score a playoff goal certainly doesn’t help their case. Again, being from Boston, I do not generally care for the happiness of Habs fans. But rooting for the Caps might be good for a Habs fan’s soul!
Bonus: you can still sport the bleu, blanc, et rouge and just tape a Caps logo on the front. No one will notice!
A feel good story like Ovi winning the cup is enough to distract Ottawa-turned-bandwagon-Caps-fans of Erik Karlsson potentially leaving them in the offseason. Hold on to that feeling of hope, Sens fans.
I’m going to be honest, the intention of writing this list was to make one joke and now I’m grasping for straws.
But remember that time Leafs fans were hoping Steven Stamkos would take a hometown discount and sign with the Leafs instead of the Lightning? Remember that feeling of disappointment when he did NOT do that, and channel that energy into Good Vibes for the Caps.
Canes fans love Justin Williams. Caps fans love Justin Williams. Everyone loves Justin Williams (except, maybe, like anyone who faced off against Mr. Game Seven). The point is that Justin Williams was once a Capital and had fondness for this group of knuckleheads so you should too, Canes fans!
Keeping the kid warm during flight delay from NYC..that's leadership baby pic.twitter.com/OsjYKgiMzo— Justin Williams (@JustinWilliams) December 15, 2016
With the way the series went, I would not blame Blue Jackets fans for not wanting to root for the Caps. But consider this: at least they’re not the Penguins.
One thing I have learned going to a university inundated with New Jerseyites (New Jerseyans?) is that they love being from New Jersey and hate being overshadowed by New York. Who would dare disrespect the fine state of New Jersey with a first round defeat? Tampa Bay, that’s who! Go Caps.
Anything that distracts from John Tavares’ contract situation is probably good, right?
It’s been a far from illustrious start to the offseason for Rangers, and watching Ryan McDonagh, J.T, Miller, and freakin’ Dan Girardi gear up for a potential cup run makes that pill just a little tougher to swallow.
Some people think it’s good to see an ex thriving. I personally think that finding out your ex move on and get engaged to someone hotter than you via Facebook since you’re not even invited to the wedding is a real bummer. So, anyways, go Caps!
If there’s one thing Caps and Flyers fans can bond over, it’s ruining the Penguins fun. After the Caps ended their chances of a threepeat – well, there’s worse reasons to bandwagon, right?
Do what you want, Pens fans! Enjoy the offseason.
[John Dorian voice]— Goalie Blinnterference (@NHLBlinn) May 8, 2018
I hope you found this list to be both informative and persuasive. Washington sports may be rife with heartbreak, but they can be pretty fun, too.