The Stars season is over, but the playoffs are ongoing.
So, who should your bandwagon team be?
As a southern team, it’s safe to rule out the “traditional” hockey markets in the north and east. Like calls to like and Stars, fans should cheer on fellow teams in the south and west of the country.
The Florida teams are out, no self-respecting Stars fan will cheer for Tampa, and the Panthers are, well, the Pathers. Still in the running in the west are the Avs (definitely the most attractive team in the league, but there is bad blood there), the Wild (no, just no), and the Golden Knights.
Now there isn’t a fan in the national hockey league that wouldn’t like to see Mark-Andre Fleury win another Cup. Golden Knights analyst Mike McKenna is also remembered with great fondness in Cedar Park (not least for the Mike McKenna burger) after taking the Texas Stars to the Calder Cup Final, so Vegas is a possibility, but have the Vegas team really struggled and scratched and battled for the Cup?
So, what’s left?
Well, we have the Carolina Hurricanes versus the Nashville Predators as a first-round series.
The series will go to at least six games, with the Canes leading 3-2 as of Tuesday night, thanks to a Jordan Staal OT goal.
— Carolina Hurricanes (@Canes) September 19, 2020
There are several good reasons why as Stars fans, we should be cheering for Canes to go all the way.
- Right now, they are playing the Preds, and if there is one thing that Stars fans have learned to do in recent years, it’s cheer against the Preds. It’s true that if the Canes had got it together at the end of the season, they could be facing the Stars right now, but we’ll let that one go.
- The Stars and the Canes are besties on social media. A hangover from the wild card chaos squad of 2019 is that the Canes and Stars became cheerleaders of one another on social media; the Canes cheered the Stars on in the 2020 Cup Final; it seems fair we return the favor.
- Finns. The Stars had 5 Finns (a club record) playing for them this season. The Canes have 3 (Aho, Teravainen, and Hakanpaa). Roope Hintz and Sebastian Aho won World Juniors together in 2016, and the Finnish roster for their underdog 2019 win at the World Champs included both our own Joel Kiviranta and Jani Hakanpaa
- The storm surge, love it or hate it. The surge is one of the more colorful celebrations in modern hockey. Let’s be honest the NHL can use all the personality it can get right now.
- Barbeque and tailgates. Ok, North Carolina barbeque is not like ours but pulled pork isn’t terrible, and fans of any team that tailgate so hard before a game must be OK with fans in Texas.
So if you are looking for a team to cheer on in the playoffs, you could do worse than our southern hockey friends as a Stars fan.
Featured Image: Carolina Hurricanes