Conference Finals: Who are you cheering for?


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Yesterday, I received an email from Jeff Klein, one of the writers for The New York Times hockey blog, Slap Shot. He was looking for my thoughts on whether I (and other Canadian hockey fans) are cheering for the Canucks because they are the only Canadian hockey team left in the Stanley Cup race. He put together a great article called, “Some Fans in Canada See Vancouver as Foreign” aka “Vancouver Canucks may not be Canada’s team” which has a number of great quotes. I suggest having a read because it’s a great piece, beyond the fact that I’m mentioned in there.

Jeff’s question was  got me thinking, and I am wondering who YOU will be cheering for as the NHL Conference Championships kick off tonight in Boston. Will you be cheering for Boston, Tampa Bay, Vancouver or San Jose? Most importantly, WHY? Leave a comment below, or on my Facebook page. Even a tweet will do. If you’re a fan of one of the remaining teams, your answer will be self-explanatory. If you’re not, please explain your reason.

I know who I will be cheering for. I’ve cheered for the same team since the beginning of the playoffs and while that team has changed their name twice since the playoffs began, they are still in it. I just hope they can finish the job this round. Here’s the full-length version of my response to Jeff:

Question 1: Will Flames fans support Vancouver the rest of the way because the Canucks are the last Canadian team, or does the fact that they’re a Flames archrival outweigh any conceivable nationalistic reason for supporting them? I am not aware of any Flames fans who have felt the need to jump on the Vancouver Canucks bandwagon. If there are, I am certainly not one of them. My own decision to cheer for “whichever team plays the Canucks” is based on a combination of the rivalry that exists between the Flames and Canucks and my general dislike for many of their more stereotypical fans. By that, I mean the ones that earned them the reputation of being some of the worst fans in professional sports. They definitely don’t need any more fodder for their egos.

Question 2: Most of the Canucks’ most important players are not Canadian, so does *that* undercut any reason for supporting them as a Canada-based team? Most Canadians would agree that we want the Stanley Cup back in Canada as soon as possible. If our preferred team isn’t in the race, the next consideration is how many Canadians are on the team. This is an instinct that exists in all Canadian-born hockey fans and it is usually powerful enough to overcome divisional rivalries. The fact that the Canucks have so few Canadians on their roster and the lowest number of Canadian star players, only reinforces my desire to see them exit the playoffs sooner rather than later. It shouldn’t be a surprise to learn that my ideal final is Boston vs. San Jose. Can you imagine what us Flames fans will be feeling if we have to watch the Tampa Bay Lightning face-off against the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup Finals?!! We still haven’t erased the memories from 2004.

About Greg Hounslow (558 Posts)

Greg is the founder of Red Mile Blog has been following the Flames through good times and bad since they arrived in Calgary in the early 80s. He has written hundreds of articles on the Flames since 2005 and considers himself an expert on hockey inconsistency and frustration. He shoots right and usually plays defence, but has been known to jump up in the rush. He is a 2-time CAHL men's league champion and knows the sweet taste of beer from a Cup.

  • Iggyfan

    Flames fan cheering for the Canucks.Very simply because it would be nice to have the cup in Canada.  I try to not let irrational hatred and some bad fans colour my view of Vancouver and its people. Yes there is a heated rivalry, but if Stephen Harper can cheer for the Canucks I am big enough to as well. IMHO all this diving talk is crap and wishful thinking by bitter fans.    

  • Hockeyfan_4_8

    Since the flames didn’t make the playoffs i havent been cheering for any one but if I was the Canucks would be the last team I would cheer for

  • OldeBuffalo

    Many people in British Columbia feel less connected to Canada than separatists in Quebec do and that attitude extends right to the heart of the Canuck’s management, ownership and many of the team’s fans

    Canuck fans booed Team Canada in Vancouver during the1972 Canada Russia Summit series. Canuck fans embarrassingly berated American visitors during the 2010 Olympics after USA defeated team Canada in the  preliminary round. Canuck management fired long time Canuck Ryan Walter much to the displeasure of other longtime Canuck’s employees and coachs. Canuck Management decided to re-paint the Chicago Blackhawks dressing room the day the team arrived for 2 games hoping the fumes will give their team an advantage. Canuck management demanded the firing of longtime radio broadcaster Tom Larshied for not being supportive enough of the Canucks. Another longtime radio broadcaster lost his job at the insistence of Canuck management for criticizing the Canucks. The Canuck’s manager appoints their goalkeeper as captain and then wondered why the rest of the hockey world laughed at them. The Vancouver Canucks have been watching too much soccer consequently they now believe diving and flopping are part of hockey. Vancouverites, the Canuck team owner, and his manager are the worst sports fans in Canada. In short people connected to the Vancouver Canucks are weird and when Vancouver fans learn something about sportsman ship, I’ll consider them Canadians.

    In the meantime GO SHARKS!

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