It seems to be a pretty consistent theme in sports. No matter how likeable a team is before your favourite team plays them in the playoffs, invariably you'll find two or three hundred reasons to hate them before the season is over. If you play teams in the playoffs frequently enough, you can never look favourably at those teams or those players ever again (see: Battle of Ontario, Gary Roberts, Toronto's hate for Alfie, many in Ottawa's dislike for Sidney Crosby, etc)
So, when the Senators went into battle in the first round agains the New York Rangers, I was a little bummed out. I kinda liked them, there gritty style, Ryan Callahan, the flash of Marian Gaborik, and of course King Henrik Lundqvist. Sadly, I knew that no matter what, if my Senators didn't make it out of the first round, I was going to be robbed of a team I'd otherwise likely cheer for.
Is that juvenile? Absolutely. Is it silly, for sure. However, I am a little bit (read; very) emotionally invested in my Senators, and as such build up these hateful feelings for opponents. I'm a sore loser.
However, there is an entirely separate school of thought on the issue. Some people actively cheer for the team that eliminated their favourite team, willing their former opponent to win it all, because at least if the Rangers win the cup, the Sens will have been beaten by the best.
I don't like this reasoning, for two reasons. Number 1, so many factors go in to winning a Stanley Cup. If the Rangers win it all, and the Senators had one just ONE MORE GAME agains the Rangers, would Ottawa have therefore won the cup? Not necessarily. Not even very likely. Between injuries, match-ups, fatigue, and luck from all teams involved, you'd be hard pressed to even say the "best" team wins the cup every year. Its simply the team that gets it done in the key moments, moments that are different for everybody, that gets to hoist the cup.
The second reason of course; I'm childish, and I refuse to cheer for the team that sent my guys home early.
What say you?
Links after the jump!
- The link that inspired that crazy-man-rant above the jump, Chris Neil mentioned in a recent trip to Roger's House that he is cheering for the Rangers to win it all. Kind of funny when you think of the role he played in the first round match up [Garrioch]
- Our excellent Bobby Kelly took a look at another draft prospect today, Olli Maata, Finnish D-man. Here it is if you missed it! [SilverSevenSens]
- Again here is Garrioch with a list of the Top 5 guys Bryan Murray ought to target in free agency. Zach Parise headlines a list that also includes Chris Kelly (I disagree), David Jones (good idea) and Jiri Hudler (who would be promptly run out of town by Bruce and his buddy Don) [Sun]
- Here is the rest of that transcript of the IIHF interview with Alfie, in which he says he wouldn't want to coach right away. [Sens Extra]
- Cory Clouston has been fired by the Brandon Wheat Kings. Its been a tough ride for CC, and here's hoping he learns from it and can adapt his style so that he lands on his feet somewhere. [Panzeri]
- Pete DeBoer put his guns back together for game 2 and it payed off with a big win to even the series. One has to think any series with the Rangers is going to be a long one at this point. [Puck Daddy]
- A player I am a huge fan of, Ilya Kovalchuk, is getting some of the recognition he deserves. Due to the fact he is Russian he has always been grouped negatively with other fellow countrymen. Watch him play and you see one of the most ferocious competitors in the league. He craves winning. [Fisher]
- Here's something I haven't done in a while, a suspension link! Martin Hanzal got himself a game for this beauty on Dustin Brown. [Puck Daddy]
- Shanahan did not, however, throw the book at either Shane Doan or Derek Morris. This is good news for the Coyotes who are in enough trouble as it is. [Puck Daddy]
- Canada has been ousted from the World Championships in an upset by Slovakia. Its a shame, because the team they had put together was quite exciting. [NHL.com]